Growing Native Trees From Seed

The best way to grow native trees is to leave nature to itself. Where interference has reduced the space for trees to self seed, collecting and growing native trees from local seed is the best way to replenish our hedgerows and gardens.

Gathering from private grounds with permission and your own hedgerow is the best option, many national parks require a licence to gather seed, but wherever you are gathering keep in mind that we are borrowing from the wildlife pantry and take only what you need.

Once collected you can find tips and tricks to preparing and stratifying seeds from many sites, the All Ireland Pollinator Plan gathers some of the best here;

simplest way is to mimic what nature would do, if it’s a bird spread seed like rowan or hawthorn you’ll need to remove the fleshy outer layer. Acorns are wonderfully easy, simply pot them up with a layer of autumn leaves on top as if they fell from the tree. If you have the space, gather the pots in dappled shade, like a side passage, and if you can, cover them with chicken wire to prevent the seeds getting eaten. Depending on your choices some patience may be needed. Oak trees will germinate over winter but trees like rowan can take up to 18 months. Once you see your first tree seedlings appearing through the soil it makes the wait worthwhile.

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