Hi, my name is EB, and today, I’m going to show how Project Pando grows thousands of native trees.
So, what is Project Pando? We are a non-profit based here in Raleigh, and we work to help connect people with trees in order to help heal the planet. The primary way we do this is through our community-driven native tree nursery.
Our nursery grows almost all of its trees from native seeds. Each year, we hold a fall seed drive where we work with volunteers to collect thousands of seeds from native species in the area.
Today, I’m going to show you the journey of these seeds as they go from collection to giveaway.
Seeds start on a tree. So that means anywhere you can find a tree, you can collect seeds. Volunteers will collect seeds in their backyard, at parks, again, anywhere there are trees you can start collecting.
After collecting seeds, volunteers bring them to one of our drop-off sites spread throughout the Triangle. Our main drop-off site is here at Leaf & Limb, in front of the building next to the mailbox. Drop the seeds right in this green bin. And we take the seeds from our drop-off bin, and we store them short-term here in our fridge.
The next step is to process the seeds. Some seeds don’t need any processing, some need to be float tested, some need to be removed from the fruit, some seeds need to be dried, and some need to be kept moist. Sometimes, volunteers take seeds home to process them there.
After processing, we plant almost all of our seeds in these air pruning boxes. Air pruning boxes are designed to allow you grow hundreds of healthy seedlings in a small amount of space.
For example, this is a box of Cherry Bark Oak we planted this past winter. Guess how many Oaks are in this 2-foot by 4-foot box? The answer is 346. Using air pruning boxes is one of the best ways to grow a lot of trees in a small amount of space.
We plant most of our seeds in fall and early winter. They will grow through spring, summer, and fall, and come their second winter; we will take them out of the box and begin giving them away.
We give our trees to individuals, to non-profits, to local municipalities. If you can find a good home for a tree or many trees, let us know.
Seeds are magical; within every seed is the blueprint to grow a majestic tree. Every seed we collect and cultivate is another opportunity to strengthen the ecosystem that surrounds us.