How To: Gather Seeds and Grow a Tree

How To: Gather Seeds and Grow a Tree

Gathering Seeds

The Autumn Equinox is the official start of seed gathering season. It is a time to collect and share seeds, engage in educational activities, and promote the conservation of native plant species. You don’t need to be an expert or have any special equipment – just a love nature and lots of enthusiasm!

For a free guide to growing healthy trees visit The Tree Council.


The tree council offers these top tips of Seed Gathering Season:

• Find out whether your local Tree Warden Network or another community group in your area is running a seed gathering event

• Getting together with friends, family or colleagues to gather seeds

• Always check that you know exactly what you’re gathering. (Some of the most attractive berries are poisonous!)

• Don’t gather more than you need. Wildlife like squirrels and birds rely on fruits, nuts and seeds for food so make sure you leave enough for them to thrive.

• Take care not to damage trees or the surrounding area as you gather your seeds.

• Keep safety in mind. Climbing a little way up a tree to gather some acorns might seem like a good idea but it can be dangerous.

• Use The Tree Council’s seed gathering and seed identification guides to help you – and have fun!

Growing Trees

Jayne Jones, who tends to the gardens at our factory in Stoke-on-Trent, is a dab hand at growing plants from seed. Here, Jayne offers her advice on how to do it yourself at home.

Hazelnuts and acorns are great seeds to plant.

They can go into a pot (1 litre) with layer of gravel and compost in it, buried in a semi shady spot in the garden and protected with chicken wire.

Once they reach a couple of foot tall they can be removed from the pot and planted where you want it.


What you need:

A tree seed; beechmast, sweet chestnuts, hazelnuts and acorns

• A plant pot with drainage holes in the base

• Some small-stoned gravel

• Compost

• Wire mesh



How – To:

Put some gravel at the bottom of the pot and fill it almost to the top with compost.

• Plant the seeds around 2cm deep, then press down the compost and water it thoroughly.

• Put the pot outside in a semi-shady spot. Cover the top with chicken wire to stop nosy creatures from disturbing it.

• Make sure you check it weekly, watering if dry – but do careful not to over-water it.

• Once it reaches a couple of foot tall, find a suitable place to transfer it into the ground.

• The best time to plant is late autumn, through winter, when the seeds are dormant and less likely to damage.