As part of the tidy towns multi-annual plan the committee have began implementing their seed collection activities. The first of these activities includes seed collection (see list below for instructions). Members of the community, school children from both national schools and anyone who wishes to take part are encouraged to take part.
Further information on these collections and the following tree planting activities will follow soon....
Collecting local tree seed
Ireland tree cover currently stands at 10% however this originally was 1% back in 1900 http://www.ifsam.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=55&Itemid=59 . Over 6,000 years ago much of Ireland was covered by ash, oak, elm, alder, pine and birch. By 1900 most of our native woodlands were lost and this in turn put severe pressure on other woodland species. In recent years through various government initiatives, environmental organisations and community efforts the tide is turning and trees and woodlands are being re-instated and enlarged.
Being an island for the last 10,000 years or so, our native species have evolved over time to adapt to our local environments. Growing native plants from locally sourced seed to planting will help ensure plants are suitable for the local environment. This is referred to local provenance seed. Glaslough seed grows best in Glaslough.
Some pointers for good seed collection taken from ‘Our Trees A Guide To Growing Ireland’s Native Trees In Celebration Of A New Millennium.
1. Only collect ripe seeds
2. Collect seed from a healthy tree – avoid trees with diseases
3. Collect seed from a number of trees in the same area
4. Avoid seed if only one tree of its type is in the area
5. Different tree species will have different requirements for germination etc. e.g. some trees germinate better if sown directly into ground, others may need to have fleshy pulp removed.
e.g. Hawthorn seeds: collect when ripe. Stratification: remove the fleshy pith by hand or
Intended use- for planting in the area including biodiversity garden, local park, schools’ grounds and other community areas private gardens.
What are we collecting
These are some of the trees around the village. Not sure if you can find seeds for them all.
· Oak - Quercus robur/ Quercus petraea
Can be collected either from gound or from tree but need to be ripe, brown and come away from the cup easily. (Hopefully this is a good year for acorns but have heard its not). Sow seed straight away. Can sow straight away 10cm down.
· Beech – Fagus sylvatica
Place seeds in water – if they float they are fertile! Similar to oak – sow immediately.
· Sycamore – Acer pseudoplatanus
· Horse Chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum
· Ash – Fraxinus excelsior
Collect either when full size but still green during august/September or when brown in October/November. Stratify fully ripe seeds for 16-18 months in sand. Sowing those collected in august immediately – germination can be erratic. Or sow those stratified for 16-18 months in following March/April.
· Lime – Tillia x europaea
· Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna – maybe too difficult. Need to remove pith and stratify for 16 months or so. If not stratified seed may still germinate but will often take 2-3 years! Sow stratified seeds thinly in rows for 1-2 years until ready to plant out. Planted out for 1-2 years before going into final position e.g. hedge.
Castle Leslie Estate.