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How to grow a tree from seed

Grow a tree from seed at home with our easy to follow instructions.

Credit: Philip Formby / WTML

You will need

  • A tree seed; beechmast, sweet chestnuts, hazelnuts and acorns are often easy to find
  • A plant pot with drainage holes in the base
  • Some small stones
  • Compost
  • Wire mesh
  • Bamboo cane (optional)
  • Plastic bottle (optional)

Give your seedling extra protection by creating a DIY guard.

Try to plant several seeds to make sure at least one germinates.

What to do

  1. Put some stones at the bottom of the pot and fill it almost to the top with compost.
  2. Plant the seeds about 2cm deep, then press down the compost and water it thoroughly.
  3. Put the pot outside in a shady corner. Cover the top with wire mesh to stop birds and animals getting to the seeds.
  4. Check it every week to make sure the soil hasn’t dried out. Be careful not to over-water it.
  5. As the seed starts to sprout in spring, keep an eye on the growth. Re-pot the shoot into larger pots as it grows. Once it reaches 40cm, find a suitable place to transfer it into the ground.
  6. If you think it may be at risk from rabbits or mice, you could add protection. Watch our DIY tree protection video and read more tree care tips.
  7. As your seeds start to grow, keep them sheltered during winter to protect them from frost.
  8. When your sapling is ready to plant in the ground, follow our step by step planting guide.
See also  sputnik seeds
Which species to plant

Different trees have different purposes and needs. Choose your species according to the land you have and what you want from your trees.

Where to plant

The trick to successful planting is good planning.

How to plant a tree

Follow our guide to three of the most successful ways to plant.

How to care for your trees

Once your trees are in the ground it’s important to care for them to help them thrive, particularly in the first few years.

Buy British trees from our shop

We have single trees and tree packs to meet your needs, from wildlife to woodfuel. Delivery is free.

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