First seeds to germinate and be brave enough to poke their heads above the soil in the erratic spring weather was Sycamore on the 3rd of March! Roughly 3wks on they were ready for transplanting.
Next up was Hawthorn, followed by Rowan and Birch. Disappointing germination considering the quantity of seeds but then that seemed to be a running theme for most for 2021 spring.
Oak and Hazel have had fairly ok germination and seem to be a more reliable yearly species if the acorns and nuts are available. Below are what’s been grown inside the polytunnel in rootrainers compared to outside in seed beds. They seem to be of an equivalent size, health and germination rates.
I am very excited as we have managed to get Aspen growing for the first time in the tree nursery! It is a huge amount of work for the quantity but it is worth it as they are the most beautiful tree.
Firstly we went and dug up some of the roots and planted them into soil. Small suckers start to grow along the roots. Once the suckers are big enough you cut the stem and I did various trials some with an organic rooting hormone and some without. Then planted into sand/compost mix and once they have established roots transplant again into rootrainers or straight into rootrainers with a normal compost mix. Once the sucker cuttings have been taken they require to be kept under plastic and get a regular misting of water.
Cuttings without a rooting hormone were not all successful compared to using a rooting hormone. And both planting on techniques worked. In future I will most likely plant them straight into the compost mix in rootrainers to miss out the extra transplanting step.