“Poor deer,” quoth he, “thou makest a testament/As worldlings do…” - As You Like It, Act II, Scene 1
Oak trees plan ahead. In any given area, in any given year, they produce shrunken acorns by design not disease. Such meagre bounty keeps in check acorn-eating animals. Deprived of autumn calories, many of these animals starve to death come winter. Thus fewer ravenous mouths eat healthy acorns in years following; thus more acorns survive; thus more new oaks sprout and thrive.
In fall 2007, the oaks around Peterborough, New Hampshire, resorted to shrunken acorns.