As autumn approaches many of the trees around us are producing seed – the stock for future generations of trees. Due to the loss of many trees from our landscape in modern times a lot more trees are needed, both for biodiversity reasons and to reduce climate damaging pollution.
We can help Mother Nature to grow more trees and we can plant them in selected locations like new hedges, shelter belts or screening unsightly buildings. To do this we need to collect seeds when they are mature. The seeds of the Wych Elm tree are the first to mature and are ready for collection in May/ June. This chance has passed for this year, but two Transition Monaghan members collected elm seeds for the first time and have 100 elm trees now growing. Elm seeds are sown at collection time and make good growth in that year whereas most other tree seeds need to be stored for a year or two before they will germinate.
There is still plenty of opportunity to collect as the year progresses and the seeds mature.
July is the month for collecting Wild Cherry seeds, but you need to move immediately or the birds will be away with them. Collect Hazel, Rowan, Whitebeam, Guilder Rose seeds in September. In October/November we collect Oak, Spindle, Haws, Sloes. Finally we collect Holly seeds in December. Seeds have different growth habits. Some grow straight away while others need one or two years weathering to break down dormancy before they grow. This process is known as stratification.
Our Transition Group will be holding a workshop on seed treatment and setting up a small tree nursery next October. We will be collecting some seed on the day, but so much the better if you collect seed over the next few months and bring them to the workshop. There will be updates in this column and notice of exact date of workshop.
August events can be found here