PLYMOUTH, Minn. -- If you're a trail runner, a sidewalk walker or you live anywhere near an oak tree you've probably noticed there's a bumper crop of acorns this year.
Now that we're in the heart of acorn season, it's hard not to realize that there seems to be a lot of them this year.
Old wives tales suggest the high numbers signal a harsh winter ahead, but DNR Forest Health Program coordinator Val Cervenka says otherwise.
While experts can't point to one reason they can say that acorn production in trees runs on a two or three year cycle for some species, like Red Oak. Acorn numbers could also stem from the current weather pattern.
"We do know that when a tree is under stress from drought for example, that it will produce a bumper crop. And it's sort of like the last ditch effort for the tree to save itself," says Cervenka.
Acorns are of course, the seeds to an oak tree, but different oaks have different looking acorns.
She adds, "This is a big year for Burr Oak acorns, because that's what we see laying all over the sidewalk here... But not such a big year for other species."
You can test your knowledge at Acorn Association, a fun online quiz from the DNR. The idea is to match the acorn with the tree it fell from!