Trees for Free

What is one of the best things about autumn?

Open fires?  Tasty vegetable soups?  Both those but even more exciting, it’s also time for a harvest…

It’s wild seed gathering season!

For anyone that has never gone out on a autumnal day to their local park or wood, bag in hand, and listened for the dropping of acorns or picked up the prickly husks of conkers have missed out on a real treat.

Now is a great time to be gathering all the wonderful tree seeds, berries and nuts and sow them ready for germination in the new year.


Photo courtesy of Heather Cowper

The need for trees?

  • Imagine your local play ground without tree’s in it, or that avenue without those impressive limes.  Just think of that forest without the oaks or just that tree you pass every day to work not being there every day marking the seasons.
  • In this day an age of constant building and house construction trees are now important than ever before.  They create a vital environment for insects, birds and small mammals, they aid quality air from exhaust fumes and bring colour and natural structure in the most concrete of places.

Both the above work best when they involve trees that are already well established in their local area.  The trees are able to grow healthy and strong because they know the soil, they are used to the changing weathers and they are fit size wise to their space without causing trouble to buildings and other structures.

You can never have too many trees

And how do you know all this?  Because if we collect the seeds from the trees in those areas, we can increase their stocks.

The end of Sept and throughout Oct are great months to start embracing the autumn.  Take a walk around your local park or arboretum, along public paths in the countryside and you’ll see a beautiful arrangement of colourful leaves, bright berries and a harvest of seeds from the trees.

Child’s play

Oak, horse chestnuts, maples, and hazel all start to drop their seeds at this time of year and if you don’t know your birch from your beech or sycamores from your acers, it’s now a fun time to find out.  There is no better way of introducing children not only to a play ground that is the out doors but get their enthusiasm started for nature.  What is more exciting than watching those acorns they collected start to germinate the following year? Or discover how quickly the beech grows on the windowsill.  Not forgetting of course those all important game of conkers!

But don’t take my word for it – catch some more information here from the Tree Council and celebrate the season by promoting this time as a festival by supporting local events and publishing guides on what trees to look for and how to plant your hordes.

They are not the only ones either.  Kew Gardens are on a mission to collect the full diversity of British trees, via seeds and nuts to ensure they survive in future against battles of new diseases and pests.  The survival of some plant species are now at an all time low.  If we loose trees such as our traditional Yew not only will habitats be lost but our heritage along with them.

Go on, get out there this weekend.  Let’s save the world and grow a few trees 🙂


Cover photo courtesy of Ella’s Dad


2 responses to “Trees for Free

  1. Yup, we definitely need more trees! Often I look at the big trees in parks and farms and see no little trees growing to take their place: it seems people easily forget how long it takes to grow a big tree and the world will be much less beautiful without them…

    • Trees can really make a place and the more the better. Some do take many years and it’s those one we have to protect the most. A couple of years ago I planted from seed some pine trees (Pinus Strobus), so I could not only grow my own Christmas Tree but also give them away to friends and family as Christmas gifts 🙂

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