Harvesting Tree Nuts - Early Fall - September 2022
I've long been fascinated by the idea of a backyard tree nursery. On a small scale, of course. But, something that I could tend-to in terms of planting and growing trees from seed over the course of a number of seasons. I've made no secret of trying to coax myself into accomplishing some 'seasonal projects' like compost, dividing plants and even planting native trees. And, I've had a VERY limited look at success when it comes to nursing trees to life from seed: a tray of Kentucky Coffee Tree seedlings from 2021. I also have seemingly grown some Catalpa trees from seed in a wine barrel planter.
Over the past few weeks, I've begun to think about (and watch YouTube videos) about collecting tree seeds with the goal of storing, stratifying and eventually germinating and planting in containers to grow. During one of my walks around town, I started to look at which trees were throwing off acorns and nuts and started to pick some up off the ground. My thought here is to pick the nuts up and bring them home. Once I test for viability (via the float test), figure out how to store and stratify them in the fridge (current thinking: a plastic container with wet sand).
This is seemingly the time to grab the acorns - before the critters and/or weevils get to them. First up, a couple of Chinquapin Oak acorns. These were green when I picked them up. See below for the pair of smallish acorns (still with their caps) and the leaf:
Next up is the Bur Oak. The shaggy or fringed acorn cap plus the rounded tips on the leaf are the signs of the Bur Oak. These are also green, but larger than the Chinquapin acorns above.