Pick the acorns directly from the trees or gather them from beneath the tree’s canopy. Place a tarp below the tree’s canopy to catch acorns as they fall. Use a long, slender stick or branch to “beat” ripe acorns from high above. Alternately, you may throw a rope over a branch and pull on it carefully to shake the branch. These are easy methods for gathering acorns and will not harm either the tree or the acorns.
Choose firm, plump acorns without cracks or holes. Healthy acorns will look shiny, not dried out and won’t rattle if you shake them. Ripe acorns will fall easily out of their caps. Take only a small portion of what you find. Leave enough for the wildlife to use. In many cases, jays, woodpeckers, and squirrels are also busy gathering acorns. Some of these seeds become new oaks, too.