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Using Acorns to Assist Wildlife

Oak trees are in abundance across much of the United States. Species of oaks have adorned the American terrain for hundreds of years. Many homeowners choose to add this expansive species to their personal landscape for its beauty, grandeur and function.

Acorns are the nuts borne of oaks. And although they frequently go unnoticed by us, they are quite valuable to wildlife, especially in preparation for winter’s relative cold and barrenness. Varying species of oaks produce acorns with varying amounts of bitter tannins, or polyphenols. In spite of the tannins, acorns are consistently a favorite among such wildlife as birds, squirrels, deer and bears.

If your landscape has oaks that produce acorns, then there are several creative ways you can assist wildlife as they begin their preparations for winter by gathering and storing the sustenance that will sustain them during the long winter months. Consider building collection stations across your landscape from which wildlife can feed on or gather acorns.

This endeavor can be thought of much like a bird feeder for birds, only the completed works are feeders for other wildlife, too.

Online searches or research of woodworking books at a local library are great resources for the design and construction of animal feeders. These are generally quite descriptive as well, providing the approximate dimensions necessary for the average size of the animal that feeds from it. This is a positive as far as planning for the amount of materials that will be necessary and the approximate amount of money you will likely incur to complete the projects. For watchful landscape owners who’ve monitored repeated annual visits to his or her property by wildlife over the years, you may even find that you have enough information to help determine the amount of feeders necessary for each type of wildlife that visits your property.

Certainly, if building such projects is not of interest to you, you can always find a local woodworker to build them for you. Or you may also be able to find pre-built feeders at wildlife or feed and seed stores.

Hang or place them in strategic places across your landscape. Squirrel and bird feeders can be hung from privacy fences or ground posts. Wooden replicas of hanging or tripod deer feeders can be made and filled with an abundance of acorns. This would be especially beneficial to deer that perhaps frequent your property due to a heavy pine tree population on or near your property.

Acorns will generally begin to fall at the onset of autumn. Begin collecting them as soon as the weather begins to turn cooler and the days shorter, as this is the time when wildlife will begin to seek them as well.

If you have an oak tree with a branch that appears unhealthy, contact an Austin tree trimming specialist to assist you with proper pruning techniques. This will not only sustain the tree itself and your property in the long-run, but for environmentally-conscious property owners, doing so will also protect the wildlife that happen across your landscape to forage. Depending upon the level of destruction of a branch requiring trimming, salvaging any acorns still attached may or may not be possible.

Use a beautiful, comfortable autumn weekend to gather acorns and put them in wildlife feeders for their easy access. Encourage neighbors to do the same. And watch for opportunities to give away excess amounts of acorns, perhaps during a masting period, for a good cause, such as increasing the population of or altogether re-populating a wildlife habitat.

Consult an Austin tree care professional, and get to know your oaks better.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit

Oak Trees

There are many oak trees in the United States. There are also many varieties of oaks, including white, red, live and pin oaks. Perhaps their heavy presence across miles and miles of the American landscape over hundreds of years is one of the reasons it is considered the national tree.

So, what exactly are some of the advantages of oaks that make it so noteworthy?

First, as already mentioned, they are common across a large portion of American terrain and have been for many years. They are quite a longstanding species of tree, capable of living up to 200 years old.

Second, they are quite hardy. Their existence across such a wide expanse of country, with all the varying regional elements, such as temperatures, precipitation and other relative conditions, clearly speaks to this.

Third, oaks are durable. In fact, wood that is harvested from oak trees is often used in things like hardwood floors and furniture. Given proper care, of course, this makes flooring and furniture projects made using oak able to withstand the passage of time. Compared to other woods frequently used for such projects, like cherry, oak is considerably less expensive, too.

But the durability of oak extends beyond its uses as lumber. Oak trees are not only durable, but are generally also quite expansive. With some careful strategic planning, the overall stature of oak trees makes for a great way to provide comfortable shade during hot summer days or sheltering windbreaks during colder, windier weather. An Austin arborist can help you plan a beautiful, well-maintained but equally effective landscape using any variety of oak you desire to plant. Because of their stature, however, it is always worthy of securing the services of an Austin tree trimming professional for the trimming or pruning of oak trees.

Fourth, oak trees bear fruit in the form of acorns, the production of which is quite ecologically friendly. Many species of animals, including squirrels, deer and bear, feed on the acorns produced by oaks. Because acorns drop from the trees during the fall months, this makes them an especially fortuitous find for the critters foraging the ground or forest floor to store up before winter’s cold sets in or hibernation begins.

Of all the trees that you could choose to plant on your landscape, oak trees are a wonderful addition. If you’re considering adding one or more to your landscape, consult the expertise of an Austin tree care specialist with any questions you may have regarding how well oaks may grow on your landscape’s soil, within your average seasonal temperatures and levels of precipitation, how to care for them as they grow and any advantages or (rarely) disadvantages associated with growing them.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree service in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and oak wilt treatment. For more information on Austin tree service, please visit