Grow your own tree
Give your tree seedling the best chance to grow into a healthy tree by following these simple steps below (or download a pdf version).
1. Register your tree
- Use your unique tree-code on your instruction booklet to register your tree in ForestNation.
- You can give your tree a name, place it on a map, and see where we plant all the other trees.
- You plant one, we plant one - for every Tree Kit we sell we plant another tree in a developing country.
2. Arranging all the parts
- Place the growing pot into one half of the white globe. If you have the espresso cup design, use the cup.
- The growing pellet should be in the bottom of the pot dimple side up.
- Depending on the species, some tree seeds are tiny and stuck to the pellet with biodegradable glue so you may not be able to see them.
- If you have large seeds leave them on top of the pellet.
3. Add lukewarm water
- Gradually pour 70 ml of lukewarm water onto the growing pellet and wait for it to expand.
- You can use the other half of the white globe to measure and pour the water. It holds about approximately 90ml, so don't fill it right up. Add the water carefully, and gently.
- Ensure the seeds are covered by using a fork or pencil to gently brush the surface of the expanded pellet.
- If you have large seeds push them below the surface and ensure they are well covered, but not too deep.
- Be careful not to over-water.
4. Cover until it your seedling sprouts
- Close the globe to create an ideal germinating environment for your tree. If you have the espresso cup design just replace the lid.
- Keep in a warm place until it sprouts (about 2 – 6 weeks).
- Temperature is important!
- Your tree shouldn't need any more water during this period, but check it every 3 to 4 days to make sure it hasn't dried out. If it has dried out add a very small amount of water (10ml) and then cover again.
- Growing times vary. The photo below shows 2xStone Pine tree kits after just 3 weeks, and you can see a massive difference in growth stage.
Temperature and moisture are important!
During germination cooler temperatures below 15C and the soil being too wet can cause the seed not to germinate, then rot and start decomposing. In winter, this can happen when the tree kit is located next to a window with a cold draft. It's best to give your tree kit continual heat, but not excessive. The optimum temperature for most plants/trees to germinate is 20–25C 24hrs per day.
While you wait for your tree to sprout...
- Find out more about your tree species and all the benefits it will bring.
- Give your tree a name, add a message to it's tree page and share it with your friends.
- Read our blog and help to spread the word.
5. Care for your new tree every day
- When your seeds have sprouted you will see one or a few little green needles poking out from the soil.
- Remove the top half of the globe, or lid, and place your seedling somewhere with lots of sunlight for upto 12 weeks depending on how quickly it grows.
- Don't shock your new tree! It's best to make the transition from darkness to direct sunlight gradually over a week or so. First keep your seedling in a place with lots of indirect sunlight so it can adjust.
- Check every day to ensure it does not dry out, and add water gradually. Once it starts growing faster it will probably need a little water everyday. So when you see the top soil start to dry add around 10ml of water.
- Be careful: Like any new baby living thing your tree is very fragile! Don't give it too much direct sunshine, or too much water as this will harm your tree.
TIP: A harmless moisture mold can occur if the kept in the dark too long. Make sure you remove the covering globe and place in a well lit location. If the mould does occur just scratch it off with a fork (kids get permission first!). Or you can Hydrogen Peroxide (at 3%), a standard antiseptic available in any pharmacy. This will stimulate oxygenation in the soil and also encourages increased root growth.
6. Ready to plant
- You can plant your tree in a pot and keep it inside, or plant it directly in the garden.
- Your tree seedling is ready to plant when it is 6cm to 9cm tall (about 8 to 12 weeks old, provided you have given it the right amount of sun and water).
- You can keep your tree in its original growing pot, no need to take it out. Just make sure that the new soil is deep enough to cover the growing pot completely.
- Water well daily for two weeks, then as needed as it grows into a tree.
- Your tree may require fertilizer food, which you can buy from most garden centers.
- Don't plant it outside if their is risk of frost, keep it in a pot inside your warm home.
- Plant in area where the ground isn’t too compact and there’s a good source of water all year round.
7. Put your tree on the map
- You've registered your tree, grown your tree, given it a name and shared it with all your friends. Now you can tell us where you have planted it!
- Just login, select your tree and locate it with our mapping tool.
- Remember you can also see where we plant all the other trees too.
8. Tree Help
- If your tree doesn't grow, and you don't see any seedlings sprout after 6 weeks, please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Don't throw your growing pot and pellet away! Sometimes seeds don't work, that's nature. But you can always get some more. Contact us here for more details: email@example.com