Q:

What are some good tips for growing trees from seed?

A:

Quick Answer

To grow tree seeds, either sow the seeds outside in autumn, allowing them to germinate the following spring, or start the seeds indoors with assisted germination. Some seeds need scarification to break the seed coat. Other seeds require cold or warm stratification to mimic conditions of winter or summer dormancy.

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What are some good tips for growing trees from seed?
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Full Answer

To grow a pine tree from seed, collect seeds from female pine cones that drop from the tree between September and November. Female cones are considerably larger than male cones and contain scales that each hold 2 winged seeds. Hold the cones upside down and shake vigorously to remove seeds from the scales, gathering more seeds than needed.

To determine the seeds' viability, place them in a container of water and discard all seeds that don't sink to the bottom. Dry and store viable seeds in an airtight container until time to plant in January. Place each seed vertically just below the surface, with pointed end facing downward, in an individual pot filled with well-drained potting mix. Place the pots in a sunny window, watering thoroughly, and keep the seeds moist until germination occurs, usually by March or April. Seedlings can be transplanted outdoors once they reach 12 inches in height.

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