Well the ancient nursery rhyme begins “Here we go gathering nuts in May” .. on a cold and frosty morning.
Well May in Chiang Mai is hardly frosty but the early morning cool and maybe a light shower of rain make gathering seeds a pleasant task.
Tiny hair like seeds of Duabanga grandiflora were sown on sand on 5th May. By 17th May around 20 had germinated. Their cotyledons are about 2 mm across and can barely be seen as green spots in the photo on the right.
Duabanga grandiflora produces large pods each containing many seeds and these were collected on 5th May together with the large seeds of Dipterocarpus turbinatus – ยางแดง – around 53 km from Chiang Mai along the road to Pai.
The picture below contrasts the fruit of these two tree species.
Then on 25th May “three bags full” not of wool but Dipterocarpus turbinatus seed were collected along the road to the Chiang Dao Cave.
According to staff of the forestry office there this year has seen a bumper crop of seed. The office also has a tree nursery with Teak (Tectona grandis) as well as plenty of the local Dipterocarpus.
Most importantly the trees are being grown in larger than the normal minimum sized bags used at nurseries nearer to Chiang Mai city so the liklihood of their surviving when planted in July is so much higher.