Aside from the known benefits trees give- shade, oxygen, and a sense of calm (they say if you’re stressed, just look far into the trees) Simply having a mature fruit bearing tree nearby could give you extra money.
To disambiguate, I do not mean Fruit Trees (trees grown specifically for human consumption) but ay species of tree that are mature enough to produce fruit, and thus have seeds.
I had more time to roam around our compound during the pandemic and it was then I noticed that we have a mature native Ylang-Ylang tree (Cananga Odorata)
It had abundant yellow flowers that made the surrounding area very fragrant. I also noticed that it bore fruits.
My instinct told me that there would be people interested in having such a fragrant tree. So I collected the seeds and planted some so that I could grow and sell it as seedlings.
I then posted it on Facebook Marketplace and Shopee.
Not long, maybe a day or two, I already got inquiries! This validated my hunch that people are interested in Ylang-Ylang seeds and seedlings. If there is true demand for your products, customers will find you.
Since I started selling, I have earned around Php 20,000.00 in 10 months or Php 2,000.00 a month. That is not bad for something you just collect. It’s also easy to propagate.
My capital is practically minimal labor. I collect, date and pack seeds, then I post it on social media. This made me realize “money doesn’t grow on trees, trees are money!” They have intrinsic and monetary value.
How To Get Started
Don’t overthink it. Here are exact steps you could follow to get started in selling, right now!
- Scour your surroundings for mature trees.
Mature trees are trees that bear fruit. The fruit doesn’t need to be edible to humans1
- Gather Data
Take a photo of your tree and use Google Image search to find more data on your tree. This is also especially useful if you don’t know what the tree species is. Take note of what parts are of economic value and its uses ex. trunk is a valued hardwood, leaves are used as dye and etc.
Also gather information regarding, when the seeds are mature enough to collect, the shelf life of the seed, and proper storage. Also research on propagation- soil, water and sunlight conditions needed.
- Collect, Label and Store
From the seeds you’ve gathered, propagate some and sell some. Make sure to select good seeds for selling2 You want repeat customers after-all.
Label by putting the date when you gathered the seeds.
- Take Photos and Create Posters
Take photo of the actual tree where you got the seeds from, the seeds and the packaging you would use.
You can use these photos as is, or drive more attention by creating posters of it using Canva.
- Create Social Media Pages and Post
It’s an easy and cheap way to market your seeds and seedling.
- Join Facebook Groups
Join facebook groups that you think would be interested in your product Ex. “tree enthusiasts group”
It’s a great way to research on which tree and plant species have current interests, and maybe you could supply.
Make sure to read if you could post products. You don’t want to get banned.
- Post in E-Commerce Websites
Post in Shopee and Lazada. Most peoples knee- jerk reaction when they want to buy something, is to find it on these 2 platforms, so why not utilise that to your advantage?
Creating a store in these 2 platforms is free and easy. No need to think of logistics and payment options as those are built in.
Look for people selling similar seeds and seedlings in Shopee or Facebook marketplace and see if it’s worth your time to copy the price.
The seeds can be sold by piece or by weight.
Seedlings are sold depending on the height.
Native Plants and Trees
I highly recommend selling native plants and trees.
There is no loss when you propagate plants and trees. Even if you don’t sell it now, if someone buys it in the future and your tree would have grown by then, you could sell it for a higher price. Because it’s taller. Essentially, it’s like you stored time and labor.
It’s an investment that literally grows!
Getting Serious About It
If this mini story got your interest and imagination running and would like to be serious at it. I suggest you invest in a good book regarding tree and forestry. Buy a land and plant trees on it. You could first google about trees and decide which you’d like to grow- Thinking of this made me realize that coconut is a unique tree. I know why it is a tree of life. Read this post if you are interested.
You can do it!
1 All trees bear fruit. Don’t confuse with the term “fruit trees”. A fruit tree is a tree which bears fruit that is consumed or used by humans and some animals — all trees that are flowering plants produce fruit, which are the ripened ovaries of flowers containing one or more seeds. In horticultural usage, the term “fruit tree” is limited to those that provide fruit for human food.
2 Common seed viability test: take your seeds and put them in a container of water. Let them sit for about 15 minutes. Then if the seeds sink, they are still viable; if they float, they most likely will not sprout. This is not accurate though. Especially when you decide to test it on seeds which are the size of dirt particles ex. Bagras seeds