Everybody Knows Acorns, But How Well Do You?

Everybody Knows Acorns, But How Well Do You?

White oak acorns
The acorns of white oak have a hairless shell.

Do you know the differences between the acorns of red and white oak?

Red oak acorns have more of everything: more hairs on the shell; they take more time to mature on the tree; and they need more time to germinate.

Identification

Red oak acorns have a hairy shell.

White oak acorns have a hairless shell.

Development

Red oak acorns take two growing seasons to mature. This means there can be first- and second-year acorns on a tree at the same time.

Red oak acorn
Red oak acorn. By Dan Mullen (flickr.com)

White oak acorns mature in one growing season.

Germination

White oak acorns germinate in the fall.

Red oak acorns germinate in the spring. They need three months of temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to break seed dormancy.