Did you notice a large number of acorns on the ground this fall? That’s because this year was what naturalists call a mast year.
Mast is the fruit of forest trees and shrubs. Hard mast is nuts, like acorns, hickory nuts, and beechnuts. Mast seeding is the production of above average numbers of seeds by an entire of population of plants. Mast years are good for the wildlife that feed on the nuts, and also good for the trees themselves, because the larger than usual crop of nuts means the potential for nuts that will escape being eaten and will go on to sprout.
In Arkansas, bears, deer, wild turkeys, and of course squirrels, are only a few of the animals who eat acorns and are enjoying this mast year.
For more information, check out the Mast Tree Network.