Project Pando is our community-driven tree nursery that sustainably grows trees and gives them to the community for free. However, in order to grow these trees, we need your help!
What can you do to help Project Pando? Collect native tree seeds.
Native Seed Identification Guides
Before we share how to collect seeds, you’ll need to first identify which trees are native and when their seeds are ready to be collected. If you haven’t already read through our native seed profiles, you can access them here.
Finding Seeds to Collect
Now that you know what to look for, where are the best places to collect tree seeds? Here is a short list:
- Your own backyard
- College campuses
- Church yards
- Public green spaces
- Alongside the road
Note: if you’re collecting native tree seeds from somewhere that isn’t your own backyard, be sure to ask for permission first.
Types of Seeds
There are four main types of seeds: fruit seeds (examples include Dogwoods or the Chickasaw Plums), nuts (examples include Hickories or Oaks), windborne seeds (examples include Red Maples), and finally cones or pods that enclose seeds (examples include Redbuds or Pines). It's important to know the difference because each is stored a little bit differently.
Here is how to collect and store seeds:
- Seeds should be collected when they are mature. If you’re not sure what is in season, check out our calendar here.
- Collect as many seeds as possible but don’t take them all - the little critters need some too!
- Place them in a plastic bag or container, taking care to store windborne seeds dry, and wrapping fruit and nut seeds in a wet paper towel.
- If you aren’t dropping them off the same day, put them in the fridge.
- Drop the seeds off at any one of our drop off locations.
Identifying native trees and collecting seeds is not only a fun and educational activity, but it is also a great way to help our local ecosystem.
How does it help our ecosystem? It is best to grow trees from local seeds since they're adapted to our environment, but it is difficult to just go out and purchase these native trees. That’s where Project Pando comes in! We are able to grow these trees from seeds that people like you collect, and we give them away to be planted in our community. It’s a win-win for our community and the planet.
Have questions about collecting seeds for Project Pando? Send us an email, and we’ll get in touch as soon as we can. Best of luck on your seed search!