Scouting acorn ‘futures’
Why wait until the season begins to assess the berry brambles, acorn drop, hickory nut picking possibilities, ginseng population health, or even the dead elm locations for future mushroom finds?
Most plants have a long period of fruit development. In the case of the red oak group, an acorn that falls this autumn began with pollination in spring 2020 and will remain on the tree until it drops in September 2021.
Ruffed grouse populations are surveyed indirectly by drumming counts in April. The season opens Sept. 18 this autumn. The information is available in June. Numbers appear to be down a tad, as expected by the normal cycle.
Black raspberries (blackcaps) are likely to be ripe by July 1. Is the crop going to be worth waiting for? The fruits are half formed already. Find out now.
Morels are likely to be coming up May 1, 2022. Diseased elm trees are already evident and some will be dead by September, telling us right now where the prime locations to begin searching next late April.
Archery season opens Sept. 18. Where is the best bet to locate a deer stand in August to take advantage of trees in the white oak acorn group? Those acorns are now forming on bur trees, as an example. You can view the potential windfall with bare eyeballs, but use binoculars to get a good look at what’s growing up there.
Nut pickers can look at walnuts and hickories now and predict the likelihood of carrying one or two pails into the woods in September.
Of course disasters happen along the way in some cases, but those can be assessed, if they occur.