Going out to gather seeds, fruits and nuts ahead of the winter tree planting season is a great way to help us all grow a greener, tree-filled future.
Trees and hedgerows do so much for us. They store carbon, reduce pollution, improve our health and more. By gathering seeds (and growing them into trees!), you can help make sure that our treescapes continue to thrive in the future.
Seed gathering is fun, free and easy. Wherever you live, whatever your age, you can get involved. You don’t need to be a tree expert or have any special equipment – just a love of trees and nature and lots of enthusiasm! If you’re not able to get outdoors during Seed Gathering Season this year, you can still get involved on social media or by brushing up on your seed ID skills.
Our top tips:
- Find out whether your local Tree Warden Network or another community group in your area is running a seed gathering event you can join in with. At events like these, you’ll learn a lot about how to harvest local tree seeds responsibly and sustainably.
- Getting together with friends, family or colleagues to gather seeds is a great way to spend time outdoors with the people you love and make a difference.
- If you’re planning to collect fruit and seeds to eat (like blackberries), remember that fruit is the property of the landowner, so be careful where you’re gathering from. Don’t collect from trees beside busy roads or old industrial sites and make sure children are supervised!
- Always check that you know exactly what you’re gathering. Some of the most attractive berries are poisonous and easily confused with ones that are safe to eat.
- Don’t gather more than you need. Wildlife like squirrels and birds rely on fruits, nuts and seeds for food so make sure you leave enough for them to thrive.
- Take care not to damage trees or the surrounding area as you gather your seeds.
- Keep safety in mind. Climbing a little way up a tree to gather some acorns might seem like a good idea but it can be dangerous. Gather your seeds from the ground or from branches that are easy to reach.
- Use our seed gathering and seed identification guides to help you – and have fun!
Around the country, volunteer Tree Wardens and other champions of local trees will be holding events on how to harvest local tree seeds responsibly and sustainably to celebrate Seed Gathering Season. Please check their websites and social media profiles for more information or get in touch directly with groups in your area.
Disclaimer: Please note that The Tree Council itself is not currently running any seed gathering events. Please check with your local Tree Warden Network or other community groups in your area to find out more about events near you. The Tree Council is not responsible for the running of third-party events, and individuals must take responsibility to ensure that the events they attend adhere to local, regional and national safety guidelines, including with respect to Covid-19.