When Trees Go Nuts

Published on May 10, 2018
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Every once in a while, all the oaks or spruces or other plants in a region suddenly produce a tremendous bounty of seeds - up to 100 times more than usual. But why do they do it, and how do they all manage to sync up?
To learn more about mast seeding, start your googling with these keywords:
Mast Year: A year in which all the plants of a particular species in a region ramp up their seed production.
Predator Satiation Hypothesis: The hypothesis that mast seeding is a strategy plants use for controlling the population of squirrels and other seed-eating animals.

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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Script Editor: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
Video Director: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder
Fletcher, Quinn E., Stan Boutin, Jeffrey E. Lane, Jalene M. LaMontagne, Andrew G. McAdam, Charles J. Krebs, and Murray M. Humphries. 2010. “The Functional Response of a Hoarding Seed Predator to Mast Seeding.” Ecology 91 (9): 2673-83.
Kelly, Dave, and Victoria L. Sork. 2002. “Mast Seeding in Perennial Plants: Why, How, Where?” Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33 (1). Annual Reviews: 427-47.
Kelly, D. 1994. “The Evolutionary Ecology of Mast Seeding.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 9 (12): 465-70.
LaMontagne, J. 2018. Personal Communication.


  • If you find our videos intreeguing, please support us through Patreeon! www.patreon.com/minuteearth Or, click the "Sponsor" button to support us through US-tv itself. Affectionutly yours, MiNutEarth

    • MinuteEarth I THINK ALL OF UR VIDS R AWSOME!!!!

    • MinuteEarth can you do a video about Hippopotamuses please?

    • you make 3 videos a month that are 2 mins long and 1 min begging for money at the end of the video, why do you employ 8 people for 6 mins of TOTAL video a month?

  • "tree sex extravaganza"

  • OMG, does the hyena have a knife?!. *illuminati music plays*

  • It is possible they "talk" to each other. Symbiotic relationships between trees and fungi (fungi are the largest single living organisms on earth) could provide chemical queues to the whole forrest.

  • Sometimes i like my own comment to get it started.

  • tanks

  • Hey just wondering. Did we evolve from reptiles (we have that thing that reptiles have on the side of our eye)

  • Can you make a jojo’s referance?

  • Appreciate your sharing! 👍🏼 👍 😍

  • Your running out of good rimes

  • Are you going nuts with tree sex?

  • Did you know that someone is copying you? Or better earning money from your job?

  • Arabic translate!!!Arabic translate!!!Arabic translate!!! Arabic translate!!!Arabic translate!!!

  • i have a guestion that i really want to know the answer too why is the sky blue??????

  • 0:12 ITS AUTUMN

  • Why is water translucent or transparent whatever it is.

  • I love your puns!!

  • I like how the last graph shows an increase in the squirrel population and then a die-off. Economics has the same root as ecology.

  • Bro How you did that animation. I Just want to know the software used........... Kindly respond to the query

  • Cute pictures

  • trees can have sex? what position? I'm interristed

  • 718th

  • Why don't the trees just not produce any acorns at all on most years and then only produce acorns once a few years?

  • I don't know why but I feel good after watching your videos. A video explaining that phenomenon would be appreciated

    • haha that would be like inception for their videos! "A video explaining why our videos make you feel the way you do after watching our videos"

  • I love the animation! the trees are soo cute :)

  • You're implying WAY too much intentionality here...

    • Haha did you ever watch scrubs? THE TOD would have loved this episode

  • *T R E E O R G Y*

  • Read a book on trees, apparently they are able to communicate through intricate root systems and also send signals with underground fungi. Some times they produce lots of nuts because they are dying, spending the last energy to reproduce.

    • YES! We're doing an episode on this soon :D :D :D! See people, plants ARE interesting!

  • Guess this: B OBO (hint: primate)

  • Guess this rebus: 🥘O (Hint: a vegetable)

  • So this happened when I was almost born!!!

  • One tree was very lonely I guess you could say they are in Soli-tree now. (I AM TRYING TO MAKE A GOOD PUN XD)

  • 0:40 it's not that weird, because Plants like Trees can communicate with each other through the ground and even trough the air with chemicals www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/the-whispering-trees-180968084/

  • Masting=Tree orgy

    • Tree Orgy = the weirdest imagery being thought up in my head right now

  • What a big orgy

  • Trees can give birth? Weird!

  • When trees N U T T.

  • I have a pet oak tree


  • Holy nuts

  • Treez Nutz

  • Trees talk with Diethyltrytamine I think, hope it gets studied more..

  • why do dog get stuck doing for mating

  • subtitles of Brazil (português) please ♡

  • trees actually do communicate, with fungal root networks and airborne pheromones

    • :) We're actually working on an episode about this (and more!) :D Plants are way more interesting than people give them credit for!

  • Really great art in this episode!

    • Agreed, from the thumbnail all the way to the end!

  • lord of the rings 🤔

  • That rhyme at the end... Fantastic

    • A good rhyme goes a long way, just like a good time is a partayyyyy

  • 2:20 - That classy rhyme was brought to you by, YEW?

  • Don't hate on the squirrels! They are just squirreling away the oak seeds to other places than directly under the oak tree, where a new tree has a small chance of growing up. Squirrels are burying the acorns away from the oppressing shade of the parents. They are burying way more acorns than they will dig back up for a winter snack and play therefore an important role in planting new oaks.

  • Wooden you know LOL

    • Ah man! This is a noice little pun that's been lost in the comments! Happy we found it aha :) It's a bit of an a'corny joke, but we'll give it to ya

  • _"That_ classy rhyme was brought to you by ... YOU." The Internet in a nutshell....

  • Organisms definitely aren't working towards the good of their species. A gene that benefited the species over itself would be less successful than a gene that worked to gain an advantage for itself. If coordinated masting is a good, selfish strategy, than the trees will use it. If your neighbor is masting, but you aren't, you are at a disadvantage.


  • The trees are going nuts. Literally.

  • Tree orgies. You learn something everyday

  • the last line killed me!

  • I'm happy to sponcer you

  • Couplets? I don't know, meter's off.

  • Tree thots getting more action than humans

  • but that doesnt matter because they bury it anyways for later...

  • When trees continues nutting.

  • The frame at 1:19 triggered my allergic rhinitis.

  • Tree don't have sex. They not have penis.

  • :D

  • Are we eating tree babies?

    • Yes. And Chicken Babys and Fish Babys and many other Babys. We are Baby eaters.

  • well thats odd for all i know humans are the only thing to grow nuts

  • The tree in the thumbnail looks so happy

  • Well made video

  • *When trees grow nuts*

  • Same reason we have chicken eggs. Chickens must be ready for the bamboo masting season

  • What’s an acorn? In a nutshell, it’s an oak tree.

  • Good job on #38 on trending

  • SEXtravaganza

  • How could I pass that thumbnail by?

  • The video is 2 mins long and 1 min of them begging for money at the end.. jesus christ.. maybe try not hiring 8 people for a 2 min video, maybe you would have enough money.

  • how do you need 8 people to work on a 2 mins video?

  • You make like 3 videos a month , and their 2 mins long and you have 8 people working for you and your begging for money?? huh??

    • Its not that easy, they have to do every single darned detail. They also have to find source, source, more sources, more sources, and another source. They also have to do the "Animation". It also takes editing. You try to make this before you speak.

  • 2010? Wow

  • If a tree busts a nut alone with no other trees around, is that just tree masturbation? If there are only male trees around, then is that just gay tree sex? Are there trans trees?

  • Wow, you learn something everyday.

  • How is it that only some youtubers have the sponsor button? Do they need to meet specific criteria?

  • Genetics

  • Tree sex extravaganza

  • #26 on trending.. great job!

  • Even trees are smarter than me

  • Tell them what you are going to tell the ... bla bla bla. Tell a pun, tell about -Patreon- "You", then tell another pun. Btw, this comment brought by ME. 😂

  • Its actually mycelium. Mycelium changes the weather also.

  • Hah the video was brought to us by ourselves :)

  • #CrazyTreeNuts

  • It's video should be titled "when trees GROW nuts" 😀

  • *This is so punny and I TREET this very good*

  • Lets not go to the forests. Wouldnt want to interrupt them in the middle of mating. They're dying out. Need them to repopulate the earth.

  • So 2010 was an immense time of plant porn.....

  • Ur trending

  • Trees and plants can 💯 percent talk and communicate to each other

  • us-tv.org/tv/video-deDwmyctgG8.html good video plise sining

  • *nutt*

  • “Baby-making”

  • This video is brought to by us?