Tulip poplar germination

forestexplorerSeptember 5, 2010

I was walking through the forest the other day(hence my name)and came across five seed pods laying on the ground, on the sandy shores of the creek. I had no doubt they fell from the many towering liriodendron tulipifera that completly dominated this part of the forest. Some force compelled me to grow these seeds,and so i took them home. They were green, now dry and brown, and slightly smaller than the cones you would see in autumn. Are they viable? How do i germinate the cones of a tulip poplar? How do i care for this plant?Can i start them indoors? I know I have multiple questions, but any answer will be appreciated!

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I don't know if the seeds will germinate NOW but they germinate pretty readily in the spring from seeds that fall in the winter time. So I would say to break the "petals" off of the pod, (each one is a seed) scatter them in your favorite flower bed and lo and behold, you should have yourself some tulipweeds in the spring. You may have better luck collecting the seeds in a few months when they will be everyplace.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 6:18PM
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I get them in my flower beds from our big tuliptree, they may need cold stratification, not sure though but in case they do I would either refridgerate them over winter or sow them outside and let the winter temps do the work for you either way they shouldn't be allowed to dry out till they are sown.If it were me I would sow the seeds now where you want the trees to be and let winter do the stratifying.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2010 at 9:23PM
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anything on indoor strarification...any knowledge on viability...or growing...

    Bookmark   September 8, 2010 at 11:11PM
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I've been thinking about this post since you posted it.
The seed "cones" are not ripened yet. They're still green on the trees and they really don't resemble anything that looks like a "5-seed pod" as you put it.

I'm reasonably sure you're looking at a seed pod from something other than tulipweed. You could be looking at a seed pod from a redbud, locust or something in the Leguminosae family. Why don't you post a photo of what you've got and we can confirm.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 9:50AM
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No no grandmother,they most definitley are tulip poplar cones,they were just unripened. Now they are brown and the winged samaras are falling off,i just question the viability of cones that fall off at this time of year, and how i could get them growing for a winter project, before they are taken out in the spring. Thanks for the consideration though,no one else seems to know what i'm talking about!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2010 at 8:39PM
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OK I see. I wouldn't imagine they'd be viable but I don't know. In nature, they drop from the tree in mid-late winter to early spring. If you've got some fully developed seeds there, give it a try and see what happens. Either way, you're going to need to wait to get a result so I would gather some that ripen and split open on a tree or fall during the winter.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 9:12AM
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Dan Staley

Propagation of Liriodendron is easily Googleable.

Nonetheless my texts state they often come without embryos and two-month stratification without drying out is in order. Also say fall planting with outdoor strat thru winter works as well.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2010 at 2:07PM
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