Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Oaks

Burr or Bur( if you prefer) Oaks surround our home in the woods.  They are the last to get their leaves in the spring.  They are in bud forever. Their real name is Quercus macrocarpa.  They are in the white oak family.

They provide heavy shade all summer.  Shade that is ten degrees cooler than the temperatures in town.

Have you ever wondered about the sex life of a Burr Oak?  Well just incase you have, I can tell ya all about it. The Oaks are monoecious, which means they bear both male and female “flowers” on the same tree.

Burr Oak Catkins

It is that time of year for the dangly earrings..or catkins. This is the male part of the tree or the staminate flowering part.  He is long and bumpy and has many dangles..covered in greenish yellow pollen.

Bur Oak Acorns to be

This is the female part, tiny little pistillate flowers.. little specks..If the pollen from the male parts fall or gets blown onto the little tiny brown specks of female parts..we will have fertilization and acorns!  The brown specks are located at 12 o’clock and 5 o’clock in the photo.  The acorns remain on the upper portion of the leaves to grow, the male catkins dry up and fall off.

There ya are!  Everything you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about the formation of the little nuts called acorns. Some years there are lots of acorns, some years not so many. I believe that the trees do that naturally, the years of plenty are their way of making sure that all the acorns will not be eaten by deer or squirrels..or whatever else eats them.  I have eaten them, they are bitter.

The bear has not been back, he was more than likely just passing through.  Thank goodness:) 

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15 comments:

  1. I never knew that before. Thank you for the lesson in "tree sex" :) Very informative.

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  2. It would be very hard for the tree to say, "not tonight, honey," since it would be talking to itself! I learned something today already, and it's only 5:30 in the morning!

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  3. Wonderful info ! Have a great day !

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  4. For some reason i never thought of a tree having sex...thanks for the info...LOLLOLLOL...
    Enjoy

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  5. How lucky you are to have a yard full of Burr Oaks. We have Burr Oaks in Ohio but we have to go looking for them. Here they are associated with prairie blowers.

    Pauline

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  6. Oh my, a secretive salacious sex story! Love it!

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  7. Laughed at your description of the male parts!:)

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  8. I'm having trouble with blogger letting me comment. Grrrr!

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
    http://deltacountyhistoricalsociety.wordpress.com

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  9. Just like pecan trees. Maybe all nut trees?
    Thanks, Far Side. :)

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  10. I was just catching up. I see the grands came to see you. How nice. I know you enjoyed them. They are growing up so fast. Happy birthday to Noah. I love oak trees. They do give off so much shade. We use to make necklaces with the acorns.

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  11. josh and i saw a bear today just west of the second corner on 225, heading north west into the trees.

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  12. Great post and you described it very well (fantastic photos too)!

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  13. We have a large one out in our church parking lot. It is fun to see the acorns flying in the fall and there is plenty to eat.

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  14. thanks for the info, we have some Bur Oaks in our new woods. linda

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your comments! If you have a question I will try to answer it here. Connie