germinating Yellow Buckeye (A. flava)

hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)October 30, 2013

I snapped a pic, but it was too dark to be worth posting.

At the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore a few days ago, I saw several fairly good-sized Aesculus of some sort. I always assumed they were Yellow Buckeye, just based on their size, and the fact that they still have foliage that doesn't look like it was torched with gasoline this late in the year. They were just taking on a bit of fall color, kind of a yellow-orange, and the nuts were in smooth husks and quite large, bigger than A. glabra or A. hippocastanum. I grabbed a couple for the kids to plant to see if they can grow them. With the smooth husks I'm pretty sure it was A. flava I was looking at.

Anyone know the stratification requirements? My thought was just stick them outdoors either in a bag of moist medium, in pots, or right in the ground, but I don't want them eaten by squirrels. If I stuck them in the fridge, how long should they stay? Can I just keep them till spring then plant them? Or would they grow too much even in the cold after a while?

As a side note, zoos are great places to see plants that aren't quite as common...

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i have the red flowered one ...

one late fall ... i threw them in a pot of wood chips/media .. 50/50 ... barely covered ... in the pole barn ... in zs5 MI ...

and the suckers sprouted the following spring ...

crikey man.. be the squirrel.. lol ...

Here is a link that might be useful: is this you????

    Bookmark   October 30, 2013 at 6:49PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

Are these taprooted & hard to transplant?

Just wondering if a root pruning type pot might be better.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 10:01AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

in my world.. warped as it is.... and i will yell ....


and my logic is.. is that if they were important ... then there would be no industry involved in planting/selling/transplanting trees ...

acorn falls to ground.... it sprouts .... i have seen some.. literally hanging in the air.. as the tap root goes down ... and then end up a half inch above the soil ...

all the tap root is doing.. in my NON-scientific mind.. is anchoring the tree.. while the root that relies on the acorn ... anchors.. and then bifurcates ...

i have yanked hundreds of first year trees from mother earth.. and moved them where i wanted them.. with not a single thought about what.. if any impact there might be... on the tap root ..

its all hocus pocus.. stuff scholars think and talk about after 52 adult beverages.. they are a real hoot to be around.. lol ..

of all the variables you need address and perfect ... i would not think about a tap root ... worry about the important variables.. IMHO .... another ay of saying that. is that your potting system will anchor the tree .. who needs the taproot ...

finally.. a nuts a nut.. acorn.. buckeye.. whatever ... lol.


ps: this tap root issue is right up there with timing of pruning .... tree guys prune .. ALL YEAR LONG... and you know what ... rarely.. if ever.. does a tree die due to pruning ... otherwise.. there would be no trimming industry ...

now.. if i had 20,000 acres and 53 million trees... my whole retirement wrapped up in growing in bulk.. for profit ... then timing would be important ... since i have created an attractive nuisance.. that any given bug might actually find.. and call up his buddies ... and some girls.. and the next thing you know.. you have a plague on your 20000 acres ...

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Soak the seeds for a day. Plant in your prefered seedling mix, just make sure its as moist as a well wrung out sponge. Make sure the pots are DEEP, like use 2L pop bottles with the top cut off, they lay out some pretty intense tap roots. Plant them about an inch deep. Cover for moisture and toss in the fridge for 3 months and expose to spring conditions..


Soak, and plant in their permanent condition outside. Make sure you put a layer of metal screening and a layer of leaves on top of that so that pests, namely squirrels dont dig. Wait for spring germination

Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 2:27PM
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North American Aesculus species (Buckeyes) will often germinate in the Fall shortly after they've fallen from the tree (as long as conditions are right). They'll start to throw down a root just like White Oaks do.

If you pot them up, a deep air pruning pot is best. The tap root will branch instead of coiling around the bottom.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2013 at 7:09PM
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I have planted bunches of A glabra in the ground in the fall and they almost all come up in the spring. I cover the ground with chicken wire to keep out rodents.

Once they sprout above ground, they generally already have a 4-8" tap root, so i haven't tried growing them indoors first.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:01PM
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