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Acorn Questions
updated: Dec 08, 2012, 5:35 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

Our lawns are covered with beautiful acorns. Two questions; 1.Has any one used these for any kind of an art form (picture frames or anything?) 2. Can mowing the lawn with acorns damage the mower blades, or should they all be raked up before mowing?

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 351785 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 05:58 PM

1. My grandmother makes xmas wreaths with pinecones, and uses acorns in them too.

2. They can't damage lawn mower blades, but they'll make the blades go duller quicker, as mowing anything harder than grass will do.


 COMMENT 351787 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 06:05 PM

They can also be dangerous projectiles when being shot out of the mower. I'd do a quick cleanup with a leaf blower first.


 COMMENT 351800P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 06:59 PM

For anyone who has a choice in the future, I'd try to avoid planting lawn under an oak tree (or planting an oak on a lawn). I moved in a house with an oak in the middle of the yard. It makes mowing a hassle because the acorns lodge themselves immediately within the grass (and yet can also get kicked out by the mower as 87 says), and because the oak normally would get no water most of the year, but the lawn needs it all the time, so consequently the oak ends up growing like an arboreal monster.


 COMMENT 351807 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-08 07:34 PM

Quit running over the squirrels with your mondomulcher and you would not have an acorn problem.


 COMMENT 351848 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 06:14 AM

Collect the acorns in a bag and take them to the local countryside for the hungry squirrels. Or to the Museum Of Natural History. I see grey squirrels there too.

How about calling Wildlife Rescue?


 COMMENT 351871 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 08:04 AM

Just go for it!


 COMMENT 351903P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 09:24 AM

Veering a bit from the subject, but lawn-watering under and near its tree canopy is over-watering for a local native oak, will encourage root-rot and other diseases, and kill the oak.


 COMMENT 351919P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 09:58 AM

903P-I wonder if that is a myth. I've lived here over 50 years and there are many large oaks with lawns under them that are thriving. About 30 years ago, I had a large old oak that I was concerned about. Every arborist consulted told me it was dying and take it out. 30 years later that tree looks just fine.


 COMMENT 351923 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 10:13 AM

acorns are highly prized by the local Chumash who make acorn meal with them -- and then cookies!
by all means, rake them up before mowing grass!


 COMMENT 351928P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 10:32 AM

903, definitely not a myth--its Oak Root Fungus (amallaria) which is either present in the soil, or not. It is very common in our coastal foothill soils. If it IS present, warm weather watering triggers growth of the fungus. It works by entering the tree at the crown (base of trunk); it gets into the vascular system, and "chokes" it. Causes very slow death over many years. There are cases of newly planted oaks surviving decades, but warm-weather watering is especially hard on established native trees which have grown for many decades or centuries with only winter rains.

The rule of thumb is never to water within 10 feet of the trunk, but I'd say to be safe, never water under the canopy at all, nor remove leaves or low-hanging limbs for "looks". They are part of the way the oak conserves water for the dry season.

Your arborist may have been concerned with rot, and your liability as a homeowner. Sometimes a tree can survive for years with only a small amount of live tissue. It is weak and can fall in storms, causing severe damage.


 COMMENT 351933P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 10:39 AM

Always a good idea to walk your turf before mowing to remove any debris. Raking with good steel spring rake or using a yard vac is best way to remove acorns.

How often are you professionally sharpening your lawn mower blade? 2 to 3 times a mowing season is rec'd. If you have kikuyu grass or Bermuda, more often. Keep the blade clean of old grass between mowings. (hose off).


 COMMENT 351938 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 11:09 AM

Most lawn mowers operate at speeds, and are constructed sturdy enough to be unaffected by taking up acorns. Like anything the mower encounters, however, something as hard as an acorn will speed up the dulling process. The added problem is acorn production which has been the most prolific I have ever had, this year (as discussed in earlier ed-hat forums ). The last rainstorm resulted in one corner of my front lawn sprouting about 25 little oak trees where the acorns found there way off the driveway to the soil under the grass. They send out a long "tap" root and will get harder and harder to pull up the longer they are left alone. Generally the mower will cut off the little tree growth but I think it is better to pull them up by the root. I doubt there are many "Chumash Indians" gathering acorns to make bread these days, certainly not the millionaire casino "Indians" capitalizing on the gambling addicts losing there money at the Santa Ynez casino.


 COMMENT 351966 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-09 01:01 PM

Just be very careful to point the mower's exit chute away from your smart meter. There have been millions of documented cases of projectile acorns shorting out smart meters. This then in turn not only results in a huge fine by SCE, but the initial shock has been known to cause power surges which ignite Christmas lights that burn down your house.

My suggestion would be to follow 1787's suggestion--just make sure to use a GAS-powered leaf-blower. That way, Five-O can come to your house and throw you in the pokey where your worries will be far more earnest than contemplating Mohs Scale of Hardness as it applies to basic gardening.


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