City Cast

Maryland Wants Your Acorns

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on October 4

Going nuts for nuts. (Trudie Davidson/Getty Images)

Yes, you read that correctly. Each fall, Maryland puts out a call for residents to join in their tree seed collection efforts. The seeds are used to replenish the state forest nursery and will end up in parks, schools, and reforestation efforts across the state. So, let’s get those nuts!

How To Harvest:

  1. Only collect acorns and seeds from this species list and be sure not to mix seed species together in one bag. The best way to do this is to harvest from one tree at a time and use labeled bags. The nursery is most interested in White Oak acorns and Chestnut Oak acorns, both of which are dealing with some disease issues that are leading to population decline.
  2. Collect seeds that have already fallen from the trees but are in good condition.
  3. Remember to leave enough behind for wildlife to snack on!
  4. Keep the seeds in a cool, dry place out of the sun for less than a week before delivering them to the nursery

Make sure you leave some for the chipmunks! (suefeldberg/Getty Images)

What NOT To Collect:

Avoid acorns and seeds that are dried, cracked, have holes, or are from unhealthy trees. When in doubt, try the float test. Toss them in a bucket of water, then save the sinkers and forget the floaters.

The nursery uses tens of thousands of pounds of acorns each year to propagate new trees. It’s a neat way to give back and create that sustainable forest we need.” Let’s get foraging!

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