Today marks the Autumn Equinox and the official start of Seed Gathering Season, a crucial time of year where everyone can get involved in gathering the seeds, nuts and fruits that will grow to become the next generation of life-giving trees, shrubs and hedgerows.
Over the next month we’ll be sharing practical information around how to ID your trees and collect seeds; process and prepare seeds for growing, and how to sow them and plant them out, so make sure you stay tuned to our social media channels, whether Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
This year – 2022 – is The Tree Council’s 22nd Seed Gathering Year, and we’re really excited to be launching our brand-new publication The Tree Grower’s Guide.
We’ve worked with our brilliant partners at Cornwall Council, Norfolk County Council, and Moor Trees – an independent charity dedicated to restoring native woodland – to produce an authoritative guide to growing a tree from seed; an easy, simple act that can help reconnect us to our shared natural world.
The Tree Grower’s Guide – now available in print and for free, online from October 17 – is full of beautiful illustrations of trees, and their seeds, nuts and fruits to help you with your ID skills, as well as guides to avoiding pests and diseases that can damage young trees. And for those a little more expert, we also provide an introduction to setting up a community tree nursery, getting together with others in your area to grow young trees from local seeds.
During the month, we will be working with our partners to deliver insight around the impact of this year’s extreme heat and changeable climatic conditions on seed production and gathering; including a look at acorn volume (after 2021 saw one of the lowest falls for roughly 7 years), and whether the dry spring and summer has caused our trees and hedgerows to enter ‘early autumn’.
We’ll also be running a Seed Gathering Online Masterclass with a leading expert, where there will be an opportunity to ask questions and help demystify the magic of seeing a tiny seed grow into a beautiful tree – more details to come.
And we want to hear from you!
Send in your images and videos as you collect those life-giving seeds, nuts and fruits; let us know how this year’s weather conditions have affected your local environment, and if this is your second, third or even 22nd year of seed collecting, let us know how your projects are thriving – we’d love to see and share your images, especially if you have started your own home or garden tree nursery!
Send over email to email@example.com, marked ‘SGS News’; or simply share on social media using #GetGathering2022.
Sara Lom, The Tree Council CEO, said: “This year, the warm spring enabled many trees to flower resulting in a mass of different seeds being produced around the country. Despite the drought, which put many trees under stress, it’s wonderful to see oak trees heaving with acorns, hawthorns laden with bright red berries, and chestnuts ripening in their prickly cases.
“Seed Gathering Season is a wonderful opportunity for us all to come together and gather seed from local trees and nurture them to become young saplings, which can be planted locally to benefit future generations.”
Seed Gathering Season runs from September 23 to October 23, ahead of the crucial tree planting season. For more information, a guide to identification and gathering, and more top tips, please visit www.treecouncil.org.uk/seasonal-campaigns/seed-gathering-season/