As many of you will know, we work closely with The Woodland Trust to reduce our carbon footprint and help with their carbon capture scheme. One of the key initiatives is tree-planting: did you know that the UK’s tree coverage is just 13%, compared with the European average of 44%? Reforestation is therefore a really important focus, and we’re keen to help. But when we received the latest newsletter from the trust, we were interested to learn about how nature does it by itself too!
If seeds simply dropped straight down from trees to germinate where they fell, there would be a serious tree-population crisis, even without the help of humans. Luckily, plants are way too clever for that, so they have developed a variety of ways to grow further afield.
Gravity: Yes, some seeds do just fall. But they also roll and bounce, particularly those with hard shells, or, in the case of soft-skinned fruit, may break open to scatter individual seeds.
Animals: Birds are a great help in spreading seeds over a wider area; jays help even further, albeit unwittingly, by actually planting acorns!
Other animals may carry sweet tasting fruit away from the trees, and some plants’ seeds are covered in hooks, burrs or spines which attach
to fur or feathers to be carried away.
Wind: Many seeds are transported on the wind, and some are designed specifically to do so, such as the maple or sycamore tree, always a favourite with children who love to throw the specially designed seedpods up and watch them spiral to the ground.
Force: There are several methods used for seed dispersal by force, but they mostly involve the evaporation of water from inside a seedpod. Stand near to a gorse bush in summer and you may hear the seedpods popping in the heat.
Water: Trees which grow near water often rely on it to transport the seeds. The light seeds of the goat willow can be carried away by either wind or water, as can many other varieties.
So while it may be true that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, the same is not always true for the seeds inside it. At Victoire we work hard to offset our use of wood, and do all we can to help new trees to grow – so it’s very positive to think that we can now add “human intervention” to that list.
(Information sourced from “Premier Printers Carbon Copy” – March 2016)