MDC seeks to buy white oak acorns at Rockwoods Reservation Oct. 6

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Wildwood, Mo. — A few white oak trees and some baskets can earn those willing to spend a little time outdoors a bit of extra money.

The Missouri Department of Conservation's (MDC) George O. White State Nursery will be purchasing white oak acorns for $0.40 per pound on Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Rockwoods Reservation, 2751 Glencoe Road in Wildwood. Interested collectors must contact the Rockwoods Reservation office prior to collecting at 636-458-2236 for important information. Seed will only be purchased if collected correctly.

The state nursery is working with Missourians to expand their production of white oaks.

"The nursery produces about 3 million seedlings each year, but we couldn't do it without the public helping to provide us good quality seed," said MDC Forestry District Supervisor Gus Raeker.

Raeker said it's critical that the seed matures on the plant before collecting because the nursery can't make use of acorns that are still green. Seed will not finish maturing if it is picked too early, nor will immature seeds mature that have fallen to the ground.

"When purchasing white oak acorns this year, we will be doing sample cut tests to see if there is a high amount of good seed," said Raeker. "If there is a high percentage of empty or black seed we can't purchase them."

The acorn should be creamy white and firm. Raeker said it's easy to check the seed as it's being collected.

"You can use a pair of pliers to crack the acorn and check to see if it's good," he suggested. It is also important that roots growing from the acorn are no longer than ¼ inch.

Since the nursery will only be purchasing white oak acorns, collectors must be able to distinguish white oak trees and acorns from other oak species. Collectors can reference MDC's free publication Oaks and Hickories of Missouri, which is available at most MDC offices. The same information can also be found online at

Raeker also urged collectors to make sure seed is dry, and does not contain any leaves, sticks or other yard waste.