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Q: Enough already, what is with all the acorns falling?

Q: Enough already, what is with all the acorns falling?  When will this ever stop?  My front yard, sidewalk and driveway are so messy.

A:  You are not the only one who has asked me this question recently.  Everyone, but the squirrels, seems to be unhappy with the number of acorns falling from the oak trees this year.   I can almost hear my mother’s voice responding to this question – “when they are good and ready” is exactly when the trees will stop dropping acorns!  This is one of those things we have little control over but the general rule is oak trees take about 3 weeks to drop all their acorns – sometimes shorter and sometimes longer.  The mess should be over soon – but wait for it, wait for it….next we will have oak leaves dropping!  On the bright side, the leaves can be used as mulch for trees and shrubs.  This type of mulch is free and adds wonderful nutrients to the soil.  Just be sure to only have about 2-3 inches of mulch around shrubs and never let it touch the trunk of any tree or shrub.  If you have a mulching lawn mower, this will help break up the leaves into smaller pieces which will enable them to decompose faster.