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Growing

Treelink Stirling is working to create a band of tree growers all over Stirlingshire who are building up stocks of seedlings for planting in our local communities over the next few years. We have some big projects in mind which will need lots of trees!

 

Growing trees from seed is fun, interesting and really satisfying – please join the team.

The tree species we want to focus on are:- Birch, Rowan, Hawthorn, Bird Cherry, Alder, Elder, Oak and Scots Pine.

Other native trees are welcome - we are always looking to find the right tree for the right place!

Seed Growing Advice

You can find helpful tree growing information on the Trust for Conservation Volunteer (TCV) website here and from the Tree Growers Guide here.
 

TreeLink Stirling has produced a calendar so that you see at a glance when you can collect seed throughout the year. 

Before collecting any seeds there are several important points to bear in mind:

  • Make sure that you can accurately identify the species of tree from which you wish to collect seed. The Woodland Trust has a free tree ID App which can download to help you with this.

  • Read through the guidelines carefully to ensure that you understand the best ways to collect seeds and how to process them after collection.

  • Always obtain the landowner’s permission before collecting seed.

  • Ensure that you have all the necessary equipment e.g. pots, compost, labels ready before you collect the seed.

  • Consider how much seed you will be able to process and how much room you have for growing the trees. Once your seeds have germinated you will need to plant them out, either in pots or in the ground.

  • Bear in mind that the seeds that you will collect are a valuable source of nutrition for wildlife. Only collect seed that you know you will be able to use successfully.

  • It is important that you keep records of your seed collections. Please keep a record of what seed you have collected and where if came from.

  • You may find that you do not have enough room in your garden to grow all the trees from your seed collection. We will be able to help with this and store young trees in pots in a central location.

Helpful Hints and Tips

​Advice from experts is incredibly helpful but the first hand experience from our volunteers is essential!

Alison says:

  • Last winter I carefully protected all the seeds from squirrels under chicken wire – but sadly, most of them were eaten by mice. Seeds, particularly ones which mice love, like hazels, need to be in tough pots and have fine wire mesh over the top (re-purpose old metal sieve or splatter screen)

  • The ‘recipes’ for processing and pre-treating seeds are detailed, and until you know exactly what you are doing, it is useful to have them printed out and in an old poly-pocket. Checking the details on your phone or laptop when your hands are covered in rowan flesh or compost is not recommended!

  • If you are short of pots for over-wintering your pre-treated seeds, I have found that the thin plastic supermarket trays for soft fruit are good as they have drainage holes and stack together easily. Definitely not mouse-proof though, so they will need extra protection.

  • Remember that germination rates are very variable, particularly with small seeds, so don’t hesitate to pre-treat plenty of seed. Larger seeds such as acorns and chestnuts can be planted straight into root trainers and will have a much higher germination rate, so more satisfying for children.

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