1000 Oaks

A small side project I’m working on to grow 1000 tress from seed and plant them over the next 5–10 years. It sounds a lot but it’s not. You could hold 1000 acorns in a small carrier bag. Growing them takes up little space but bringing them to a stage where they can be planted out will take a bit more room and some cooperation from local land owners.

Watching a small acorn push a green shoot through the soil and begin a 600 year story is quite an experience - an incredibly empowering and humbling experience.

I’ve been growing trees on and off for the last 30 years. Not in any great amount but if I’m somewhere and see a few acorns lying about I’ll put them in my pocket and push them into a pot when I get home. When I got married we planted a tree I’d grown from seed. It’s about 10 metres tall now.

Just through the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin is the Tiergarten - Berlin’s largest park with avenues of Oak trees. I was there around 2005 in autumn and it must have been a mast year as I was ankle deep in acorns. I put about 20 in my pocket and brought them home. That produced 6 really vigorous oaks that I later donated to a few neighbours - one of whom coincidentally had a grandfather from Berlin, he was particularly chuffed.

Another thing I’d like to do is to be able to post a tree to someone. Not a sapling but just the germinated seed. The potential of a tree. Watching a small acorn push a green shoot through the soil and begin a 600 year story is quite an experience - a incredible empowering and humbling experience.

So for the next few weeks I’m experimenting with a few ways to germinate seed. I’ve placed 50 in a biodegradable bag with some well rotted horse manure. In a few egg boxes I’ve compressed another 50 into hose manure in the cover. Another 30 or so in toilet roll tubes.
Once germinated I’ll test another batch of toilet roll tubes as a way to package and post. I’m expecting the cardboard to disintegrate fairly quickly but this will be a test to see how long it takes to deliver v disintegrate.

I have a few colleagues who work in London, Edinburgh and North Wales. The plan is to experiment with posting over something that can be placed directly into a pot. An acorn within an acorn.

Week 1: 28/3/20


bag of acorns  
Biodegradable bag of acorns.
rolls of acrons  
Roll of acorns.
box of acorns  
Box of acorns.