From tiny acorns…

Well, we all know oak trees grow from acorns but at our recent seed collecting event we found out how to test acorns to see if a mighty oak could grow from them.

George Pilkington of Nurturing Nature took us on a guided walk through Griffin Wood to collect seeds from the mature oak, beech, blackthorn and holly.

Collecting seeds in Griffin Wood

Collecting seeds in Griffin Wood

Under the shady canopy we got nature under our fingernails searching for seeds. Many of the acorns on the groun were already non-viable, bloated by the wasp grub that had made it its home.

But the ones we did collect we took back to The Leaf Centre and tested them to see if they would grow.

“Right then,” said George, “bring out the buckets.” I wondered what we needed buckets and water for. But George showed us a quick and easy way to test acorns to see if they’ll grow.

We half filled the buckets with water and emptied our seed collected bags into them. The acorns that floated wouldn’t germinate, but the ones that sank had a better chance.

Testing acorn viability

Testing acorn viability

We scooped out the floaters and got the compost ready in the root-training seed trays, ideal for longer roots as the seeds sprout.

We had lots of seeds and it took some time with the floating and scooping but eventually the trays were ready for their first watering.

Planting seeds at The Leaf Centre

Planting seeds at The Leaf Centre

A good soaking later we placed lids on the seed trays to keep in the moisture and safely stowed them in the nursery.

Watering the newly planted seeds

Watering the newly planted seeds

It could be some time before anything happens. But when it does these tiny acorns will have a chance of becoming mighty oaks in Griffin Wood.

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Get Involved

If you want to get involved in any of the events down at Griffin Wood, or want to be a part of the Friends’ working party, contact Helen Collins at The Mersey Forest on 01925 816217

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