Current Moon Phase

Waning Crescent
4% of full

Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Video: The Acorn Apocalypse! Hard Winter in Store?

I have gotten some great feedback about squirrels, acorns and early signs of foliage. From those who have taken time to observe and comment, it seems that the squirrels are very active and, in some places, acorns are bombarding roofs, decks, and even a few walkers.

According to weather lore, active squirrels and an abundance of acorns add up to a rough winter. Similarly, observers from Maine to Texas indicate that trees are already changing colors. This isn’t just early, but 2 — 3 months ahead of schedule. We are not seeing tremendous color, but early by a long shot. The feeling is that all the heat, humidity and lack of rain may have stressed trees who are saying “I have had enough!”

By the way, early foliage is not necessarily a sign of an early or hard winter but interesting nonetheless.

Above is a quick look at the acorn bombardment at my home. I have heard similar stories from many parts of the US. It was shot the last week of July.


1 peg labate { 08.17.13 at 7:41 pm }

Peter, I live at the ‘jersey shore’ and my neighbors and I just can’t believe the amount of acorns falling since July. My patio is full. Thanks for the info.

2 James Wenzel { 10.07.12 at 11:08 am }

I have lived Newport News VA, in the same house for 13 years and this is the worst acorn crop I have ever seen. I do a lot of 3 and 5 mile walks on Newport News maintained jogging trails and you have to be very careful because there are so many acorns on the trail you could twist your ankle and this is also the worst I have ever seen on the trails. I work with a lot of 50 to 70 year olds and they said it is going to be a long hard winter because of the acorns that are falling from the tree and I have never heard about this so I googled it and here I am.

3 Joan { 10.06.12 at 2:42 pm }

I’ve lived in my Maryland home for 42 years and have never seen acorns of the size and quantity that began to fall in September and continue to fall. The squirrels are having a hay-day, but the acorns and their shells are becoming a hazard to pedestrians and kids on bikes, scooters, skates, etc. I’m a summer person, so I shudder to think what this might mean for our upcoming winter!

4 Jan Watford { 11.02.11 at 12:49 am }

I have been bombarded with acorns in my yard and deck since July but have really been heavy the last 3 weeks. I have lived in this house for 6 years and never seen them so heavy. I have been told by a neighbor that it meant a rough winter so have been reading about it online. I notice most of the above comments are form 2010 ad it is now 2011 so I guess we will have to see what happens this year, but already the NE was bombarded with snow and rough cold weather last weekend. I also read where it can be a sign of positive energy so maybe should go with that thought.

5 karen hansen { 10.25.11 at 4:35 pm }

Not only have we seen huge masses of acorns lately but also muscadine everywhere.. never have we seen a crop like this. We live in Rutherfordton N.C. ANY RESPOND?

6 Loretta { 10.10.11 at 8:46 pm }

I live in Northern Michigan and have been here since 1999 and every year we have had soooo many acorns that it was a challange just to walk through the yard, let alone try to blow the leaves at the end of the season. That is until this year! We have no acorns at all on our property and from what I can tell none on anyone’s else’s property around here. Does this mean a mild winter?

7 rebejo1001 { 10.06.11 at 10:20 am }

I read in the cookbook ‘The Ole Black Pot’ that it means a hard winter. I live in northern Louisiana, and we are inundated with tons of acorns and squirrels also. our weather this summer was exceptionally hot and dry. I wonder if it was because of the 2 tsunammies that occurred in 2004 and this year had anything to do with the seasonal changes our world is experiencing. i read somewhere that the tsunammies knocked the Earth off its original axis both times and that might could account for the changes. I think Global warming is a bunch of hogwash, sounds good, but just is not sound enough to blame all the changes for everything. Just a sore loser trying to make some bucks and incite fear into millions of people. Any thought of clinical/scientific information would be helpful to solve these questions. Winter is upon us. And where I live we usually get our first freeze in late November to late December, so I guess I will just have to wait and see

8 Becky { 01.27.11 at 7:22 pm }

We live in Massachusetts and we have never had as many acorns as we have had this year, it was unbelievable. To date we have received about 45 inches of snow and it’s only January!! I am a true believer of the acorn forecast!

9 D { 01.24.11 at 8:33 am }

This past autumn we had so many acorns in our yard (Northwest Corner of CT) that we had to walk with extreme caution lest we go rollerskating. We have had several bouts of measurable snow including one 20 inch snowfall. This week’s forecast also calling for a potential blockbuster depending on the track of the storm. I for one am convinced of the acorn forecast.

10 AMY { 12.11.10 at 7:45 am }


11 Barbara { 12.01.10 at 10:32 pm }

Lots of acorns in central Florida at Bartow. My cats think the squirrels are throwing them down. Silly nuts don’t know any better.

12 Shannon { 11.22.10 at 11:00 am }

I live in Sebastian Florida and the acorns have been falling like crazy for about two months. The squirrels are active and I believe my cat has developed an allergy. Do you think it will snow this far south?

13 Cindy { 11.10.10 at 2:44 pm }

Austin, TX: Lived in house over 10 years and never had anywhere close to this many acorns. They are falling constantly and covering everything. I can barely walk in the yard there are so many in the grass.

14 Billie Grayson { 11.02.10 at 5:34 pm }

I live in Austin, TX and my yard and surroundings are covered with acorns. I’ve not seen this many in years. Hard winter in store?

15 Brian { 11.01.10 at 2:32 pm }

I have had more acorns drop this year than I have seen in the last ten Autumns. I live in SW Indiana. The acorns started dropping in early September and are still dropping in force.

16 Jim and Kathryn { 10.27.10 at 8:43 pm }

At the CSA farm in southwest Ohio we volunteer at, several people have commented about the large number of acorns and black walnuts this fall. We will see what winter brings after a long summer drought.

17 Lisa { 10.22.10 at 7:31 pm }

I live in Arkansas and my yard is covered in acorns. They hit my tin roof and it sounds like gun shots. I have never seen so many acorns in my life.

18 D { 10.17.10 at 3:36 pm }

northwest corner of ct: we are getting bombarded by acorns, never seen this many. have to watch my step in the driveway, it’s like walking on marbles. squirrels are very active. bundle up!

19 Debi { 10.11.10 at 10:04 pm }

I live in NW Ohio and we also have an abundance of acorns this year and they are much larger than in previous years. A couple of years ago when there seemed to be more acorns dropping than usual, we had alot of early snow. Snow was beautiful, came several inches at a time, but never really stayed, it would melt and snow again, no major delays or cancellations. Do you think we are in for a hard snowy winter?

20 Mary { 10.02.10 at 10:26 am }

I have seen so many acorns. They are bombarding everything everywhere.
I live in Derry, NH

21 Chesca { 09.28.10 at 3:17 pm }

Glad to have found this site. I live in Northern NJ and it literally has been raining acorns for weeks now. Incredible amount still falling and we’ve also noted in increase in skirrel activity all around the property.

22 tammy { 09.27.10 at 9:40 am }

So is it usually true that the more acorns that fall, the worse the winter will be???

23 Mary { 09.26.10 at 10:09 pm }

Acorns Falling,

Yes, I have acorns falling and it scares the dog and cat, they hit the sliding glass door and they both run for cover. (they are both just 12-14 months old) Plus when they go out side I have seen both be hit by acorns at different times and they run so fast, trying to get away. There is no explaining this one to my little Ellie and little Rabbit (cat’s name)? I am afraid to mow my lawn for the last time I don’t want to damage the siding on the house, when the acorns fly through the mower. I just keep raking them up, just so many. thanks for the video, answered my questions and concerns.

24 Lisa { 09.25.10 at 2:42 pm }

I have been in northeast PA for 8 years and WOW..I’ve never seen so many acorns drop as have this year. No squirrels/chipmunks/bunnies to store away the harvest though thanks to the red tailed hawk and her two new babies nesting in the woods nearby. I’ll be thrilled if we have a true NE cold snowy winter.

25 SDMacLeod { 09.25.10 at 1:27 pm }

Mr. Geiger,
I looked you up because I was wondering what was going on with our acorns. We have about ten oaks in our yard and a tin roofed shed. The NOISE from our shed roof is deafening as the very plentiful and large acorns hit the top.
Are there any practical uses for these large acorns? Other than making a squirrel feeder?

26 Debbie { 09.23.10 at 3:47 pm }

Checking in from Cranston, RI and the acorns have been falling in huge amounts for over a month now. The squirels are everywhere and shaking down all of our Oaks. Every single night I can hear them dropping by the bucket full

27 Deb { 09.22.10 at 8:10 pm }

I am inquiring about the abundance of falling acorns. We are probably experiencing about ten years worth of falling acorns just in the past 4-6 weeks. It is incredible! I wondered if the weather pattern has affected this, or is this a sign of a hard winter ahead. We are located in Scituate, RI.

28 Phyllis Jean { 09.21.10 at 6:54 pm }

We also have witnessed more acorns than I can remember in the 35 years that I have lived in this oak forest. It is difficult to walk from the garden to the house and I don’t see as many squirrels as usual – perhaps because of coyotes and red fox which seem to be increasing here. It was a very hot dry summer in NE Ohio.

29 Carol { 09.19.10 at 3:08 pm }

There are more acorns on my property than any other time in the past 19 year. You can rake up bucket after bucket load. The squirels have more than they know what to do with.

30 Sandy { 09.17.10 at 5:16 pm }

I live in NE Pennsylvania – Monroe County. I’ve lived in the same house for 20 years and have never seen anything like the number of acorns this year. I have buckets of them in my garage and piles of them racked in the yard – I don’t know what to do with them all. We had a hail storm the other day and the yard was covered with thousands of acorns afterward.

I have another type of tree producing some sort of acorns that I’ve never seen before. I think it might be a chestnut oak. It produces a shiny brown, elongated acorn and the cap on it is woodier and harder than regular acorns and I say it reminds me of a gnome hat. This tree has never before produced acorns and it was here before I moved in. I also have thousands of these type acorns. I’ve raked them into big piles. I also pick up a small bucket full from my deck each day.

Not as many are falling each day but they are still coming down. Going outside has been like being under attack.

My trees also began to change color in late July/early August.

31 Trudy { 09.14.10 at 10:57 pm }

This year in the southern part of Minnesota there are no acorns. They did not form on the trees. It will be a tough winter for the deer & the squirrels. I have many huge oak trees & this time of the year it should be like walking on marbles here.

32 Denise { 09.13.10 at 12:41 am }

I bought a house in outside of Yosemite, CA in June. Around August we had to use an umbrella when eating outside because of the acorns falling. Also I live 80 miles north of Reno, NV and the Canadian Geese have been flying over in droves for days.

33 Mr J. Stephen Kennedy { 09.12.10 at 2:41 pm }

this year no acorns dropping from our oaks..last year a super abundance…live in SE Michigan

34 Jack { 09.06.10 at 12:49 pm }

We are in central PA ( Penn State University) and we have never had acorns like this year! Neighbor’s car has been damaged. Our daughter has several trees with purple berries and they are dropping at record levels. Is this an “old wives tale” or is there some significance?

35 Scott { 08.30.10 at 9:50 pm }

The last 2 years there were no acorns in nw michigan due to late spring freezes. Most of the leaves died due to the heavy freeze in early June. Does anyone know if this will cause an Oak tree to produce a bumper crop when it finally does produce acorns?

36 Diane { 08.22.10 at 12:48 pm }

The early appearance of the acorn crop prompted me to search for predictions about the 2010 winter. I’m in northwest Michigan and the acorns are dropping everywhere!

37 Naomi { 08.18.10 at 1:35 pm }

My mom and I live next door to one another in extreme south Louisiana and collectively have 13 fifty-year-old live oak trees in our yards. I have not seen any acorns yet this year (it’s a little too early for us down here), however last year the number of acorns that fell from those trees was astronomical and we had the worse winter that I can ever remember!

38 jare4u2 { 08.17.10 at 7:41 pm }

I live in central maine and I have seen the leaves starting to change throughout the the area. As far as the squirrels here, they have been active for a few weeks now. I believe we are in for a harsh winter.It will be what it will be.

39 brad { 08.16.10 at 2:40 pm }

i think we will have a very harsh winter just due to my experience with predicting weather. According to my models they are saying that the el’ nino is dissapating and we will transition into la’ nina which means the pnw waters will drop about 2-3 degrees and thats pretty signifigant. With colder water and more moisture which is what usually happens with la’ nina; we will see lots of snowfall an even snowfall at elevation zero. also this will bring cold artic air down in abundance and cause frigid temps in the pnw. so buckle down and grab a jacket cause winter 2010-2011 is going to be a COLD one!

40 Amelia Bolick { 08.15.10 at 9:26 pm }

We live in NE TN and our the grapes on 40 year old vine are already getting ripe, we have only lived there a little over a year, but I don’t believe that they were ripe this early last year. Also, our 2 chestnut trees are completely full as well as our black walnut and buckeyes. I am looking forward to winter myself, I have had enough of the hot, humid days of summer.

41 celia { 08.13.10 at 8:37 pm }

As a native of Colorado I feel like I know our seasons here fairly well. I too, feel like a harsh winter is on it’s way. we have had crickets chirping since the first week of July. My lawn seems to be changing like it does in September. Just a few weeks ago we had quite a few elk in the suburban park by our house. Deer yes, but never elk. We had such a long wet spring – makes me wonder if we will have all that moisture again this winter.

42 Janie in Utah { 08.13.10 at 5:12 am }

In the SW corner of Utah we have experienced a very late Spring, short summer, and now – temperatures that are more like late September – not August. My husband and I are Master Gardeners and have seen a delay in our garden crops and harvests. Our pomegranate bushes which normally bud in early June, just displayed their first blossoms. There is no way they will have enough time to produce ripe fruit before the first freeze. Our apples normally begin to turn red in late August, and as of today, are almost fully red . (8/13) Melon vines are so far behind due to lack of summer heat that I doubt they will be able to mature their fruit for a harvest. Our strawberries have produced all summer, instead of just spring and fall. Ant hills are in abundance, whereas they normally taper off during the hottest summer months, and we have seen more gopher hills this year than ever. Normally we have our A/C on 24/7 during July and August and yet this year, we have been able to open our windows nearly every night. It’s definitely a strange year and we sense an early and perhaps harsh winter.

43 Robert_H { 08.12.10 at 8:09 pm }

Writing from the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. A coworker trims trees as a side job. He mentioned last week taking down a great big oak tree that was loaded with acorns, enough so that we had this very discussion (about an abundance of acorns meaning a hard winter to come.)

44 mike { 08.12.10 at 9:14 am }

i notice that the black walnuts are falling already as well. I usually see them start to drop later. In addition the trees around my home are beginning to turn a little yellow/brown already. This is the Southeastern Pa area.

45 Jerry { 08.11.10 at 11:30 am }

My wife and I have notice them since about 2 weeks already. All over the front of the driveway. I even said to her that this is too early for them to be falling on the ground. They are not even fully develop. You are right I am wondering how winter is going to be.

46 ann marie { 08.11.10 at 9:04 am }

I am responding from the Massachusetts area, I too have had an abundance of squirrel activity and large amounts of acorns being propelled by them or by mother earth itself. Have not noticed any leaves turning colors yet but will keep an eye out. Time to start thinking about winterizing the home and getting everything ready to prepare for that. Hope the winter is mild but alas this is New England, blink and it changes.

47 valerie and blake { 08.11.10 at 12:20 am }

we live in anza borrego desert. this usually a hot time of year. while daytime temperatures are in low 100′s, the last 2 nights have gotten down to 50′s. we had to drag coats out! blue jays are running off with many seeds and tanagers and grosbeaks are alreading migrating through.

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.