You Can Tell A Tree By Its Nuts

Red oak acorns on the branch, August 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

25 October 2023

By late October leaves and nuts are underfoot and still falling. Red oak acorns that were green on the branch in August litter the footpaths and sidewalks now.

Red oak acorns on the ground, Sept 2020 (photo by Kate St. John)

Underneath black walnut trees it’s hard not to misstep on the yellow husked nuts. You may even be hit by a black walnut detached and dropped by a squirrel gathering nuts above you. Squirrels save time by crawling all over the tree and detaching lots of nuts. Then they scurry down to collect them. Ouch!

Black walnuts in the husk (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Keep looking down and you may find unusual nuts and seeds like these.

Magnolia cucumber tree lea and seeds, Sept 2011 (photo by Kate St. John)

Even without leaves, you can identify the trees above you by knowing the nuts at your feet. This fall I’ll run a series on identifying nuts found in western Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile to kick it off …

Adam Haritan explains a few trees you can identify without even looking up in this 15-minute Learn Your Land video.

video from Learn Your Land on YouTube

(credits are in the captions)

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