September 26, 2009

Acorns a growing threat in Massachusetts

Massachusetts residents say they are under siege from this year's large crop of acorns as the hard nuts have been falling from trees like rain.

Greg Roberson and Neil McIsaac of Brookline, Mass., said they routinely encounter the nuts as they fall from area oak trees, creating safety hazards while in the air and once on the ground, The Boston Globe reported Saturday.

Every time I hear one, I think it's a kid throwing a rock at me, Roberson said. They're falling everywhere.

I've nearly broken my neck several times, McIsaac offered. There are tons of them.

Wesley Autio, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, said this year's crop of acorns was particularly large given this year's bountiful rains.

We get a good crop every few years, but I don't recall one as heavy as this, he told the Globe. We already have a significant coating on our lawn, and most of them still aren't down.

But at least the increased acorn crop is being enjoyed by someone, according to Don McCasland, Blue Hill Observatory & Science Center program director.

The squirrels here are going crazy -- it's smorgasbord galore, McCasland said.