Found this sprouted acorn hidden beneath the leaves the other day just after seeing a large red oak fallen over. It’s no secret that if you read our stuff or listen to our “From the Forest” radio show that we’re losing our oak trees. Oak trees are being shaded out primarily by maple and birch in the absence of fire, cutting, and clearing which occurred more in the past. Unfortunately, this sprouted acorn–if it does fully germinate into a seedling–will face an uphill battle. Oak seedlings are heavily browsed by deer. If they do survive that hungry herbivore, they normally need some sort of overstory removal from the canopy to allow more sunlight to grow. “Success” in Forestry is when seedlings achieve a height above 5 feet or above deer-browse. Successful oak saplings are scarce in the Catskills.

This red oak acorn is beginning to germinate
Fallen red oak in background. Pole-sized sugar maple will take over this site

May the Forest Be with You,



Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association