Autumn has arrived and it’s a great time to enjoy the outdoors. The cooler air, falling leaves, football, pumpkin spice. And acorns.
The sight of all those acorns on the ground can be overwhelming and it’s tempting to just leave them there. However, there are several reasons why it’s crucial to pick up acorns from the yard, which we’ll discuss.
We’ll also tell you the best way to pick up acorns and some of our favorite tools for doing so. After you have gathered up all those acorns, we’ll give you some ideas of how to get rid of them.
Why It’s Important to Pick Up Acorns From The Yard
As tempting as it is to let acorns lay on the ground, it’s essential that you pick them up and dispose of them.
Here are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t leave acorns in your yard.
They’re a Food Source for Pests
Squirrels, chipmunks, and mice love acorns. And while the squirrels look adorable running around your yard, gathering up their acorns, you don’t want squirrels in your yard. Because once they’re in your yard, it’s only a short distance, and they’ll be in your house, and you won’t want these pests in your home.
Not only do squirrels, chipmunks, and mice carry diseases, which get spread through their droppings, they’re also destructive. They will chew through sidings to get inside the house, causing structural damage. Once inside the house, these rodents will chew insulation and electrical wires, creating a fire risk for your home.
They Kill Your Grass
When left to lay on the ground, acorns kill the grass underneath them, leaving unsightly patches. A lot of acorns means a lot of bare patches. Those bare batches also allow weeds to grow up where there was once grass.
They Grow Into Saplings That You’ll Have to Remove
If you don’t deal with the acorns now, you will have to deal with the saplings later. Undamaged acorns have about a 75-95% germination rate. When spring arrives, you might find yourself having to dig up saplings if you don’t want them to grow into full-grown oak trees.
They’re Unsafe for Children and Pets
Acorns are small, hard, and slippery and can be painful when you step on them. They may also cause you to slip and fall. Additionally, toddlers and dogs like to put things in their mouths, and acorns pose a choking hazard to children.
Acorns also contain acids that can cause gastrointestinal problems and kidney problems for dogs. In some puppies, acorns can cause renal failure, resulting in your dog’s death.
You will also want to avoid mowing your grass when acorns are lying on the ground. Like small rocks, acorns can get caught up in the blade and shot out of the grass chute like a projectile missile.
What Can I Use to Pick Up Acorns?
There are several products on the market that you can use to pick up acorns in your yard. Some are simple and inexpensive, while others can cost several hundred dollars. We consider these our top five when choosing the best way to pick up acorns from your yard.
Use a Nut Gatherer
Bending over and picking up a few acorns is easy. Are you bending over to pick up hundreds of acorns? You’ll soon have an aching back. If you are looking for a low cost, effective way to pick up multitudes of acorns in your yard.
Push this lightweight manual tool through your yard with a little force, and the wire basket picks up the acorns. When your basket is full, separate the wires and dump your acorns.
Use a Shop-Vac for Acorns
You can use a shop-vac for cleaning up the acorns in your yard. They have long hoses with strong suction power to suck up the acorns, and their canisters usually have a larger capacity. Using a shop-vac is a good solution if you have a few trees close to your house. If you’re going to use a shop-vac, make sure you have had dry weather conditions. Wet leaves can clog up your vacuum.
Rake Up the Acorns
Raking your yard is another possible solution to your acorn problem. If you’re doing yard work in Fall, you will likely be spending most of that time raking leaves. So, while you’re raking the leaves, you might as well rake the acorns. If this is the method you choose then you need to know: what is the best rake for acorns?
When purchasing a rake, do not choose one with flimsy tines. They break and bend and don’t provide you with enough force to rake up the acorns. The TRG GK102R The Groundskeeper II Rake is precisely the kind of rake you need to gather up all those acorns. They have round, stiff tines that won’t break or bend. In addition to raking up leaves and acorns, it’s also great for raking up small branches and twigs.
Use a Power Broom
Your first question might be, “what is a power broom?” A power broom is an outdoor power tool. It has a powerful rotating brush that works to remove rocks and debris from your yard. Many people use it to clean gravel from yards after winter or road work.
You can also use a power broom can for cleaning hard surfaces such as sidewalks and driveways. It’s a great tool to have if you work in construction, as you can use it to clean up a site after a job quickly.
Use a power broom to remove acorns from your lawn instead of raking them. With a power broom, you can quickly push them to one area so you can easily gather them up and dispose of them. Many power brooms are specifically for artificial turf. Before purchasing one, you will want to confirm that it is suitable for your yard.
Will a Lawn Sweeper Pick Up Acorns?
A lawn sweeper is another outdoor power tool that you can use to pick up acorns. Looking like a cross between a vacuum and a lawnmower, a lawn sweeper will go along vacuuming up the acorns (along with other debris) and depositing it in a collection bag. When your finish or your bag is full, you can go ahead and dispose of your acorns.
How to Dispose of Acorns
Now that you have chosen the best way to pick up acorns and have them all in one place, how will you dispose of them? Consider some of these ideas.
Mulching acorns is one way you can dispose of them. There are different ways you can do that. If you don’t have many of them, you can rake them onto a tarp, dump them in your driveway and drive over them several times. While this way is relatively easy and inexpensive, it’s not very effective, especially if you have a driveway that slopes.
Another way of mulching acorns is with a mulcher.
However, before purchasing one, be sure to check that you can use it for mulching acorns. Many mulchers are meant for leaves, and trying to mulch acorns can damage your equipment.
If you have a large yard with many oak trees, you might want to consider something like the SuperHandy Wood Chipper Shredder Mulcher. You can hook it up to your ATV, mower, or small tractor to quickly relocate it to where you need it.
Find a Farmer
Do you know anyone who raises chickens or pigs? Both of them eat acorns. If you don’t know any, go online and look for free-range farms. These are farms that raise free-range, grass-fed animals. One of them might be interested in relieving you of your excess acorns.
Go for a Drive in the Woods
There are plenty of animals that eat acorns. Wild turkeys, quails, wood ducks, white-tailed deer, foxes, and feral hogs are just a few. Drive to a wooded area and dispose of your acorns. Winter is coming, and wild animals are trying to fatten up while food is plentiful and easy to find.
Check with your local fire department before burning anything in your yard. There are certain times of the year where your local area may have a burn ban in place. If they tell you that it’s okay to burn your acorns, then that is another way to dispose of them. Just be sure to always be nearby to tend your fire.
Put Them Out With the Trash
Bag up your acorns and set them on the curb for garbage day. Before you do that, you will want to contact your local sanitation department to ensure that you can put yard refuse out for pick-up.
Can You Stop Acorns From Growing?
Unless you cut down all your oak trees, it is challenging to completely eliminate acorns from growing on your tree. However, you can reduce the amount of acorns your oak tree produces. If you’re not afraid of heights, try the following method next Spring.
There are fruit elimination sprays that you can buy. Do your research, so you know they will inhibit the growth of acorns. One product to try is the Floral Brand Growth Regulator. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, spray your tree, which will most likely involve climbing a ladder to get those higher branches.
This method won’t totally eliminate acorns in the first year, but it should start to reduce them. Each following year you should see your oak tree producing fewer acorns until it eventually stops.
Autumn is a time when you start prepping your home and yard for winter. Part of that prep work is removing the acorns that have fallen on the ground. Leaving them lying on the ground is almost like inviting rodents, like mice and squirrels, into your yard. These pests are also preparing for winter, and your home looks like a great place to spend those cold winter days and nights.
We’ve listed our top choices when it comes to the best way to pick up acorns. Remove the welcome mat from your yard and your house by using one (or more) of these suggested methods to pick up and dispose of your acorns. The family of squirrels can live in a tree.
Related: Can a Lawn Mower Get Wet?