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Seed Gathering Season 2018

Sycamore wings
Sycamore wings

Grow trees of the future, September 23-October 23

It’s the autumn equinox on Sunday, September 23 and what better time to start gathering seeds, nuts and fruits for Seed Gathering Season?

You may think there’s little point in planting tree seeds, as you won’t see them mature but that’s not true. I planted an apple tree pip when I was eight in a pot in my mam and dad’s back yard.

Forty-odd years later, that tree is flourishing, as I brought it to my home in a tub and planted it out – we’re awash with apples!

Since 1998, The Tree Council has been organising Seed Gathering Season to grow the trees of the future, which runs from September 23-October 23.

Trees under attack

Our trees are being attacked by imported pests and diseases and one way to safeguard some species is by propagating trees grown from local seed, on home soil.

The concept of local provenance suggests that trees that are adapted to specific circumstances are more likely to flourish.

Collecting seeds and growing trees is also a great way to get children involved and start encouraging the next generation of tree enthusiasts and gardeners.

The Tree Council logoHold a Seed Gathering Season event

You can find events here www.treecouncil.org.uk/Take-Part/Near-You.

If you’re interested in organising your own event, add it to the list on The Tree Council’s website.

There’s a downloadable poster available to publicise your event.

The site also includes recipes – marron glace, cherry jam and quince jelly.

Tips for collecting fruit and seeds

  • Fruit is the property of the landowner.
  • Don’t collect anything beside busy roads or on old industrial sites.
  • Don’t allow unsupervised children to pick – or eat – from trees.
  • Make sure you know exactly what you are picking: some poisonous berries are easily mistaken for edible ones.
  • Wherever you gather your wild food, wash it well.
  • Don’t pick more than you need.
  • Don’t damage the trees.
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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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