Nuts and Seeds

Which trees do they come from?

Let's learn about our wild nuts and seeds

Hello! In this tutorial, we are going to learn all about our most common nuts and tree seeds. Including, what they are, which trees they come from and the different types of seeds. Afterwards, if you would love some more resources about our most common nuts and seeds, why not check out our nuts and seeds resources. Are you ready? Lets get started!

wild nuts and seeds

Let's learn about our wild nuts and seeds

What are nuts and seeds?

Nuts and seeds are basically the babies or offspring of parent trees. They are produced following pollination of the trees’ flowers and contain all the genetic material of the tree. Inside, they have a supply of food and nutrients ready to start their journey into new trees and in fact, they are specially adapted to disperse away from their parent trees.

What is the difference between nuts and seeds?

While we may differentiate them based on ‘look’, they are all ‘seeds’ – even nuts. They are also all housed inside ‘fruit’, although they may not look like the fleshy fruits and berries we identify as fruit.

How many types of seeds are there?

There are several different types of seeds, each adapted to travel away from its parent and become a brand new tree. There are winged seeds, parachute seeds, bouncing seeds, rolling seeds, catapulting seeds, floating seeds, edible seeds…

How are seeds adapted to disperse?

All trees have special adaptations to help their offspring get off to a good start. This means, germinating away from their parent tree so they are not competing for nutrients, water and sunlight. Also, to avoid cross-pollination as they grow up.

  • The hard shells on some seeds protect the from smashing as they fall to the ground and encourage them to roll or bounce away. 
  • Winged seeds are designed to catch the wind and air currents in order to fly away.
  • Light, tiny seeds can disperse on even the slightest breeze.
  • Buoyancy aids in some seeds stop them becoming waterlogged and help them float away on the water.
  • Finally, a supply of starchy goodness and other carbohydrates, encourage birds and animals to take some seeds away and bury them.
  • You can learn more about winged seeds here.

Which trees produce seeds?

There are many sizes and shapes of tree seeds, but usually, we only notice the larger sized seeds. So, here are the main nine you are likely to notice on your nature walks: 

  • Ash
  • Field maple
  • Hornbeam
  • Linden
  • London plane
  • Norway maple
  • Pine
  • Sycamore
  • Wych elm

You can see what they all look like over in our field guides.

Which trees produce nuts?

Our six most common ‘nut’ producing trees, are:

  • Beech
  • Hazel
  • Horse chestnut
  • Oak
  • Sweet chestnut
  • Walnut

Which nuts are edible?

Some of our wild nuts are edible and can be foraged. But remember, some of them are toxic and must not be eaten. So, never eat any nut or seed unless you are completely sure of its identity and know it is okay to be eaten.

Our three most common edible nuts, are:

  • Beech
  • Hazel
  • Sweet chestnut
  • Walnut
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4 thoughts on “Nuts and Seeds of the British Isles”

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