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Wildlife to see this November - Tree Seeds

Have you noticed lots of acorns, conkers & nuts this autumn? This year our trees have produced a bumper crop year of tree seeds & you can find them all over our roads, tracks & lanes around the village. This phenomenon is known as a “mast year”, which means that trees produce a massive amount of seeds at the same time. Mast years normally occur every 5 to 10 years but 2020 was termed a mast year too, so it is suggested that this year’s weather may have brought this one forward. Trees have been stressed by the historically high temperatures and limited rainfall, which has prompted them to produce seeds as a means of ensuring the survival of their genes. How trees communicate with each other is very interesting: it can be by airborne chemicals and root interactions, but more is yet to be discovered. In mast years, trees communicate with each other so that all the trees in the area produce more seeds. The trees invest a lot of energy in producing seeds, therefore it is an expensive exercise for them, but the rationale is that if there are many seeds, more will not be consumed and will eventually germinate. Things you can do to help our trees germinate their seeds: 1. Gather the acorns, conkers, beech nuts etc. 2. Test if they will grow: put them in a bucket of water, if they float they are not viable, if they sink you can use them! 3. Plant them in a pot or large planter to grow into saplings, when they are big enough (often 1 to 2 years later) they can be planted out. Useful information on how to successfully grow trees from seeds can be found here: https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/plant-trees/advice/grow-from-seed/





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