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tree seed viability over time

Posted by hairmetal4ever Z7 MD (My Page) on
Fri, Jan 11, 13 at 9:31

Has anyone here successfully grown trees from purchased seed? I�ve found a couple companies, Schumacher�s and Sheffield�s specifically, who sell tree seeds.

However, lots of trees from what I know, have seeds with a VERY short shelf life, yet, Sheffield�s in particular is selling Oak acorns and maple and conifer seeds that are several years old�among other trees as well. Would these even germinate??

I'm specifically interested in:

Sugar Maple
Red Maple
Several oaks (white and red)
Metasequoia
Taxodium
Cedrus

The seeds they sell are anywhere from 2012 crops to as far back as 2006. I am not sure of the viability. Even if viability is low, I can buy larger quantities, if there is a reasonable chance.

Are there extra steps to take when compared to "fresh" seed?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: tree seed viability over time

Limited value I know as I only do a few trees from seeds and they are my fresh harvested ones. So I can't speak to "tree seeds" in general. But I think the method of storage would determine the viability/shelf life. So I'd want to find out the storage methods used by the supplier.

The USDA/Arbor Research org says the life expectancy of most tree seeds is 1-2 years if stored at ambient temps, up to 3 years if refrigerated, and 5 years if stored frozen. But I'm guessing that frozen tree seeds, just like other seeds, would need to be planted immediately upon thawing so if theirs are frozen, how would they ship to keep them from thawing?

I guess the bottom line is to insist on more viability info from the supplier, some sort of 'guarantee'.

Good luck.

Dave

PS: you might also ask over on the Trees forum here to see if others there have had experience with the particular companies and their quality.


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