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Tree Wardens

Seed Gathering Season: Growing the treescapes of the future

The Tree Council

September 28, 2023

As the nights draw in it’s tempting to hunker inside – but this is the best time of year to explore your local woods or nearest park, and gather the seeds, nuts and fruits that will grow to become the next generation of life-giving trees, shrubs and hedgerows.

The Autumn Equinox is the official start of The Tree Council’s Seed Gathering Season. Over the next month we’ll be running free, online talks, and sharing practical information around how to identity trees and collect seeds; process and prepare them for growing, and then sow and plant them out.

We’ve even teamed up with Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre, to run a Little Seedlings Club, Super Seeds workshop for children aged between four and ten, across its sites, on October 1.

Last year, The Tree Council and partners launched The Tree Grower’s Guide – a brilliant resource packed with beautiful illustrations, tips and information around seed collecting and tree establishment, as well as how to start a CTN.

We’re delighted to be following up that publication with the Young Tree Grower’s Guide, in partnership with Hampshire Forest Partnership.

The online resource is a beginner’s guide to identifying and growing trees from seed. It’s full of activities for teachers and young tree growers and their families, alongside practical information on gathering and sowing seeds, and planting and caring for trees; as well as lots of insight into the magic that delivers a magnificent tree from seed to maturity, with all the benefits for biodiversity, our environment and our mental health and wellbeing.

Tree growers of all ages can also join Tree Council experts and extra special guests for a series of free, online talks to help support your seed gathering efforts.

On Wednesday October 4, The Tree Council’s Head of Major Planting projects, Phil Paulo will deliver a fascinating insight into Grafting and Propagation for Beginners. The session will explore the benefits of vegetative reproduction, why and how to do it, and which trees are best to use.

A week later, The Tree Council’s Director of Trees, Science and Research, Jon Stokes will be joined by renowned seed expert Shelagh McCartan, from Maelor Forest Nurseries, Wrexham for a lively and informative conversation around the Wonderful Science of Tree Seeds.

And finally, on Wednesday October 18, The Tree Council welcomes special guest, Ted Chapman, UK Conservation Partnerships Coordinator at the Millennium Seed Bank for a conversation around the crucial role the Millennium Seed Bank plays, and why it is so important to protect and preserve seed.

To get started, why not watch our Seed Gathering Masterclass video.

Sara Lom, The Tree Council CEO, said: “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 winter tree planting season at the end of November.

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