Thanks to everyone who got in touch in response to this project and to searching in woodland such as Fota, Muckross and INFF but unfortunately like many other fruit this year the acorns were in very short supply.
I managed to get over 200 at the woods in Glengarriff and a few others found some also – so whilst its not the 1000+ we had hoped for it is a start and it has also encouraged a few people to start collecting and growing themsleves. Following are some of the acorns collected from a sessile oak in Glengarriff Nature Reserve, a few are already sprouting. Planted in the pots kindly donated by Caragh and Peter Thompson, Griffins Garden Centre and INFF, they are ready to be dispatched to St. Patrick’s, Upton to be looked after by the horticulture project there until ready for transplanting in 2 -3 yrs.
Can you help to collect acorns this Autumn?
Collect & plant acorns to help generate a sustainable supply of saplings for National Tree Week
Project supported by CEF and St. Patrick’s Upton
Cork Environmental Forum always participates in National Tree Week and this year we were lucky to get a donation of 1000 + saplings, however, a suggestion through our Management committee was why not try to develop a sustainable on-going supply of saplings to distribute each year during tree week. It will take 2/3 years for the first lot of saplings to be ready to transplant but we thought time to start, so 1001 Acorns was suggested.
The oak being one of Ireland’s most loved and iconic tree was chosen as the seeds (the acorns) are easy to collect and relatively easy to grow. Much of our ancient forests have disappeared and we have a low level of native broadleaf tree coverage generally. In addition trees such as the oaks provide a habitat for a broad range of species. Whilst the oak may not be the most suitable for all areas of the city there are some nice species of oak there and room for many more in some places.
St. Patrick’s Upton have agreed to partner with us in relation to the raising of the saplings, they will provide space to store the potted acorns, to maintain the saplings and in some instances will help with planting through their horticultural project. CEF will be responsible for liaising with groups and checking if groups want to donate or grow themselves. We can also provide plant pots and when ready co-ordination of the distribution of the saplings.
All groups that collect and donate acorns would get saplings, once ready, in return. It would also be good to select a particular project each year that might benefit from a substantial number of saplings.
As this Thursday is National Tree Day I wondered if any of you have plans for a woodland walk? If so, if you come across a good stand of oaks perhaps you could check if they have acorns and if they are ready or not to fall.
1. Collect acorns in Autumn (but be sure not to take them all). Choose ones that are free of worms, holes, and fungus.
2. Put the acorns in a bucket of water for a couple minutes. Discard any acorns that float.
3. It is best to sow straight away. Do not allow to dry out
Good to plant in 3 inch pots (unfortunatley probably best to use the plastic ones, or old cartons, so they will last 2 -3 years).
A note from Padraig who grew all the saplings:
“Some good trees I have noticed were in Fota on the road into the golf club and all around the walk at Doneraile Park. Mucross is also a possibility, especially because many oaks there are truly native. It is a bit of pot luck and being in the right place at the right time. But anywhere there is a good stand of oaks could see a good tree or two. Be sure to plant them straight away, acorns do not keep well.” Padraig Coakley.
Let me know if your group or any of your projects you know would like to get involved in collecting the acorns and supporting this initiative.