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NEWS RELEASE No: 146731 JUNE 2011

Tree seeds sow germ of scientists’ artistic idea

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Searching for a gift that’s a little bit different for a lover of art or trees? Then an unusual form of art springing from research into tree seed biology might be just the thing.

A collection of high-quality prints in a range of formats and generated from sophisticated X-ray images of tree seeds has gone on sale at .

The unusual images are the brainchild of Dr Shelagh McCartan, a seed scientist at the Forestry Commission’s Forest Research Station at Alice Holt Lodge, near Wrecclesham in Surrey, who worked with Anna Duckett, the agency’s graphic designer, to develop the idea. The business is a joint venture with Cabinet UK Ltd.

Much of the seed art on sale has been created using images from the sophisticated X-ray technology that Forest Research scientists use for their research into tree seed biology.

The images are available to order as high-quality prints in formats including postcards, posters, canvases and framed prints.

Information about the seeds and their tree species is included with each piece, providing buyers the chance to learn about seed biology whilst enjoying the creativity of the print.

Explaining how the creative business idea came about, Dr McCartan said:

“Some X-ray images of ash tree fruits that we had made just captured my imagination. Not only is there a great deal of information in the images that’s useful to scientists, but there is a particular elegance to them as well. I guess that prompted the idea of turning the X-ray images into art.”

Scientists see beauty in their work, and now so can the public. For further information about the seed art, email .

Further information about the science of seeds is available at .

Media Contacts: Suzanne Martin, 01420 22255 or Charlton Clark, 0131 314 6500