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Acorns as a threat?

Updated: Apr 22, 2020

The Globe and Mail has written an editorial {no longer available online] about a parent’s request–in Toronto–to cut down a schoolyard oak tree because its acorns may pose a health threat to children with nut allergies.

The bur oak’s acorns (shown here with leaves) are much softer than those of the white or red oak. Squirrels will eat them on the spot. Squirrels also bury many, and it’s thanks to their efforts that the humans in Champlain Park have oak seedlings to plant.

The acorns of the bur oak may be less easily identified as acorns because their caps are so hairy and large. Compared to the larger acorns produced by red or white oaks, the seeds produced by bur oaks are small.

If they aren’t eaten or buried by squirrels, the bur oak acorns in our neighbourhood mostly decompose on the ground. I doubt they are a threat to children. --Debra Huron

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