[NAFEX] acorns

Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Tue Nov 5 11:36:36 EST 2002

>Deer and turkeys both - and squirrels, to some extent - will eat the 
>lower-tannin white oak group acorns before they turn to the more bitter 
>red oak group acorns.
Depending on what species were present in their area, the native Americans, 
just like the wildlife, utilized whatever food sources were available.  The 
white oak acorns don't 'store' nearly so well as those of the red/black oak 
group, as they're 'programmed' to go ahead and sprout soon after 
dropping(I've even seen some sprout on the tree), so that they can get a 
taproot seated into the soil in preparation for shoot growth the following 
As a class, the red/black oak acorns have higher fat/oil content than most 
of the white oak group - and more flavor, from what I understand, though 
they do require more leaching.  Q.kelloggii (CA Black oak) was used 
extensively by many of the Western Indian tribes, who prized it for its 
flavor as well as its storing capabilities - they constructed granaries in 
which they could hold acorns for years, with minimal spoilage and rodent 

Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY

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