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A Fruitful Acorn Harvest

December 16, 2016

Beginning in mid-September, Sacramento Tree Foundation staff, interns, and volunteers were busy locating, learning about, and carefully harvesting this years nuts that will become next years seedling trees. Because of everyone’s hard work we met or exceeded most of our goals during this challenging harvesting season.

The regional acorn crop was average this year, perhaps another victim of the ongoing drought. Drought has also decreased the availability of food for wildlife resulting in high demand from hungry critters for the acorns that have been dropping.

Volunteers received specialized instruction during the two Acorn Harvest Trainings that were held this year. These trainings were conducted at Springview Park in Rocklin and at Effie Yeaw in Carmichael. These newly trained Harvesters, along with returning Acorn Harvesters harvested 11,660 acorns, meeting or exceeding our goals for Valley Oak (Q. lobata), Interior Live Oak (Q. wislizeni), and California Scrub Oak (Q. berberidifolia). Not only did we put away enough acorns for Tree Foundation projects, we were also able to support both the Bullock Bend restoration project being undertaken on the Sacramento River by Westervelt Ecological Services and the Cordova Creek restoration project being implemented on the American River Parkway.

These acorns have been carefully logged and stored by the Tree Foundation's Acorn Interns. After a rest in one our four refrigerators, these acorns will be directly planted at reforestation project sites and grown into seedling trees with the help of Seed to Seedling students and our in house propagation program. Come next fall many of the resulting seedlings will be ready to be planted.

We have only a few more steps to wrap up the season:

  • Do you still have acorns for us? Materials you would like to bring back? Let us know right away so we can plan for a hand off.
  • Want to help us plant acorns in the nursery? We will be having a workday on Saturday, January 28th (you can register to volunteer here) 
  • We will be starting our Seed to Seedling program this January with third grade students county wide. If you are interested in supporting this project, check out it out here.

Many thanks to all the volunteers and partners who have supported this important annual project, including ICF, Cub Scouts, Sacramento County Parks and Recreation, and the staff at Effie Yeaw. We couldn’t do it without you!!!