Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sorting Acorns by Floating and Sinking

It turns out that floating acorns is a very quick way of selecting the good from the bad. The bad acorns float and the good acorns sink. In fact after floating them I found that the majority of the remaining acorns very unfortunately floated and failed the float/sink test. So how effective is this test anyway? I decided to dissect a number of good and bad acorns to see really how effective this test is. Results are shown in the following photos.
Evidently all the floaters were bad. 

The sinkers were evidently in generally very good condition. However a number of the sinkers still had larvae exit holes so this test is not 100%.

At some point the larvae should stop emerging so at that point we should be able to determine that all remaining acorns are clean. I can't store the nuts in a plastic bag if there are any larvae remaining.

The number of remaining acorns was sufficiently low to count them and 370 acorns are left. That is a loss of  71% of the nuts or a survival rate of 29% and I don't think it is over yet and more losses are expected.

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