Yesterday, our crew peeled back protective layers of white plastic and closed cell foam blankets to reveal hundreds of small special air root pruning pots, each holding one or two acorns planted last October. When those acorns were collected, culled to select the very best, and carefully planted, it was with the great hope that someday each could grow to become a might oak tree.
The oak trees of our forests are an incredibly important part of the web of life. While large majestic oak trees provide cooling shade, nesting and roosting sites for many creatures and very strong wood for building homes and furniture, it is the acorns from the healthy trees that help maintain healthy populations of deer, wild turkeys, birds, squirrels and more. Acorns are densely packed with starch, oil and protein that provides some of the most important nutrition for wildlife. Every spring I eagerly look forward to the time when the fall planted pots of acorns are uncovered after a long winter under wraps.
Just as I had hoped, a great many of the acorns have already germi
nated with the husk splitting to allow a root to penetrate the soil mix. Within a few weeks small shoots with leaves will emerge and grow vigorously toward the sun. I’m always amazed by the way the acorns can spend several cold and snowy months outside and still produce a beautiful little oak tree by the end of the summer.
You can help grow the forests of tomorrow by adopting some of these little oak trees and planting them in sunny locations. Someday, under the wide spreading branches of the oaks you planted, your grandchild might be found collecting the acorns to grow yet another generation of mighty oaks.