So, where are all the acorns in Prairie Village this year?

It's difficult to identify what may have caused this year's crop of acorns to be so thin (not that we're complaining...)

If you spent any time in the yard raking up leaves this weekend, you may have noticed that the bagging process was a little lighter than usual.

So where are all the acorns? Indeed, we’ve had a few people write in inquiring about the lack of acorns falling from the oak trees this season.

But pinpointing what caused this year’s crop of mature acorns to be so thin is a difficult proposition, says K-State Research and Extension horticulturist Dennis Patton. The reason, he says, is that the Pin Oaks most common in the Prairie Village area have acorns that mature in two-year cycles. A number of factors could have affected the trees at any point during their two-year development period. They may simply have failed to set during a dry spell in summer of 2010. Or they may have ceased developing during this summer’s dry, brutal heat.

Patton says a similar acorn deficit presented itself in 2007, when an early warm patch followed by a late frost caused many of the Pin Oak acorns that were developing to abort.

And lest you worry about the poor, poor stupid jerk squirrels who horde the acorns for winter food, Patton says fret not.

“There are generally plenty of food sources during the fall,” he said. “The squirrels will find enough seeds and other things to eat.”