White Oak Trees???

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Imorr5141
 
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White Oak Trees???

Postby Imorr5141 » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:33 pm

Does anyone know if white oak trees produce acorns every year? i understand they can have a bad year but this year up here we had a massive acorn harvest. I am wondering can I expect the same thing next year?

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kellory
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby kellory » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:44 pm

you were lucky. Our local crop was quite meager this year. And what you heard was right, mast crops are cyclic, sometimes large, sometimes small.
Shaman could tell you much about them, I think he has a crop of them. Welcome to the forum. ;)
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Woods Walker
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby Woods Walker » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:48 pm

Acorn, or "mast" production by white oak trees (and others) varies from year to year depending on moisture, the timing of the last frost or hard freeze in the sping, and other environmental factors.

Oak trees produce flowers (albeit inconspicuous) in the spring from which their "fruit" (acorns) come from, and if there's a late last frost/freeze, the flowers can be burned or killed, thereby reducing or eliminating a good part of that fall's mast crop. This can vary from tree to tree, depending on how hard the freeze was, and/or where the tree was located in regards to local site specific temperature conditions.

A good way to determine if the white oaks in your area will have a good mast year is to "scout" the trees in late summer by using binoculars to look up into the trees at the branch tips and counting the number of acorns you see at he ends of the branches. In a good year you should be seeing 10-12 per branch.

White oaks have rounded leaf lobes as opposed to red oaks which have pointed leaf lobes.

All of the oaks (Quercus species) are a food source for deer, but the whites are prefered because the acorns are less bitter and will usually be eaten first by deer and other animals like squirrels and turkeys.
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Imorr5141
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby Imorr5141 » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:23 am

thanks for the help! i noticed that the white oaks werehammered this year by deer. i just scouted a new piece ot land that i got permission to hunt for the remander of gun season ans next year. I found a ton or rubs in a circle around a beaver bog along with rub lines heading away from that beaver bog. A ridge line runs the length of the beaver bog and the ridge line is covered in white oak trees. I guess my question is will I be in a good spot with all the white oak trees if this year the was a huge amount of acorns? or next year will they not produce? or does it depend on the tree?

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Jslotter
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby Jslotter » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:50 am

I don't know if this is true. I have heard if you stick some fertilizer spikes in the ground around the tree in the spring, the tree will pop good acorns everytime. Not sure if true or not.
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Woods Walker
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:14 am

Not true. It can HELP, but you still need adequate moisture and no late frost/freeze.

To the OP......Just because you had a good mast crop this year does NOT guarantee that you will have one next year. It's a good place to look at and have as a potential hunt area for sure, but the odds of it being another bountiful year are low. There will always be SOME acorns but just like anything else in nature it depends on many factors. The difference you will see is that if the mast is not as abundant the area will only have an attractiveness as a food source for a shorter amount of time. And don't forget the deer compete with squirrels and turkeys as well as other critters for that food source.
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JPH
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby JPH » Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:43 am

Another thing to consider, if you are managing your own woods, is that white oaks do not thrive in competition. By that I mean that in order for them to reack their true mast producing potential, they need space. I would suggest looking into TSI with the help of an expert (or at least some expert literature).

A lot of us have been sold a bill of goods in the idea that a combination of artificially heavy cover mixed with food plots are the key to better hunting. My experience as a "land manager" does not support this. I worked on these types of projects for years, with minimal results, then I hired out a 1.5 acre TSI test project in a section of white oaks. It had been an area I ignored and it's now the hottest spot on the property. It has opened a secluded spot of increased mast production where deer and turkeys can access acorns and low, green browse easily.

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shaman
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby shaman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:27 am

White Oak produces acorns every year. Actually, so does Red Oak. However, it takes 2 years for the red oak acorns to fully develop. White Oak acorns only take one year.

In general, oaks work on about a 10 year cycle. At the peak of the cycle, they produce an disproportionately high numbers of acorns. This is followed by a crash-- nearly no acorns for one or more years. Also, not all oaks produce equally. In a crowded grove, acorn production can be limited to a single dominant tree.
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Woods Walker
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby Woods Walker » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:03 pm

Oh yes...the dominant tree. We used to call them "magnet trees" because that's exactly what they were. When they had a bountiful year the deer would practically LIVE under them for while.

Oaks are definately a big asset to have on your hunting grounds, especially white oaks. Learn how to ID them and "read" then as far as what their acorn crop will be and use it to your advantage.
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shaman
 
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Re: White Oak Trees???

Postby shaman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:31 pm

If you have a bumper crop of acorns, the chances are next year is going to be a bust. Oaks build up to a really good year and then acorn production falls precipitously and they stay that way, building up slowly over the next decade. Consequently, the squirrel population also takes a dump. It is believed the cycle allows the oak to have a few years where it can produce acorns without the squirrels eating all the acorns. The population builds back slowly, there's a couple really good years. The squirrels over-populate and then BANG! Nothing. Starved squirrels.

I had a phenomenal year at farm in 2006. The acorns dropped from September through November, and I had a dozen deer under my stands at times. This year? Paltry. The good stands in the oaks had nary a deer come by.
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