Acorn Harvest Timing


Well-Known Member
I almost posted this on the nut exchange thread because you guys would know, but I don't want to jack the thread. What is the proper timing to collect acorns? Obviously I'm not looking for you to tell me what day :), but what to look for in an acorn that is ready. Should I be letting them hit the ground? Or is there a time when they are hanging that is appropriate for collection? I have what I have been told are black oaks all over our place. I have seen a couple guys on here asking for black oak acorns and would love to send some out as a thanks for this forum, but I need to know that I am sending out useful product.
I think the best time to get them is when you can get them off the tree......if you can reach them, try and pull them from the cap. If they come out pretty easily, they are ready. If you have to PRY them out, let them go for a while longer.

Once they hit the ground they are MUCH more likely to be damages, eaten, or filled with bugs.
I agree with CAS. I like getting from the tree if at all possible.
#1 - they tend to have less issues
#2 - I can ID easier what type they are

The acorn will change from green to brown with time and will loosen in the protective cap as well. Like CAS said you should be able to fairly easily remove them from the cap when they are ready. Exceptions like burr oak are a bit more difficult. Now when this happens is more a matter of the weather and the tree species as well. Some species simply drop sooner and as such they will be ready for you to pick the acorns sooner as well.

Any acorns off the ground need to be float tested (I float all of mine regardless of how I collect them anyway) but those that come from the ground tend to be far more floaters/bad as the critters tend to eat those good ones that hit the ground pretty quickly.