The 5 Best Tips to Cleaning Up Acorns

Cleaning up acorns can be a tedious and time-consuming task. Acorns provide food for squirrels, birds, and deer but sometimes even these animals can’t keep up because acorns can be abundant. Acorns are nuts produced by the oak tree. As much as we may enjoy these beautiful trees, we don’t love having to walk over the acorns.

According to the Massachusetts non-profit environmental group Mass Audubon, oak trees can produce up to 10,000 acorns during a “mast” year. That is a year when they produce the maximum amount. It occurs every 2-5 years. Other years are usually lighter, but still, it put into perspective the number of nuts a few oak trees are producing in your yard.

tips for cleaning up acorns

If you want to maintain your yard and patio in good condition, you need to find the best way to pick up acorns. Start cleaning early – as soon as the first acorn falls to the ground. This saves you a lot of work in the long run. You’ll notice quickly that a regular yard rake might be fine for picking up leaves, but the acorns stay behind. Once all the leaves are raked up, you’re left with acorns scattered across the yard. It’s even harder to get acorns out of a hedge. Trimming it with an electric hedge trimmer can grind up acorns and make it almost impossible to get them out.

The Best 5 Tips for Cleaning up Acorns

Rake Them

This is the most popular method. It has been used in the past and is still being used successfully. You will need a rake that isn’t flexible like leaf rakes are. It needs be good for cleaning for hard surfaces like the patio and drive. But it works effectively in your yard, also. Get a rake with a very firm end that can pull through the grass and get those acorns buried deep in the grass. Go for a long and lightweight rake that is also easy to store.

oak tree bearing acorns

Commercial Landscaping

Another great tip to cleaning up the acorns around your yard is by seeking the best commercial landscaping services you might know. These services are there to help you maintain and create a landscape design that will boost your outdoor space attractiveness. They help turn your yard and driveways into a comfortable space where everyone enjoy a stroll without having to deal with random acorns.


Nut Gatherer

This is probably one of the best ideas for cleaning up acorns. All you need to do is merely roll the picker-upper around your yard. It then picks up the acorns plus other nuts and puts them in a basket. The only thing left to do after is to empty the bucket into a disposal container when it’s full or when you’re done picking the acorns. Although it’s a brilliant idea, these large nut harvesters are also a bit costly. If you have several nut-bearing trees it’s well worth the investment. You’ll certainly enjoy using a picker-upper to collect acorns lying around the yard.

A more affordable solution for you might be the Garden Weasel Nut Gatherer. These are made with a wire basket on a handle. When run along the ground it picks up acorns, pecans, and other nuts. You can also use it for crab apples.


Vacuuming up the acorns is another technique to use – but it’s also very time-consuming. You need to cut your grass as low as possible to make the vacuuming process easy to go about this method. Use a plastic garbage can to dump the acorns into, most preferably one with wheels. This will make it easier to move it around as you desire. One advantage of using a vacuum is that you will not use as much energy. You could even take breaks as you vacuum.

The drawback to this method for cleaning up acorns is a vacuum will pick everything. You end up with a lot more than just acorns and leaves like rocks, twigs, dead grass, and soil. The other drawback is power. You’ll need a long enough extension cord to reach the edges of your yard.

Power Broom

Just as the name suggests, a power broom is a sweeper that has a lot of power behind it. Using a power broom is also a great way to clean up acorns. You could choose to purchase one or just rent one. Renting is far easier since the maintenance is already taken care of. All you need to do is sweep the acorns up into a pile, then scoop them into a plastic garbage can with wheels.

squirrel holding an acorn in its mouth

Additional Thoughts

These are a few of the good ways for cleaning up acorns. After looking over all these options, my favorite is the garden weasel because it’s economical and can be used for more than just acorns. If I had a larger yard with several oak trees then I would want to get the harvester.

My reasons are:

  • Neither need power to run.
  • They don’t need maintenance as a machine does.
  • Easy to store in the garage.
  • Easy to use on any terrain.

Have some heavy-duty trash bags handy for bagging up the acorns. Make sure not to fill the bags so much they are heavy to pickup. Make it easier on yourself and your trash man by keeping the bags a comfortable weight to pick up easily. Make sure you warm-up and stretch properly when lifting these heavy bags. An expert from Knee Force recommended a few lights stretches especially for the lower legs before cleaning up and lifting. Most waste management services haul away bags of yard debris.

And, what about ecology?

Acorns play an important role in nature. Both rodents, like squirrel and mice, and several bird species rely on acorns as a food source. Deer, bear, and wild pigs, also do. Some species of moth use acorn as food when they are larvae.

What do you do about the wildlife that comes looking for food? There are some ways you can have a clean yard and still let squirrels, dear, and other wildlife enjoy coming to eat. Not only by considering how they play a role in nature, but you can also protect your home from unwanted invaders. When you clean up the acorns in your yard, you lower the risk of mice, squirrels, and other animals getting close to your home. Give them a place to eat away from the house and they will look there instead.

  • Save the acorns in a lidded metal container and leave them out near your trees or bushes where animals come often.
  • Get a squirrel feeder and attach it to a post or tree in the backyard.
  • Provide alternative food sources such as seed and nut mix for them. In the birdseed department, you can usually find some food for squirrels, too.
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