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Acorns keep falling on my head

It is raining acorns!  Every day and night I hear acorns bouncing off my roof.  Instinctively both the cat and I duck for fear of being hit on the head by a flying acorn.

A single oak tree can produce thousands of acorns in one season. The acorns end up landing on the outside walkways and steps making them VERY slippery. Add to that the wet leaves and you have the perfect recipe for a fall and trip to the emergency room.

Like many things around your home, this is a health hazard with an easy fix. All you need to do is keep the walkways and steps swept off during acorn season, which lasts about a month or two depending on the weather and where you live. In Athens, they started to fall with a vengeance in mid-October and are still dropping, albeit at a slower rate. Here are some tips for protecting yourself, your family and your guests from the acorn-related falls.

  1. Gather the acorns the squirrels missed and feed them to the wildlife. About 150 species of wildlife eat acorns. Learn more from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
  2. Offer them to a local gardening or 4-H club for wreaths, craft projects, or to grow new seedlings. From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks!
  3. Harvest them and make acorn flour. Do not eat raw acorns because they are full of harmful tannins. Crack the nuts and then place the nutmeats in water to leach out the tannins. Dry them and grind into flour. You can learn the process and find a recipe for Acorn Pancakes in the Farmer’s Almanac.
  4. Collect them and use them for craft projects and decorations. Pinterest boards are full of acorn-inspired ideas. Here are two easy projects to make your house more festive for the season.

The only way to eliminate acorns is to cut your oak tree down. You could even plant another oak, since most oaks do not produce acorns until they are about 20 years old, reaching peak production between 50 to 80 years. This is not a good solution. You are cutting down a beautiful tree that provides a home and food for many creatures in the wild. It also provides shade for your home, which can translate into reduced energy costs. A better solution is to enjoy spending time in nature sweeping off the walkways and stairs. After all, Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year.

The folklore of the acorn

Carrying an acorn will bring forth a long and healthy life, luck, protection and warn off illnesses.

Plant an acorn on the night of the new moon and money will come your way.

 Acorns placed on the windowsills protect your home from lightening.

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