Will landscape plants see lots of deer damage in the winter of 2018? Could be . . . and here's a reason: The preceding summer didn't produce a large crop of acorns and nuts from oak and beech trees. In other words, 2017 wasn't a "mast year."
During mast years, trees supercharge the output of acorns and nuts—apparently by agreement among themselves. It’s an unpredictable phenomenon that occurs in three- to five-year cycles. The trees seem to communicate among their kind, oak to oak and beech to beech. To make it even more mysterious, masting is regional. It can be a mast year in one part of the state and not another.