When are acorns collected?

Acorns are harvested in the fall

Acorns are one of the edible fruits that finish maturing in autumn, when the temperatures begin to drop and the summer heat gives way to the cool that is so appreciated in the months of September to November.

It is at this time, when plant lovers have to prepare our garden so that winter passes without damaging it, when we can take an afternoon to take a walk through the forest and collect some of these delicious fruits.

Time to collect acorns

Acorns are nuts

But at what point do they have to be caught? Is there a way to know if the ones we want to take home are really good? Before answering these questions, it is important to know where the acorns come from, as there is often a lot of confusion about this.

And it is not for less, since all the trees of the Quercus genus produce acorns, absolutely all of them. But there is only one that produces them with a pleasant flavor: The Quercus ilex, or much better known by the name of Encina. This is an evergreen tree present in the mountainous and sub-mountainous areas of the Mediterranean region.

It can also be found in different parts of the Iberian Peninsula, such as in Galicia or in the mountains of Madrid.

Fruits in autumn, finishing maturing towards the months of October / November, which will be when we can go out to collect them. But we won't be able to take all the ones we find.

It is always important to leave some so that they can germinate and thus grow to produce its own acorns as an adult. In addition, you have to observe them well before putting them in the basket, especially you have to check that they do not have holes, or that they are soft.

Likewise, the color must be reddish-brown, like the one with the acorns in the images in this article. Once we have taken a few, we can keep them in a plastic box without a lid or in a raffia basket, located in any case in a cool and dry place.

It is already known that the ripening of these fruits occurs between October and November, but you only have about 2 months to collect them.

That is, during the first month of ripening, it is not advisable to collect acorns. It is best to wait for it to fully mature. Our recommendation is that if you intend to do this, do it in mid-September and early November.

The rest of the acorns should be left so that the germination process can start again. One way to distinguish between ripe acorns and those that are not, is thanks to the coloration they have..

The most common is to see in a ripe acorn a brown color and whose fruit size is quite thick. In addition to this, it is extremely easy to detach it from the cap to which they are attached.

And this is the main reason why people often find acorns lying on the ground, since with a simple blow of the wind, they are detached very quickly.

Tips for harvesting

Although something has already been mentioned about the collection, it never hurts to give extra information. And you can either make a collection directly from the plant or do it from the ground, since the acorns are easily detached.

The point is that if you pick them up from the ground, you have to verify that they are completely intact. That is, you have to make sure that it does not have a single hole made by weevils or that in a certain part they are rotten due to the humidity to which it has been exposed.

In case you find an acorn like this, you have to leave it where it is and not consume it for any reason. So it is best to do it directly from the tree itself.

Now, take into account the time in which you must make such a collection, it has to be specifically during noon. The reason is that during this time, the vast majority, if not all, of the acorns are completely dry thanks to the heat of the sun.

So for this reason, it is important that you avoid the collection of acorns at all costs on rainy days or when there is too much humidity in the environment.

Notably humidity is a negative factor that affects the preservation of the acorn and accelerates its maturation process, reaching a point where it rots completely despite being attached to the plant.

It is worth mentioning that in case of collecting the acorns on a humid day, These have to be cared for and dried before proceeding to the conservation of the same. Very important that this be done.

From which trees to collect acorns?

Acorns are collected from the oak

We hope that as you begin your acorn harvesting process, you will not fall into the typical mistake of collecting a lot of these fruits and that when you eat them, they are bitter.

It is very normal that the townspeople who are used to growing this plant, know how to differentiate between a bitter acorn and a sweet acorn. But in your case, that you are just beginning in this wonderful world, how would you do it?

Well, what you should know in general is that acorns that are sweet or have a pleasant shell to the taste, it is because of the taste. Just take one among many and try it just a little.

Depending on the flavor, you will know whether or not it is a sweet acorn, unless you have someone already experienced with you around and ask them which ones you should collect. Keep in mind that bitter acorns should not be consumed under any circumstances, as they cause poisoning.

Ecological importance of acorns

Perhaps you have seen it in the news, in television series or documentaries and where they reflect that acorns are of great importance for the world and for ecology.

Thus, the reason that this plant is so important ecologically is that It is a fruit whose seed is very easy to germinate and grow. That is why the general population is asked not to collect all the acorns of a plant, since doing so implies the extension of the species in that area.

Besides this, it is a plant that vital for forest animals, since it is one of the main sources of food for many, especially when they are in winter.

But also there are insects that benefit from acorns, as it helps them complete their life cycle.

Keeping acorns at home

Now, assuming that you did the collection on the right day, at the specified time and all your acorns are in perfect condition, it is time to find out what conservation you have to do in your home when you take them.

An important point must be highlighted and that is that unlike other fruits that can be collected from the forests, acorns do not have to be consumed instantly. These can be saved for later just like squirrels do.

The advantage of these fruits is that they have a fairly long natural shelf life. And the reason It is because in the shell, there are substances that help protect the acorn from bacteria that accelerate the ripening process as such.

The only problem with the preservation of acorns that many fear is that the appearance of fungi is high. And although most cases are not visible to the eyes of people, it is there rotting and becomes somewhat toxic for consumption.

In case you consume an acorn like this, know that it will be your liver that will have serious problems.

How to store acorns?

Acorns can be saved

All you have to do is have a glass bottle or container that is completely dry and free of impurities such as dust or dirt. After this, you can store your acorns there. You can even use breathable bags, which is a much more viable option than glass jars.

Finally, you have to know that if you store your acorns for too long, regardless of the conservation method, at some point fungi will fall on them. So try not to keep them for an excessive time.

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  1.   Bibiano Bonilla Caudillo said

    Thank you very much for the information about the oak!
    It comes to me like a drink of water in the desert, because I am in Xochimilco, I grow different species of oaks from this very important part of the City!
    Infinite thanks!
    It would be an honor for me to open a communication channel!

  2.   Peter Valdez said

    Good morning, I have a 12-year-old oak tree, it no longer grew and apart from giving acorns, I am watching to see if this season
    Thank you

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hi Peter.

      Is it planted in soil or in a pot? Is that I tell you:

      -Floor: perhaps you lack fertilizer, if it has not been received for a long time. In spring and summer it is advisable to add manure, compost or guano, mixing it as much as possible with the most superficial layer of the soil.
      -Pot: if you have been in it for more than three years, you will need a larger one. And it is that, as time goes by, the roots not only grow, but also deplete the nutrients in the soil.

      In case of doubts, contact us.


  3.   Gregory said

    I would like to buy a kilo of sweet acorn to plant. Thanks

  4.   Monse said

    Hello, thank you very much for sharing. One query, I understand that if green acorns are placed in sachets and they are scattered around different corners of the house, this helps prevent woodworm in the furniture wood since it is attracted by the smell of the green acorn and it attacks it without mercy, that is, these sachets, the following spring they have to be thrown into the fire since they contain the bug. All the best.

    1.    Monica Sanchez said

      Hello Monse.

      Yes that's how it is. You can use the green acorns as bait. The woodworm larvae will feed on them, leaving the wood intact.


  5.   Miguel said

    There was an oak in my garden but it died this year 🙁
    Now another one is being born, from acorns that were left there.
    Of course, the wonderful ham would be enough to plant oak trees 🙂