This is the time of year for gathering up tree seeds, some for eating – like the delicious sweet chestnuts for which Ecclesall Woods is well known – and some for potting on to grow into tomorrow’s trees.
If these trees are one day to be planted out in the Woods then it makes sense to find seeds from as close to home as possible. These seeds are from trees that are already adapted to the local conditions, trees with slight variations passed down from one generation to the next.
On this occasion we are hoping to germinate European larch (Larix decidua) to ensure that the herons – who prefer to build their large nests in larch – have plenty of roosts available in the coming years. Other trees that we are hoping to germinate include: beech (Fagus sylvatica); horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum); sessile oak (Quercus palustris) and sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa).
Conserving wood sage
Steps have been taken to ensure the survival of a patch of wood sage (Teucrium scordonia) growing above the escarpment overlooking the Limb Brook in Wood 3.
The wide hollow way on this section of the footpath is often mud filled, and people walk across the wood sage in order to avoid the mud.
To save the wood sage from further trampling, and to give it a chance to recolonise the bare ground, the area will to be fenced off with chestnut pailing.
Some of the remaining wood sage was dug up and potted on earlier today. Once grown into healthy plants with good root systems they will be replanted in the same spot, at a slight distance from the parent plants. It is hoped that over the next few years the plants will knit together to revegetate this area.