Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 18 January 2017

From small acorns, great oaks grow

Published 08/02/2012 | 06:00

Every year, I gather a dozen or so acorns and put them in pots for planting out two years later. It's such a simple thing to do and eventually becomes a habit, or rather an enjoyable hobby that is just one small task to remember each autumn.

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I then spend a few hours wandering around the farm and finding spots to plant them. Usually the chosen spots are gaps in hedgerows or bare corners at the edges of existing woodland.

Rampant

I find that staking them and protecting them with plastic tubes ensures the trees remain protected from being smothered by nettles or other rampant vegetation and are easy to find if briars are threatening to invade their space.

I will never make money from these trees but someone will, even if it is 200 years from now.

In the meantime, the young oak will support countless generations of insects, birds and mammals.

When planting these trees, I am reminded of that lovely saying: "A nation grows great when men plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit under."

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