Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Future Twelve Acres Trees

This is my bounty of locally collected acorns and nuts so far this fall. I am a big squirrel right now, going from location to location collecting nuts from trees as I go. In the basket are Bur Oaks and Black Walnuts. The tray is holding Shagbark Hickories on the left and Ohio buckeyes on the right. The buckeyes are a first for me. I have searched for these and had a hard time finding this particular species. Yellow buckeyes are easy to find, but Ohio buckeyes are not quite as common around here.

Don't those Buckeye seeds look prickly? I was surprised at how sharp they are as I gathered them. I am planting them far from the house so that I won't step on any of these prickly landmines. I think they would make a wonderful burglar deterrent, although most burglars don't go running around barefoot in the middle of the night.

As soon as the protective husks are off they are ready to plant. I will check the nuts for signs of mold, rot or borer holes and discard any that are affected. The rest will be planted immediately so that they can go through the necessary winter stratification that will crack the seed hulls and allow germination to take place. It's especially important to get the buckeyes in the ground as soon as possible because if they dry and shrivel up the embryo inside probably won't germinate. I always plant two seeds in each hole just in case one is bad. The trick is to space them a few inches apart so that if both germinate I can remove one without risking the other's root structure.

I am lucky in that I will be young enough to watch any trees that result from these seeds grow into adolescence. My grandchildren will get to see them in their full glory. Growing trees from seed, while easy, requires patience and a vision for the future. I've always equated growing trees with a deep sense of hope.


  1. We will be planting saplings of dwarf fruit trees hopefully by next year.

    If you ever need more nuts...just let me know! I have black walnut, hickory and yellow buckeye everywhere!!!!

    I need to make me one of those nut-picker-upers.

    Have a great day! :0)

  2. Amy, we planted some Water Oaks when we first bought our property and they are so big now, we just love them. It feels so good to say, "I planted that". We have since planted some Red Oaks, Pines and Pin Oaks. It is an amazing thing to watch them grow from acorns or seed. Good for you!

  3. Amy-
    You plant all from the nuts directly into the ground, no pots, right?? Do you need to mark where they are? or can you just tell?

  4. SBF, I am planning to plant some fruit trees saplings next spring too. I have plans to turn an area in the back yard into a small orchard. Some yellow buckeyes would be great!

    Rose, it is such a pleasure for me to watch trees grow. I can't explain it. I'm glad you are enjoying the trees you planted. I bet you have a lovely yard!

    Karen Sue, the nuts & acorns go directly into the ground where I want them to grow. I mark them with bright colored flags that I bought from our county's soil & water conservation district. I plant so many trees I couldn't keep track of them all and they would get mowed over.

  5. Sounds like you are starting your own forest!!! How cool is that!

  6. Amen! Seeing far into the future is a good thing. Well as far as tree growing is concerned that is for sure.

  7. Hi Amy! It is good to see what you're up to these days! Seems like a fine life! It look likes no more cacti & succulents anymore? I hope we stay in touch! Love your blogs!


  8. Good luck with your future trees. Every farm needs lots of trees around, especially nut trees!


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