This is a wonderful time of the year for tree lovers, like you and me! It is "Seed Gathering Season".
You can learn all about tree seed collecting from the link above.
'Keys' is the name given to the seeds of the Ash Tree.
As we know, the Ash trees have been having a very hard time over the years, suffering from a horrible disease called 'Ash Dieback'. Our beautiful giants (Weeping Ash) at Armstrong Cottages have succumbed, and their future is bleak. The other two Weeping Ash in the Armstrong Graveyard have now been cut down, and are no more.
One of the Graveyard Weeping Ash Trees.
Two years ago the wonderful, knowledgeable, woodman, Michael Boxall, took me on a walk, to see his hedge-laying and some of his fine trees. He has a fine old Ash, which was bursting with keys. (Not 'Weeping' Ash, they are ornamental trees usually found in parks and open spaces. Michael's ash is Fraxinus excelsior). I picked a couple of bunches of the keys.
When I got home, I got a huge tub, and filled it with a mix of sand of peat-free compost. I scattered the keys in there and left the tub in my garden.
This spring, 2023, I was so delighted and happy to find that the tub was thronged with light green tiny leaves on strong-looking stalks, peeping up.
It had been my plan to empty all the mixture out, and examine the seeds to see which ones had germinated. However, there was no need as they were all seriously sprouting and wanting to begin to photosynthesise!
One of the saplings - you are welcome to have one of these - if you have the space!
They have all grown very very well this year, and their roots are strong. I have repotted them three times, and now it is time for them to find their forever homes. Have you space for an Ash tree? It is always important to think carefully about where you plant a tree. We have all heard the phrase 'The Right Tree in the Right Place'.
If you can adopt one of my saplings, please get in touch to arrange collection/delivery firstname.lastname@example.org
Some more of the saplings, awaiting their 'forever home' Have you got room for one? email@example.com
Get your free tree seed identification guide here: https://treecouncil.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Seed-Gathering-Season-seed-identification-guide.pdf