If the crunching of acorns on your lawn is driving you nuts, there’s a way to put the oak seeds to good use. Department of Natural Resources forestry bureau chief John Walkowiak says the state can turn the tiny acorns into trees.He says the state forest nursery in Ames grows seedlings to be used in conservation projects, and the demand for oak trees is always very high. Walkowiak says they’re always trying to keep ahead of the demand for oaks. He says it takes two years from when they collect the acorns to grow seedlings that can be used. Walkowiak says they’ve set up sites in central Iowa to collect the acorns. There’s one at the state capitol building parking lot, West Des Moines at the Raccoon River City park and at the Lowe’s in Ames. If you have acorns in other areas of the state, you can call the state forest nursery to find out where to take them. Walkowiak asks that you try to keep the acorns separated in a box or paper sack. He says it helps if you separate out the different types of acorns and try to keep leaves and twigs out too. He says they’ll need up to 18 semi-truck loads of acorns to grow the 800,000 oak tree seedlings for planting in the spring of 2005. Walkowiak says the collection sites are open until October. For more information about acorns or the state forest nursery conservation seedlings, go to www.iowa.dnr.com and look under the forestry link. Or contact Walkowiak at 515-242-5966.
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