In northeastern Ohio, we view fall as a time of spectacular beauty and a time to prepare for winter. Mother Nature, on the other hand, has already beat us to the project; as temperatures cool, our trees slow down and cease photosynthesizing. When leaves change color, you’ll know that trees are beginning their long winter rest.
The true magic of fall, however, is the valuable asset many of our trees have produced over the growing season… NUTS!
Northeast Ohio Nut Trees
Several tree species in northeast Ohio create seeds that are a valuable food source for animals and the resourceful human. Ones you probably see every day include:
Did You Know … ?
Just as squirrels stockpile nuts for the winter, humans have too since the beginning of time. Most crops have played an important role in life cycles. Native Americans used hickory nuts to make a buttery spread. Early Ohio settlers utilized nut crops to fatten hogs before late fall slaughter.
Acorns are the only nut or seed with a separate name from their origin tree.
Black Walnuts offer a sweet meat and natural dye.
All pines produce edible seeds but not all are large enough for us to harvest and eat. Pine nuts have a delicate sweet and nutty flavor and are used in many recipes.
A “mast year” refers to years in which nut-producing trees, such as oak and beech, produce a bumper crop of much more fruit than they normally would. In fact, these trees can produce no nuts at all some years.
So, if you are sick of slipping on those natural marbles in the yard, instead of disposing of them, gather them up, dry them out, and when the snow’s a foot deep you can relax indoors and enjoy a gift from your trees.
If you have further questions on harvesting a nut crop at your home, just give us a call at 440-564-1374.