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Tips for growing fruit tree and sycamore saplings from seed

February 8, 2013

By Greg  Peachey, Chair of the FREdome Visionary Trust, owner of the FREdome Hub and Business Biscotti Ambassador. Business Biscotti has partnered with FREdome to promote the planting of a National Garden Forest.  
At the December meeting of the Fredome-sponsored Business Biscotti group at the luxurious Sopwell House in St Albans a groundsman showed me a plentiful supply of sycamore seeds lying amidst fallen leaves under a row of trees at the edge of the side car park.
I brought some of these sycamore seeds into the meeting to give out with the fruit and plastic carrier bags. I also made this picture to help you spot them.
Growing trees has never been so easy. Next time you visit simply gather sycamore seeds from under the trees in Sopwell House. You do not even have to pick out the seeds. Simply scoop them up together with the fallen leaves, which will provide nourishing leaf humus for the growing seedlings. Aaron told me that they already have more than enough trees in the Sopwell House grounds, so they would welcome any help to take seedlings away, especially for a good cause.
You can also grow trees from your fruit left-overs at home, but when buying, please check that the packaging says that it has been grown in England. I have found supermarket staff to be very helpful on this point. After the winter you will be able to go out and salvage very young self-seeded trees.
In a couple of years’ time, the saplings grown in people’s carrier bags will be ready to transplant to local woodland or taken to the seaside to places such as Happisburgh, where the coastline is eroding at an alarming 12 metres a year. Sycamore saplings will be particularly valuable as they are moderately salt-tolerant.
For more information on the project, please contact me Greg Peachey at

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