About this tutorial
As you enjoy your time in the countryside, you are sure to come across a whole variety of wild nuts and tree seeds. They are important, as they give you clues not only about the local trees, but also the birds and wildlife likely to be living there. So in this tutorial, we are going to learn about our most common nuts and how to identify them. Are you ready? Lets get started!
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.
Which trees have nuts and seeds?
There are many sizes and shapes of tree seeds, but usually, we only notice the larger sized seeds. The nine seeds you are likely to notice on your nature walks: ash, field maple, hornbeam, linden, London plane, Norway maple, pine, sycamore and wych elm.
The six most common ‘nut’ producing trees, are: beech, hazel, horse chestnut, oak, sweet chestnut and walnut. Let’s take a look at them.
How to identify acorns
There are several different types of acorns, all with various shapes, sizes and cup textures. But, they are all pretty similar, in having an oval shaped seed in a characteristic cup – as you can see below…
How to identify beech nuts
Beech nuts (also known as mast), can be identified by their triangular shape and spiky, three-blade husks, as you can see in the picture. You can often find them in woodlands and sometimes in ancient hedgerows.
How to identify hazel nuts
Wild hazelnuts, are also known as filberts and look pretty much like the hazelnuts you can buy in the supermarket. They are light brown and round in shape, with a little ‘gather’ at the top. Unlike in the supermarket, in the wild, you get to see their feathered, leafy husk, much like in the picture below…
How to identify horse chestnuts
Horse chestnuts are famously known as conkers and beloved by children everywhere. They are roundish in shape and a beautiful chesnut brown colour. They also have a paler, white coloured spot at one side.
How to identify sweet chestnuts
We often enjoy sweet chestnuts roasted in the winter. They tend to be curved on one side and flattened on the other, where they grow in pairs inside their spiky shell. They also have little tufts at the top and are a beautiful, reddish brown colour.
How to identify walnuts
It is a real treat finding walnuts on my nature walks, because you do not find them very often. Unlike the walnuts most people envision, in the wild, they grow inside tough, light green, apple-like husk.
Did you know...
Well, there we go! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have a better idea now, of what our six most common wild nuts are and how to identify them. To be notified about new nature walk tutorials, you can join the Nook below x