Masting, 'Talking' to one another helps oak trees thrive November 11, 2012 Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Deer Population and Management News Archive

'Talking' to one another helps oak trees thrive November 11, 2012 Pennsylvania, Standard Speaker
... Masting is an evolutionary tactic that red oaks developed to stay ahead of predators - the squirrels, bears, deer, turkeys and other creatures that eat acorns before they germinate into new trees.  The animal population grows to what the normal acorn crop can sustain, leaving few nuts to grow into trees.  Then comes a masting year. "Trees in a wide area do synchronize. You get a burst of reproduction," Ann Rhoads, senior botanist for the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said.  During a masting year, the trees themselves grow very little because they direct their food toward the production of more acorns than the creatures can possibly eat ... 


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