< Back to blog

Seed Extraction Workshops

Six tree guardians met together for 2 afternoons of tree talk, lunch and to learn how to extract various tree seeds. Most of the berries were extracted in the first session as they were in danger of going mouldy; guelder rose, rosehip, hawthorn, common buckthorn, alder buckthorn and elder.

This is a messy business, they need soaking and then the berries squeezed to get the seed out. The seeds and crushed pulp are then spread out to dry.

Then there were the cones;

Scots Pine: The cones had been left drying in large paper bags for 2 months. As the pine cones open, a small winged seed drops out. The best method to collect these are to transfer the cones into another paper bag after giving them a good shake. Then carefully go through the debris left in the original bag. Some seeds lose their ‘wing’ and are difficult to spot.

Alder is similar, you wait for the cones to open and the seeds drop out.
Hornbeam is a simple case of picking out the seed from the ‘wings’, very easy to do.

During the second session we sorted the trays of previously soaked and extracted berries, picking out the seeds and discarding the dried pulp.
We spent a very pleasant afternoon chatting and extracting. New skills learnt and new friends made.