Archive for September, 2011

Well as usual , its been about 3 months since I last updated the blog.. I digress…

Over the past week or two I found myself in public parks picking up nice green freshly fallen acorns , from healthy looking Oak trees.

Although its important to select seeds from healthy looking trees, for genetic diversity its also good to select seeds from a variety of trees !

Furthermore some “weak or sickly looking trees” may be in that state due to environmental conditions ( beside a busy polluted road, bad soil, exposed to very high winds, lacking in sufficient light ) so genetically they may be very strong. One last point is that seeds are always stronger where there is a number of Oak trees in the area, this means they can cross pollinate, which leads to healthier seeds !

One great thing about Oak growing is that you can plant the seed immediately, and you have a good chance of success.

Another great thing about Oak is that it supports more wildlife than any other single plant in the UK and Ireland. Up to 284 types of insects call an Oak their home , and these in turn will attract insect eating wildlife such as birds, and so on.

Heres a nice link on the subject http://www.oldknobbley.com/woodland_ecology/trees/trees_oak_english.php

Most other native Irish tree growing involves some form of seed preparation, but not so with the Oak.

Pot it or plant it right away and see what happens.

My first attempts at growing Irish Oak this year ended in miserable failure, but as always there was a lesson.

I had been given a large bag of acorns collected in the Phoenix park Dublin. I planted five each in two buckets filled with soil and compost, and complimented myself on being so green.

I left the buckets at the back of our house, in a small yard space, which backs on to a public park.

A few days later I noticed that the soil had been dug up on one side of a bucket, I realised it must have been the work of an animal. When I checked all 10 acorns were gone.

I had seen a grey squirrel occasionally skipping accross our back wall, and put 2 and 2 together.

Now that I have a fresh batch of 2011 acorns , I will need a strategy to outwit the squirrel.

Any suggestions ?


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