Virginia says the acorns are all right

Virginia says the acorns are all right
Red oak acorns. (Source: (Sarah Vogelsong/Virginia Mercury))

Good news: the acorns are totally normal.

So reported the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources this week in announcing the results of its annual acorn surveys, a monitoring effort that tracks the nut crop as an indicator of both wildlife health and potential hunter success.

“There seem to be few things normal about 2020, but one of them is acorn production in Virginia!” biologist Katie Martin wrote on the department’s website. “Our surveys revealed that both white and red oak acorn crops were close to the long-term median in 2020.”

Overall, the department estimates acorn numbers as “average to below average,” present in about 9.2 percent of the trees' crown cover.

That’s an improvement over last year’s “poor” crop of roughly 4.3 percent but way below the boom 2010 and 2012 crops when acorns were estimated to be found in a staggering 56 to 60 percent of crown cover.