Identifying oak trees...

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Identifying oak trees...

Unread postby dan » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:00 am

Red oak...
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The fruit is an acorn or nut that occurs singly or in clusters of from two to five, is partially enclosed by a scaly cup, and matures in 2 years. Northern red oak acorns are brown when mature and ripen from late August to late October, depending on geographic location (30).

Seed Production and Dissemination- In forest stands northern red oak begins to bear fruit at about age 25 but usually does not produce seeds abundantly until about age 50. Good to excellent seed crops are produced at irregular intervals, usually every 2 to 5 years (30).

Acorn production is highly variable among trees even in good seed years. Some trees are always poor producers while others are always good producers. Crown size seems to be the most important tree characteristic affecting acorn production. Dominant or codominant trees with large, uncrowded crowns produce more acorns than trees with small, restricted crowns (24).

Even in good years only about I percent of the acorns become available for regenerating northern red oak, and as many as 500 or more acorns may be required to produce one 1-year-old seedling. Many acorns are consumed by insects, squirrels, small rodents, deer, and turkey and other birds. They can eat or damage more than 80 percent of the acorn crop in most years and virtually 100 percent of the crop in very poor seed years (19,24,28). The large acorns are generally dispersed over only short distances. Gravity and the caching activities of squirrels and mice are the primary means of dispersal.


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Re: Identifying oak trees...

Unread postby dan » Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:04 am

White Oak...

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Flowering and Fruiting- White oak flowers in the spring at about the same time leaves appear. The time may vary from late March to late May depending upon latitude. It is monoecious; flowers of both sexes are present on the same tree. The yellowish staminate flowers appear first and are home in 5- to 8-cm (2- to 3-in) catkins. The reddish pistillate flowers appear 5 to 10 days later either singly or in pairs on short stalks. Female flowers that are not fertilized abscise during the development period. High abscission rates are common and may be related to weather conditions during the period of pollination, ovule development, and fertilization (44). Ripe anthers open and close with changes in relative humidity. Normally, pollen dissemination is completed within 3 days but periods of wet weather delay pollen shedding. Dry winds and freezing weather are also detrimental to flower development and pollen shedding (28). Acorn crops are good in years when the weather is warm for 10 days during flowering and then cool for 13 to 20 days afterward. The acorn crop has been poor in years when cool periods preceded warm periods at the time of flowering (36).

Acorn maturity is reached approximately 120 days after pollination. Acorn drop follows 25 days later and is complete within a month. Physiological maturity, as indicated by normal germination, is reached when acorns change color from green to light brown (4). Acorns germinate almost immediately after falling to the ground in September or October.

Seed Production and Dissemination- White oak can produce seeds prolifically, but good acorn crops are irregular and occur only every 4 to 10 years. Sometimes several years may pass without a crop. Acorn yields range from 0 to 500,000 acorns per hectare (202,000/acre) (7,22,28). This great variation in acorn production exists not only among isolated stands of oaks but also among individual trees within stands and from year to year.

Trees normally bear seeds between the ages of 50 and 200 years, sometimes older; however, opengrown trees may produce seeds as early as 20 years. Individual white oak trees tend to have either very good or very poor seed crops and are noticeably consistent in seed production from year to year (20,28,36,40). A recent study (13) showed that white oak flower production varies not only annually but also among trees within a given year and that much of the variation in acorn production can be related to flower abundance at the time of pollination. More than 23,000 acorns were produced during a good seed year by an individual white oak tree growing in Virginia; it was 69 years old, 63.5 cm (25 in) in d.b.h., and 21 in (69 ft) tall, and had a crown area of 145 m² (1,560 ft²) . Average production in good years for individual forest-grown trees, however, is probably no more than 10,000 acorns.

Several studies have shown that only a small portion of the total mature acorn crop (sometimes only 18 percent) is sound and fully developed; the remainder is damaged or destroyed by animals and insects (15,28,40). However, some damaged acorns germinate if the embryo is not damaged. Light acorn crops are often completely destroyed by animals and insects, so seedlings are produced only during heavy crop years.

Seeds are disseminated by rodents (chiefly squirrels and mice), gravity, and wind. The area seeded by individual trees is small and therefore widespread reproduction depends on adequate distribution of seedbearing trees.
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Re: Identifying oak trees...

Unread postby BackWoodsHunter » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:54 am

a tip I learned in a horticulture class for identifying them based on the acorns is the red oaks have flat wide caps that are shaped somewhat like a "shield" and the nut of the white oaks is long with a rounded tip somewhat like a bullet and they say the its the white mans bullet and the red mans shield just a little trick to keep em straight when walking through the forest I know the deer prefer one over the other but i am not positive which is which
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Re: Identifying oak trees...

Unread postby dan » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:58 am

I know the deer prefer one over the other but i am not positive which is which

Deer prefer White oak acorns over red.
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Re: Identifying oak trees...

Unread postby PredatorTC » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:07 am

Thanks for posting this Dan i was wondering some of this myself!!
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Re: Identifying oak trees...

Unread postby PredatorTC » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:13 am

We have a lot of these bur oak acorns around by us.... It looks like the deer like them but i dont know how much.
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Re: Identifying oak trees...

Unread postby BGHUNTER » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:42 pm

They prefer white oaks because they are sweeter due to less tannic acid.


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