Fall mast crop

It appears that most species of hard mast producing trees, i.e. oaks, walnut, hickory, and beech are going to be producing nuts this year. On a scale of poor to excellent the mast crop would earn a solid “fair” rating. Having said that it appears that nut production is not uniform around the county some areas have abundant crops while other areas do not. Overall the hickory crop seems to be the heaviest and many of the hickories are dropping their nuts already. The oaks have begun to drop their acorns as well. The red, black, scarlet, white, pin and chestnut oak are bearing acorns depending on location. The walnut crop is spotty, some trees are loaded but some trees are barren. It appears that many walnuts were lost during the early summer storms before they had a chance to mature. All in all it looks like local wildlife will have more variety of acorns and nuts available this year.

Mike Kay, a forester with the Maryland State Forest Service, looks over some of the 1,200 bushels of black walnuts collected in the area at the Maryland Forest Service office in Gambrill State Park. Walnuts and acorns collected each fall become seedlings at the State Forest Tree Nursery near Preston on the Eastern Shore.

Article by FCFCDB member

Nature Notes for 9/13/2015