Acorns from many Iowa oak trees have started falling prematurely this fall. Iowa Department of Natural Resources forester Randy Cook says a couple of weather events are triggering the “aborting” of the trees’ seed. The first was that late frost that occurred this past spring. That “killing frost” occurred when many oak trees were blooming and being pollinated. The next event hot, dry weather about a month ago. Cook says the hot, dry weather of mid- to late July, coupled with high winds, started the drying phase for acorns prematurely. Cook says unfortunately, most of the acorns that are falling aren’t capable of growing into a tree. Cook says it’ll impact programs and projects that harvest acorn seeds to plant and grow seedlings. “It’s a commodity like other commodities, so the price of those remaining, viable seeds is going to go up,” Cook says. Cook predicts that squirrels and other animals that depend on acorns for winter food will shift to corn for their food supply. “They will shift to grains,” Cook says of squirrels and other animals. “They certainly won’t have quite the abundance of food supplies that they’ve had in the past.”