If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on [email protected] for help. Thanks :)
Hello All, This is just a friendly reminder to read the Forum Charter where you wish to post before posting in it. :)
Hi all, The AutoSave Draft feature is now disabled across the site. The decision to disable the feature was made via a poll last year. The delay in putting it in place was due to a bug/update issue. This should serve as a reminder to manually save your drafts if you wish to keep them. Thanks, The Boards Team.
Hello all! This is just a quick reminder to ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere.

Growing your own trees from nuts

  • 14-01-2023 2:24pm
    Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000

    I tried growing my own trees a few times, sometimes it works and more times it doesn’t. Planted a few in pots last autumn and today I have a nice walnut and a nice oak on the windowsill. Anyone else here growing their own? Any tips?

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.


  • Registered Users Posts: 64 ✭✭ accidental forester

    I'll preface this with the fact that it's my wife that's "the Grower of Trees" in our household, so I'm only passing along some of her info. You're on a good start. First thing, they should be outside. Their makeup is expecting any conditions that our weather will throw at them. Trees, especially oaks, need deep pots. Yogurt pots are a good start if they have plenty of drainage holes. I'd suggest more soil/compost, probably right up to the rim. Place the seed at a depth of approx. equal to the length of the seed. Acorns in particular need to be fresh, cracked or old ones are unlikely to thrive. My wife uses a mix of soil, leaf mould, and compost but basic soil and compost is fine, the seed contains the all the nutrients the new tree needs to start. When roots start to appear out of the drainage holes, it's time to re-pot or place in a nursery bed to grow on. Good luck with your new trees!

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,283 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000

    Bit chilly outside this morning though. The walnut only germinated a month ago. Thanks for all the info, will re pot them soon into something bigger.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.

  • Registered Users Posts: 64 ✭✭ accidental forester

    One other point: If you have a rooks or crows, they are very liable to dig the seeds out of the pots. At the very least, they'll pull any plant tags out, completely screwing up any idea about what's in the pot. We have a 2" mesh cage over one group of pots and just mesh over another batch.

    You're on to a good thing. It's very satisfying to see trees you started from scratch grow up. We have some oaks that she started from acorns that are over 12 feet tall and now producing their own acorns (although not yet viable).

  • Registered Users Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ gk5000

    Most larger nuts need to be planted fresh - oak, hazel, beech, chestnut, so best straight away after gathering.

    But many seeds have dormancy so shall not grow naturally for several years of specific conditions

    The below gives a link to "Raising trees and shrubs from seed" from the UK Forestry Commission, which is very good and shows how to break dormancy.

    See the appendix on page 23, 24: So for hawthorn, keep it at 8 weeks warm, round 15ºC, followed by 26 weeks cold around 4ºC (fridge).

    Finally - if you want one tree, I would plant at least 10 seedlings, so maybe 20/30 seeds and thin as you go.

  • Registered Users Posts: 826 ✭✭✭ gk5000

    Here's a link to Teasgasc similar to the UK one above, but I haven't read it.

    I put the seeds in small mini pots wrapped in damp tissues, then inside a lunchbox with air holes and keep then in a coolish room for the warm periods or the fridge for cold ones - check once a weeks and remoisten and check for mold.

    Separately if you need heat - don't think its needed for any native trees - you can buy small propagators - like a box with a small heated coil at the bottom.

    Or I made a larger one using old stlyle light bulbs (40W or 100W) in the bottom of a lidl/aldi rack style mini green house - and slabs of insulation on 2 sides - and cover the whole thing at night with an old duvet - all inside a shed.

  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 997 ✭✭✭ Deub

    I would love to do this if I had the space to plant them.

    You can plant your oak seedling in a carton milk so the tap root can go down freely.