From The Little Acorn

Great Oaks from the little acorns grow. A phrase meaning big ideas start with one simple action. Microsoft was started with just two people. And like oaks, Microsoft employed many people from various backgrounds. The mighty oak hybridizes easily yet still maintaining a genetic pool so similar that many genetic scientist have difficulty telling them apart. Population and region tend to be identifying markers instead of genetic codes.  This is a mystery to scientist. For some unknown reason, the oak is able to maintain a constant in it’s genetic code even after countless other oak species have created new hybrids.

The flowers of the oak are called catkins which produce the fruit you see above called an acorn. A cupule holds the seed until autumn for my part of NC when the two separate. As the acorn ripens on the tree which can take up to 18 months depending on the species, the tree is heavy laden. The branches droop under the load.

During this time, the trees is vulnerable to winds from passing storms. The tree can not hold the weight it bears when driving winds snap the branches and send them hurling through the air. These flying clusters of acorn laden branches are dangerous to homes and tender plants. Cars passing below a fallen cluster are in danger of a broken windshield.

There is a wind warning for tonight due to the tropical storm Hannah and this presents special challenges for both nature and man. What will be in the path of the falling acorn laden  branches. Microburst of wind during these storms can down trees and cause dangerous situations with power-lines, lives, and destroyed homes. It is very serious when severe weather is expected in this part of NC. These trees can bend and sway with great agility but will only take winds of about 60 mph before giving up. They do put up a good fight living up to their name–The Mighty Oak.

How safe is your home in the path of a major storm? I treat every storm with a great deal of respect. We are in a drought so the rain is welcome. I just hope the tornadoes don’t follow the feeder bans moving toward our area. I’m about 200 miles from Wilmington where Hannah is expected to make landfall. We are not in danger of flooding. We’ll be safe if everything goes as planned.

I wanted to share these pictures so that many of you would know why hurricanes that hit heavily treed areas have an understanding of the concerns many are feeling. We would really hate to lose our Mighty Oaks!

Here is my home and the Oaks I’ve been talking about.

They are probably over 100 yrs old. And here are some Oaks located across the street from me. I am the newer house in the neighborhood. We cut down many of the Oaks on our property to make room for our house and protect it against such storms. Others have allowed their trees to grow. It is beautiful and provides excellent shade during our hot summers.

Hannah isn’t considered a dangerous storm but I’ve lived in NC all my life and can tell you that any wind during  this time when the acrons are at their peak….is taken seriously.

10 Comments Add yours

  1. Sue says:

    Oaks are my favourite. they remind me of the park where I used to play as a child.

    ** Welcome! I love oaks too. I don’t think I can imagine NC without them.


  2. Anna, that was great info about why the trees are so vulnerable and their genetic makeup. I knew neither of those things.

    I have a question. Here, folks say that when we have many acorns, the trees are stressed from drought and trying to replicate themselves. Is that true?~~Dee

    *** Dee, that is such a good question that I’m going to answer you in a post—-I’m doing it right now.

    Lime disease


  3. Beautiful oak trees you have, aren’t the acorns beautiful? I understand about the danger, they really do hurt don’t they? have you ever had one fall on your head? I have. I see Hanna is heading your way as I type this, then Ike is looking larger than Hanna, whew! You’ll be in my prayers!

    Enjoy your Saturday!
    Kathi 🙂

    ** Nobody knows about Ike yet, but Hannah is long gone down here. She came through talking a big talk but in the end she was a gentle soul. We welcomed her in my part of NC. I’m not sure how our coast faired. I haven’t even turned on the tv today. Course I turned on my puter first.

    Added to say–my hubby was just outside and got bonked on the head with one. I guess we need to get hard hats.


  4. cindee11461 says:

    Hi Anna,
    Thanks for checking on me(-: I am fine. Just nothing to post right now. I hope you are going to be o.k. to through the storm.

    ** The storm came through and gifted us with nothing but rain. Of course we got the humidity to deal with now. I bet it’s 90 degrees and 90% humidity. But the glorious rain perked everything up. I’ve even got a blade or two of grass that looks promising. I’m glad you are fine. I was worried.


  5. Gail says:


    Take care and be safe. I will be thinking about you and your family.


    *** Thanks Gail but everything seems to fine. It’s a fast moving storm and we’ll see sunny skies at noon tomorrow. It went more East that what they had originally thought. Nancy Bond did a good post on Hannah today. She has a map showing where she, Jodi, and Chey live. It’s got to head out a bit in open water before it gets to them in Nova Scotia. This blogging world really makes us connect and worry about each other. I’ll report again in the morning but it seems quiet right now.

    It sure is grand that you and Frances got together. I enjoyed the story about your meeting. We got to all meet up at The Hop and eat some of that Mint Choc Chip special.


  6. Cinj says:

    Oh, when you rake those acorns up you should try to boil them to remove the tannins. It looks like you’d have a nice big harvest! Once the tannins are gone I hear they have a lovely taste, some varieties have a sweet taste. You dry them after removing the tannins and then ground them in a blender or something. I found loads of info on acorns, but still nothing much on hazelnuts. SIGH!

    ** Oh, well that makes sense. I remember my parent’s eating hazelnuts but they bought them ready to eat. Boiled peanuts are big down here.


  7. PGL says:

    I hope you & yours are safe tonight during this storm. We should be seeing some of Hanna tomorrow.
    *** Thank you and right back at cha!


  8. Philip says:

    Interesting info on oaks. You have a beautiful stand!

    ** If I had known you were coming to stay for awhile, I’d have baked you a cake;) I like the oaks until I have to rake up the acorns. Good thing I don’t own a chain saw.


  9. Cynthia says:

    Interesting post yet again Anna. I hope you make it through the storm safe and sound. My inlaws live in Biloxi, MS so I am very much relieved that Gustav was not as bad as orginally predicted. It seems to be a rather active hurricane season right now. Hope your beautiful oaks make it out okay.

    ** I think your relatives have their eyes tuned toward Ike and for now, Hannah is not a problem here. It has produced tornadoes down toward our Outer Banks. We do have some bloggers down there and my prayers go out to them. I know Little Beach Homestead is right in the path.

    I’m afraid Ike is going to be an Andrew that hit the tip of Florida. I have a very healthy fear of these sorts of things because so many lives are affected. I’ve moved a great deal in my life with our Air Force career which means starting over again and again. It’s tough to do especially when you have children and lost all your belongings. Seems like people are more prepared this year. Katrina taught all of us a lot of lessons.


  10. Cinj says:

    Oh wow, that’s a whole lot of acorns you’ve got growing there. I’d love to have such large quantities of acorns in my yard (well, excpet if I was expecting extremely heavy winds). I hear you can make really excellent pancakes with acorn meal. So far I’ve only found three acorns here. Apparently I’ll have to wait a few years to try those acorn pancakes. It sounds like a lot of work that I’m not prepared to do anyway, so I guess it’s for the best!

    Stay safe. We got a spit worth of rain from the remnants of Gustav yesterday. The berries seem to want a bit more rain than that.

    *** We have to rake up all those fallen acorns because it’s too acidic for the plants and soil. The saying down here is…nothing grows under and oak tree. The leaves are poisonous to horses. They do like the taste but ranchers have to cut the tree down to keep the horses healthy.

    I do think the acorns are pretty when they are placed in a bowl or vase. I’ve even seen wreaths made of them. I’ve never heard of the flour pancakes.


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