You might have noticed an increase in acorns in your yard or on the road this year. This due to an increase in totals during a "on" year of production for oak trees known as a a mast year. During mast years, a mature Oak tree can produce 10,000 acorns.
Scientist do not know exactly what leads to a mast years. What is known is a mast year occurs every 2-5 years. During off years, tree growth typically increases more than mast years as producing such large totals of acorns requires so much energy by the tree. This means there is less energy diverted towards the actual growth of the Oak tree.
During mast years, increases in deer and mice populations can be seen. This in-turn can lead to an increase in ticks in a region. An increase in ticks can aid the more effective spreading of Lyme disease.