Nature of Oaks by Doug Tallamy (Aug. 2021 book)


son not stung by a paper wasp

oaks are slow growers, produce great roots. up to 3X the diameter if the canopy

don’t like high nitride fertilizer (white oaks)

can drop 3 million acorn it its life time

You need oak trees for the health of your yard

oaks support life monthly tally


blue jays bring oak acorns into your property

jays can plant over 4,500 acorns and can remember about 1/4 of them

sometimes an animal will visit a tree once per year

blue jays were bringing seeds to his property

a long list of animals like acorn (from oak plants)

Oaks are wind pollinated. Female plants on oaks need to be open.

talk about masting (food supply) For “pollination”

making acorns takes lots of energy


look out for acorn weevils (appears to have a large nose)

a weevil puts a larval into the side of an acorn

ants use acorns for their colony


Why do oaks hold their leaves

nature is complicated

talk about browsing animals

eating live leaves with dead noisy leaves

traps more snow creates more nutrients


there are caterpillars on oak trees in winter

sun flower seeds are not the best

finches and doves need bird seeds

song birds need insects

insects are produced by plants

insect decline means bird decline

host plant specialization

some caterpillars can only eat oak leaves (dager moth)

you need keystone plants to support more life.

hundreds of species were found on an oaks property.

oaks support more cattepillars

they have adapted to the oak


Quiet times of year

yard planting

oak size (most) are like understory trees) dwarf type oaks (native resident)

look for the depth of the roots (deep rooted)


Now, most leaves have fallen from the oak trees

talk of litter mites

nematodes are the most animals on earth.

plant collect energy from sun that’s used for soil energy

jumping worms in soil – eat all organic material

leaf burning will turn property in a “dead zone”

leaves are good for mulch


oak buds open

hundreds of thousand buds

Ants have a sweet tooth and is also a good protector

discuss galls

oaks are wind pollinated (for acorns)

moths need native plants to eat once born


birds that migrate to oak trees (P. 71)

they eat at the oaks

birds can fly 300 miles per night

birds like the fresh insects

there are 650 species if birds that breeds.

they get their energy from eating insects

birds need insects and spiders

caterpillars are like walking leaves

gypsy moths kill oak plants

Oak leaf shape is at it’s max by mid-May

Leaves need carbon to make sugar (??) for photosynthesis

leaves at the bottom of the tree is because of shading


Cicadas is like a tree hopper (like a grasshopper) either 13 or 17 years


tree hoppers breeding P.92

some insects only lay on “batch” of newborn P.93

Caterpillars in June is at its Nadar in June

oaks support 897 species of moths

collecting a caterpillar can be notched off a branch by just tapping

a bird shoots for the head of an insects for a quick kill

dead leaves are not good for leaf litter? The life of every creature is their blood P. 101


mistletoe is questionable to oaks P. 103

more talk about moths P. 105

talk about katydids and mating (they sit in oak trees)

talk about natural selection for katydids (they can’t fly in the fall)

talk of slugs, saddlebacks, and other caterpillars (author like the larvae)

look for the yellow-neck caterpillar in July

Acorn size:

small is too dry

intensity of competition (parrie plants)

size produced is the relationship with animals and environment


have heavy rain (good for oaks)

healthy ecosystem

watershed management

scrub water clean it will evaporate

Fixes carbon issues produces the most hard wood

fast growing trees will take carbon out of the atmosphere

thus we need large trees…we need to plant oaks

healthy oaks will grow for the next 300 years

Leaf miners on oaks are little moths

caterpillars are good for prey items

page 130

caterpillars look like damaged oak leaves, or like twigs

discussed lace bugs p. 136

lace bugs are excellent jumpers??

most animals don’t think anything about child care

male wasps have no stingers, but females do!


Oak leaves are the lowest nutrient of the year

walking sticks look like real sticks P. 143

they move like a stick, it quivers and shakes like a normal stick

need leaf litter for the caterpillars life cycle for development

a “snowy tree” cricket is common on oak trees

an equation was written about the chirping of crickets p. 148

seeds are the most abundant in September

bird take seed and hides them for later use

Jays like to feast on these hidden seeds

The oak trees are “on the rope” they are diminished in numbers

talk of browsers and prairie plant fields

we need to start the process of returning the action of extinction…what supports us!

One thought on “Nature of Oaks by Doug Tallamy (Aug. 2021 book)

  1. I really enjoyed reading/listening to this book. In fact, it’s inspired me to do a little study of planting a dwarf oak in our yard. What inspired me was the talk of caterpillars and small insects that attack birds. I also like the idea that a plant can grow 300 years plus the collection of carbon. Again, a serious study needs to be done. 🙂


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