FAQ - Answer
Acorn production on the coast is relatively light this year. In most mixed species stands each species may have a few acorns but no one species appears to be dominating. Valley oaks (again on the coast) seem to be absent of nuts this year…not unusual since they are considered cyclic in their nut production. As for pre-contact issues, a.k.a. in the times before Costco, low acorn years meant people had to rely on other food sources for survival…as do all vertebrate species currently living in oak dominated landscapes. Often times, though it may be a “bad acorn year” one tree will have a relatively high concentration of nuts and was most likely an important resource for local people. The seasonality of acorns coincides with other seasonal foods within the oak range i.e. grasshoppers, grass seed heads, salmon, steelhead, suckers, sturgeon, and soft mast (berries). Folks would have had to have been resourceful to survive. You may wish to look up the book “Before the Wilderness” by Thomas Blackburn and Kat Anderson, Ballena Press, 1993.