Know Your Nursery: Summer fruit trees

 In Blog, Heritage Nursery, Trees

We’re in the thick of the sum­mer sea­son, which means a lot of fruit­ing trees and shrubs are begin­ning to ripen! Valu­able native species such as choke­ber­ry, alter­nate leaf dog­wood, and elder­ber­ry ripen in mid-to-late sum­mer. The fruit of these species pro­vide excep­tion­al mid-sea­son wildlife sup­port, which can make them dif­fi­cult to col­lect before the ani­mals munch them down! The Tree Pitts­burgh Her­itage Nurs­ery col­lects seeds from these species, prop­a­gat­ing them for for­est restora­tion projects.

Are you inter­est­ed in col­lect­ing some of these fruits for Tree Pitts­burgh? If so, always remem­ber the three rules of seed col­lec­tion:
1.) Always get per­mis­sion before col­lect­ing seeds from pri­vate prop­er­ty.
2.) Nev­er break branch­es or bend the trunk to col­lect seeds.
3.) Nev­er col­lect more than 10% of a tree’s seed crop.

Only small amounts of seeds are need­ed from each par­ent plant (no more than a paper lunch bag). When col­lect­ing, only gath­er seeds from healthy-look­ing spec­i­mens. These fruit should be col­lect­ed before wildlife get them and kept refrig­er­at­ed to avoid fer­men­ta­tion. Please note the col­lec­tion loca­tion, date, and species on the bag. Once you have col­lect­ed seeds, con­tact Her­itage Nurs­ery Direc­tor Megan Palo­mo at megan@treepittsburgh.org to sched­ule a drop off or pick up.

Elder­ber­ry pho­to cour­tesy of Andy Rogers on Flickr

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