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Word of the Week: Mast
October 13, 2021 by High Park Nature Centre

Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each week to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Word of the week is Mast [ mɑːst ] (noun): the fruit of forest trees such as acorns and other nuts (ie. beech or hickory nuts).

It is alternatively defined as “a heap of nuts”. The word comes from the old English word ”mæst”, which refers to the nuts of forest trees accumulated on the ground used as food for fattening pigs. A “mast year” is one in which more seed is produced than usual. Mast years happen at certain intervals (ie. about every 4 years). These periodic mast years are a useful strategy for a tree to ensure the survival of some of its seeds.

Do you think 2021 is a mast year?

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