Are Your Trees Dropping Acorns Like Crazy because winter will be tough?

Green acorns? What does it mean, and what does it mean for the upcoming winter?

Do falling acorns have anything to do with predicting the weather? If you have oak trees in your yard, you are probably familiar with the task of raking up tons of acorns in the fall. However, sometimes many small green acorns fall from oak trees like crazy, even in the middle of summer. What does this mean and does the amount of green acorns mean anything about winter weather?

Acorn - Oak
Green acorns on an oak are a common sight in summer.

Typically, acorns fall during the autumn season, serving the purpose of planting new trees and providing food for critters. However, if green acorns are dropping prematurely, it indicates that the tree is stressed due to adverse weather conditions.

Normally, acorns ready to drop are brown or tan. Premature shedding suggests that the trees are prioritizing other tasks over seed production.

Summer Tree Stressors

A tree’s stress can be from too much rain, too little rain, a too-hot summer, or other factors. But it’s usually dependent on local conditions. In fact, just like “mast years” can happen in Virginia but not in neighboring North Carolina, the same is true for stressed-out trees dropping green acorns. It’s not happening everywhere.

Acorns and Winter Weather Folklore

Acorn - Oak

In our article, 20 Signs of a Hard Wint, we delve into the folklore surrounding nature’s indicators of harsh winter weather. One such sign is the profuse dropping of acorns, which typically refers to brown acorns falling during autumn months. Accoreding to tradition and lore, seeing an abundance of brown acorns falling means a severe winter is predicted.

Tell Us:

So what’s your acorn situation? Are you seeing lots of green acorns on the ground in your backyard already? And what has the summer weather been like where you live? Let us know in the comments below.

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Darla Dowhaniuk

The burr oak trees in Utah are dropping heavy this year

Fannie Johnson

I live in West Texas and this large tree has been dropping acorns for the last 2 mos, going on 3 mos! I am so tired of cleaning these little nuisances each and every day! Help!!!

Darla Dowhaniuk

On Amazon the have nut picker ups it’s on a long like broom handle and it has a good sized round ball as you roll it over the ground it picks up alot of acorn approx $15 $20

Heather

Definitely could use one of these this year!

Ikenna

Visiting my Brother in-law in Houston Texas. There were so many green acorns falling. This is traceable to the adverse weather conditions (heat stress from the drought and very hot summer this year).

Diane Brucato

We live in Central Texas. Part of the hill country. We have so many acorns falling and alot of green ones. Our trees are stressed due to a very hot summer and a lack of rain.

Bernadette Hammond

My Beautiful Oak had a start of Primiture dropping early May June/ than thousands heavy drop in Sept./Oct. brown, thousands!
Live in West, Upstate NY, Wolcott!

Heather

Oh wow! That could be a sign of a very tough winter!

Ed F

Houston, TX. My 20 year old Live Oak is dropping green acorns like crazy. Until a few days ago, we had no measurable rainfall and triple digit temps for two months.

Michelle Vandewalker

It sounds like I’m getting bombed by acorns like the squirrels are thrown them out of the tree they hit everything and are very loud but they are brown, I live in New Jersey

Andell

I’m in North Georgia and have already seen tons of huge green/yellow acorns from my 2 massive chestnut oaks. We had a mast in 2021 and are still pulling up baby trees from then. Our summer seemed normal, maybe a little more rain.

Cat

A ton of rain all season, and now the acorns are huge in green and dropping already.

Steven D. MacLeod

We’re in western central Connecticut and our acorns appear to be very SMALL, Immature and sparse. I’ve always understood that to portend a MILD Winter.

pam

The acorns are black this year. Never have had that before. Any meaning to that?

Karen L

During the past week or so there are brown acorns dropping, I noticed because the acorns are larger than other years. This is in northwestern Fairfield County, in Connecticut. We’ve had a rainy summer but also a dry spell lately.

Steven D. MacLeod

We’re up in Watertown, CT and our yard Oaks are dropping very small and immature acorns.

Cat

I’m in northwestern Connecticut and ours are starting to drop like crazy. But they’re very green.

Lynnee

We have a ton of dropped green, immature acorns in south central Pennsylvania.

JoeCrazy88

I don’t know even as a “schitzofrinic” or however words work now I find it mighty suspicious the low flying black helicopters were circling the trees just days prior to them trying to save energy for some unknown reason. The trees seem healthy but it looks like they have had some kind of weird hack job or aliens traveled time to see what happens if you bary them upside down.

Cindy Pierce

It is August 2023 and I live in North Central Texas, near Dallas. I think we are on day 41 with no rain and consistent temps in triple digits! I’m paying close attention to my trees right now because other plants, I know, are in survivor mode -some are not going to make it unfortunately. I noticed when walking to my red oak it felt like I was walking on pebbles. Seems as though it is dropping them to focus on survival as well. I appreciate this article confirming that deep watering is indeed in order.

Barbara

Central Louisiana very hot 4 weeks with temperatures over 100 degrees no rain. Fires near us. We’re seeing undeveloped acorns water level dropping in our pond that is fed by a creek.

Amanda

Mechanicsville, VA – our oak trees are dropping huge green acorns already! Size of a quarter. Looks like green/brown balls and last year we so many, but in the fall and the size of blueberries

Lorraine White

Our oaks and hickory trees are both dropping green nuts. It has been a very hot summer with very little rain.

Sandy May

our neighbour’s Oak tree has been dropping acorns by the bushel full, daily all over our cars and driveway, since June and it is now the end of August. We have never seen it this bad

MariaRose

Here in Westchester, NY, we are seeing both brown and green acorns falling earlier than normal, especially since we either have had extremely hot days followed by several days of intensive rain, along with the hatching infestation of spotted lanternflies all over the region.

Gary Moore

here in central Indiana, the acorns have been dropping rather quite earlier than usual . they are the healthy normal green and brown.

Karen

Agreed with Gary’s comment. We are also central Indiana and green/brown acorns are coming down. But mine are without caps this time!?

Sally

We are seeing very tiny acorns falling off the pin oak -for over a week now.

Bev

We are in Central Missouri. The black oak tree over our deck, has been dropping tiny brown acorns for couple of weeks. Here at our farm, we have had an extreme drought from the end of April until early August, litterally no measurable rain in that time. The leaves on the oak trees look very distressed.

Janet

We are in western Suffolk County, NY. We have early, young green and brown acorns falling for a week or two. Some are eaten before they fall, others are intact. It is a veritable “rain” of them! It’s been hot and humid for a bit. The trees get water every day from the sprinkler. Wondering why this is happening.

Grouchy

In Northwestern Virginia (Rappahannock) we’re seeing tons of brown acorns falling like crazy…big fat acorns. I mean, it sounds like several hundred a minute. Lots of locusts, too. Spiders galore, even after spraying, huge webs. Almost no stripe on the woollybuger caterpillars. Very cool at night, even after a hot day. Lots of fog. After two really mild winters, we’re happy to see a cold and snowy one coming.

Last edited 6 months ago by Gretchen Pugh
Nick

Mine are dropping ripe acorns in central MN started week ago. Been earlier last couple years with hot summers. Not sure maybe enough heat units already. But seems like earlier they drop longer rougher winters we have.

Tamara Fisher

I have a lot of green acorns dropping and brown ones and it is middle of August in Vicroria, British Columbia, Canada. We have had a very long dry spell with well below normal precipitation for over 10 months.

Carol Novak

My acorns falling are teeny, tiny and underdeveloped! I live in Northern California, the wine country; 45 minutes from the coast and about an hour or so from San Francisco by car. I have lived here since 1972 and have NOT experienced this issue in all of those years. Yes, our days have been very hot and we have been in drought conditions two years past, so it must have to do with weather conditions, putting the beautiful oak trees under stress.

Becky Bruns

SW Michigan, green acorns falling- cool May, early summer there was a very dry spell, then normal weekly rains. Seems as if squirrels are cutting them free to fall. Very rarely has happened in past 20 years. Fewer clusters, more singles.

Holly Palmer

Acorns a falling off my trees in southeast Michigan. When it does this I also find that it is a year they are over producing nuts and as they grow they fall off because there is not enough space. My walnut trees also do this. The last time they started falling off this early and green it was a year that I’ve seen more acorns than ever before in a season. Usually find it is a longer and colder winter than others.

Joan Gardner

I have tons of acorns on the ground, falling everyday. Started about one week ago. Wasn’t like this last year. I live in central Minnesota. It has been a very hot dry summer, so guess it’s due to that. I have had tiny ants in the house also, which is a first, & found out it’s related to the hot, dry summer also. Every year is different, that’s for sure.

Bill Lentsch

I wonder if the intense smoke from the Canadian fires has something to do with the oak trees dropping so many acorns. Nature is smart and if the tree thinks it is going to burn I would bet it would drop whatever seeds it has to survive as a species.

Sandy May

Oh wow, now there’s a thought

Rachel Osborne

My oak tree is shedding numerous tiny brown acorns. It started about one week ago. We are in central Alabama.

Carol Novak

You and I are not even in the same area AND YET ARE EXPERIENCING THE VERY SAME THING WITH OUR OAKS! California…Alabama…..How unusual. Our planting number here was always 9. I wonder what it will be now!

Hamilton

Large drops of very small acorns from our live oaks. I’d guess they are around 1/10th the size of normal acorns

Tonya Holloway

Sounds like it’s raining! Brown acorns falling. Live in Texas.

Deb

Pin oak dropping tons of tiny unformed (really just the caps with little bitty nut) acorns. No sign of browning in leaves. Eastern pa north of Philadelphia.

Don

Tons of acorns falling from my oak trees in late July, early August in Walled Lake, MI. More rain than usual but not overly hot.

Carolyn

Fayetteville, Pa…
Huge amounts of tiny green acorns falling from our oak trees daily. We have had huge rains, one very dry spell, and a very hot period of several days.

Denise

Poconos, PA, lots of green acorns hitting the ground everywhere.

Katay

Our oak started dropping lots of tiny green acorns in July here in Philly. We had a six week drought followed by high heat and frequent rain.

Katy

Here in SWPA, it is just now August 1, 2023, and vast numbers of green acorns have been falling for the past 2 weeks. The weather here has been mild, compared to the rest of the country, but a rather typical summer for the region (including rainfall), if somewhat milder than usual.

Joanne

Dropping little green acorns , barely an acorn, here in Marion MA

Rosie

Suffolk county Long Island NY. Lots of tiny acorns for weeks now. It’s been very hot and humid.

Melinda

Central Ohio – same issue here. Tiny green acorns dropping like crazy from our oak tree. It’s odd. I’ve lived here nearly ten years and have not seen this before. I’m concerned this is happening everywhere according to these comments..

Michelle

We live in NH where it has been a wet summer. Our oaks are dropping undersized, green acorns. I suspect the amount of rain is the main stressor.

Jake

We are in Lincolnshire IL.
It’s scary to sit on our patio. The acorns are dangerous I’m sitting under our patio umbrella to keep from being hit. They’re so numerous, I have to sweep these every day.

Stephanie

Tree is dropping small green acorns without caps in mid state Ct. it’s been very hot with lots of rain.

Annie

Old giant oak trees (I’m told they are white oak) are heavy with acorns this year, however, are also dropping many of their green acorns. Our summer did come earlier this year and it has been dry since early May. It’s hard to tell if the tree is dropping the acorns, or if little critters in the trees are causing them to fall to the ground. I live outside of Dufur OR in the foothills (high desert country) of Mt Hood.

Michael A Dohn

The green acorns falling like crazy in Lake Ariel Pennsylvania. What does this mean?

Pam Fregeau

Tiny acorns falling now, in July, after NONE last fall!

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