Does acorn size affect the size of the tree that grows?
Acorn size can vary from tree to tree. Environmental factors will play a big role. Seed production takes a lot of energy so a good growing season and good habitat is essential for bigger acorns.
It takes centuries for oaks to reach their full size, so it’s not surprising we have no studies following seeds through to maturity. But a study at the Croatian Forest Research Institute found that bigger acorns produced taller saplings with more bio-matter (in other words, they weighed more). This was confirmed in a follow-up study by the Serbian Institute of Forestry.
So it seems acorn size does matter - larger acorns lead to larger saplings. There are no studies on whether this benefit lasts throughout the tree’s life, but we believe it’s probably just an early competitive advantage. Growth rates likely even out as the trees mature and are subject to fewer selection pressures.
Do acorns keep spiders away?
We’re not aware of any evidence for this. Some people swear by conkers though – read more in our blog Do conkers keep spiders away? And more conker facts.
Did you know? The acorns of English oak – also known as pedunculate oak - grow on stalks (or peduncles). Acorns on a sessile oak are stalkless.
Why do acorns fall?
Acorns are the fruit of the oak tree. They contain the seeds that can grow new oak trees, and falling to the ground is part of the tree’s lifecycle – this is how it reproduces. Having reached the ground, the acorns can grow into new oak trees or be carried off to new locations by wildlife.