Tree seed collecting

Autumn is a busy time for the team at Calon Yn Tyfu as we collect native tree seeds amongst our other jobs. We as a diverse collective of pickers across Wales and the south of England have collected FRM registered tree seeds since 1993. These seeds are then grown on by tree nurseries to
be planted as saplings back near wherever the seeds have been collected – thus ensuring local provenance.

The seed available to collect varies from year to year, according to what seeds have grown. Some species of trees like oak have so called ‘mast years’ where there is an abundance of acorns to be
collected on those years, other trees are affected by weather differences, such as late frosts or dry summers which can change the amount of seeds a tree produces. Other years early autumnal storms blow lots of the seeds off the trees before they are collected.

Whatever the dynamic it feels like following autumn into winter, as each seed species collection window comes and then goes. This year we know that blackthorn and hawthorn are particularly heavily cropping and are on the look out for good sites to collect from – ideally hedgerows that have grown out over fields where we can access underneath the trees to lay sheets before knocking the seeds off the tree. We are always interested in hearing from people who want to collect seeds with us, particularly from Scotland or
Cornwall .

Drop us a message here if you want to talk to us about tree seed collecting.