Acorns, on the other hand, could never be a commercial crop because oak trees are so "slow growing" and because they take at least 15 to 20 years to produce a crop of acorns... right?
Wrong. Take a look:
(Click to enlarge)
The red circles in the photo mark the locations of acorns. Yes, acorns. This is the 6th growing season for this tree and it is going to have a very sizable crop of acorns.
This is not a specially selected sawtooth variety - just a standard "bed run" bare root seedling. It wasn't watered. It wasn't fertilized. Weed control has been sporadic at best.
With even the slightest modicum of genetic selection and 1/1,000,000th the amount of plant breeding that has gone into corn, and with only slightly more intense growing practices, I guarantee we could have oak trees producing a sizable crop of acorns in the 4th growing season, if not sooner.
Tell me this shouldn't be the basis for a viable "new" (and yet very, very old) crop.