Tag Archives: oak trees


10 Sep

We removed dozens of trees @ Owl Creek this year…Some had been dead for a long time…  Some were volunteers too close to driveways or barn…Some were contortions of trees…bent, split, broken.  Several logging projects in the past 50 years harvested hard woods…walnut, maple and oak trees.  Our understanding is that oak seedlings are difficult to locate.

Our recent experience:  Squirrels/Ground Squirrels consider fresh sprouting acorns hors d’oeuvres.  Half of what I transplanted to containers were uprooted to eat the meat of the acorn.  (Redbud, tulip and cedar trees were undisturbed.)  I rescued these seedlings by moving them to the screened porch.


To get 2020 spring plants off to a bigger start, I gathered acorns from the backyard.  Mostly green, squirrels had not run off with them.

“How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns” Shelly Wigglesworth Oct 16, 2018, published in New England Today, Living

How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns

I like the idea of refrigerating with peat and barley in a sealed container over winter.

Shelly recommended discarding acorns with pin holes.  They are made by “inch” worms exiting the hull.  I believe the worms enter under the cap.  After checking closely and drying  about two weeks, I discarded 20 acorns of the 60+ I had gathered from our backyard.

Here we “grow” again…



What did we do before we had toothbrushes?

4 Oct

Sometimes we get an answer before we have the question.  That is what happened when I reviewed Backyard Medicine, Harvest and Make Your Own Herbal Remedies by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal.  On page 123, they share that oak twigs are nature’s tooth-brush due to natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  They encourage picking a small twig, chewing the end to massage gums as well as clean your teeth.

This week I trimmed low branches of my oak trees and these fun facts came to mind.

Tooth brush anyone?

Tooth brush anyone?

Imagine…before we had our billion dollar toothbrush industry we had oak twigs.  I suppose that also explains the wooden picks that predate today’s flossing options.

Historical perspective:

How the rest of the world brushes their teeth | MNN – Mother Nature Network


1498 – “The bristle toothbrush was invented in China. Coarse hairs taken from the back of a hog’s neck were used for the bristles, attached at right angles to a bone or bamboo handle (similar to the modern type). The best bristles came from hogs raised in the colder climates of China and Siberia, where the animals grew stouter and firmer hair. Since 3000 BC, ancient civilizations had been cleaning teeth with a “chew-stick” by using a thin twig with a frayed end.”

Have you tried this?

The twigs are the solution to minimize environmental impact, but not likely for superior dental health.

Backyard wildlife buffet

26 Aug
Acorn 1

Acorn 1

Surprise!  Surprise!  Our pair of Swamp White Oak trees have their first crop of acorns this year.  Wild Birds Unlimited offered these trees for sale over 10 years ago to encourage development of back yard habitats that produce food for wildlife.  We already had wild cherry, cedar and holly which produce berries.  Chokeberry bushes did not thrive in our yard.

Holly berries

Holly berries

Favorite of finches

Favorite of finches

Cedar berries

Cedar berries

The Swamp White Oak was a great choice because it tolerates wet springs and dry summers.  We just did not think we would wait this long to bear acorns.  Oh, happy days!

Acorn 2


Acorn 3