Tree seed advice needed

margo_k(5)August 25, 2011

Hello all. A friend recently gave me several cones from her beautiful white fir trees. The cones are starting to turn a light brown and dry out and fall apart, and they are loaded with seeds. Id like to try growing a few of these next spring for my yard.

How do I know how many seeds to plant? Do I need to do some kind of germination testing on these seeds? I only need about 5 trees from these seeds but I think I'll end up with hundreds of seeds from these few cones.

Thank you.


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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

Margo, no need to test. You can expect somewhere between 20 - 50% of the seeds you find will be viable and germinate - the number of sound seeds in a cone is low, better some years than others. Sow heavy, keep only the seedlings you want if you end up with more than you need.

Abies concolor: sow 4 - 8 weeks @ 39F, move to 70F for germination.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 9:54AM
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Thank you morz8. I will take your advice and sow heavily. Id rather have a lot of good seedlings to choose from and take the best rather than sow just a handful of seeds and end up with only a couple of seeds germinating.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 10:01PM
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May I suggest you do a bit of research before planting your seeds. Most coniferous tree seeds need "stratification" before they will germinate. This can be accomplished easily at home by placing the seeds in a small plastic bag (so they won't dry out too much) and putting the bag in the refrigerator for a couple of months

    Bookmark   August 26, 2011 at 9:47AM
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