Across central Arizona, at higher elevations (4000’ or higher), are found stands of Emory oaks (Quercus emoryi). Near Superior there is a swath of these oaks that extends from Oak Flat to Globe. They are tall trees – up to 50’ – with a dark fissured bark. The leaves are leathery, often with a few pointy “teeth” along their margins.
The acorns that these trees produce are small – about an inch long and less than a half inch wide. Acorns contain tannins, but some more so than others. In the case of the Emory oak, the acorns are fairly sweet and require little, if any, leaching. For thousands of years, people in this part of the country have collected and eaten Emory oak acorns. You can still see Apache and Tohono O’odham women out collecting these savory nuts this time of year. [Read more…]