​In Love with Acorns

Tallahassee Democrat, Thanksgiving Day 2007

Size and shape vary in the noble oaks—from the diminutive running oak, usually less than three feet tall and forming extensive ground cover by underground runners, to the stately southern red oak, up to 125 feet tall. The Florida champion live oak in Gainesville has a spread of 160 feet and a height of 85 feet. I’m lucky to have a patriarch live oak in front of my house on Ellicott Drive in Tallahassee. It has three huge vertical trunks and one big horizontal limb 36 inches in diameter that sprawls 81 feet across my yard. It is a massive weight to hold horizontally, requiring strong wood. The limb seems to be tiring with age; it rests wearily on our yard. Fifteen years ago it was six feet off the ground.

I like to think of this tree as mine, but it really belongs to the people of Tallahassee. This tree produces many acorns. The few that survive the blue jays, squirrels and acorn grubs may grow into other majestic specimens for future generations to enjoy. So the acorn holds a wonderful promise for the future. Maybe that is why I love acorns so much.