Return to the Trees Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Posted by hairmetal4ever Z7 MD (My Page) on
Sun, Aug 10, 14 at 20:41

Anyone try it?

Tips or suggestions welcome. Do they had the same hard coat many other legumes do? Cercis comes to mind here.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Scarified in 95% Sulfuric Acid for ~45 minutes then stratified for 30-45 days. Worked like a charm...they started germinating in the fridge. Not sure what the rate was but I had more germinate than I could was probably 75-85%.

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

I soaked in water a few days and then filed through the seedcoat with a nail file (BTW, this technique works much better on Kentucky coffeetree seeds - they are bigger, easier to file, and I got better germination rate). Got 20-30% germination maybe. Gave up the experiment though - the parent trees succumbed to our zone 4 cold, and they weren't high on my list.

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Where can you obtain sulfuric acid? Is there a specific concentration (Mol I think?) that works?

I get nervous about using it - that I'd burn either myself, or, more likely, the seed embryo.

This post was edited by hairmetal4ever on Mon, Aug 11, 14 at 10:42

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Small numbers...I'd just nick the seedcoat with a nail file or a little snip with nailclippers - just enough to let water get in to the interior.
I guess if one is doing large numbers, the sulfuric acid deal might be worth fooling with, but I'm not gonna mess with it.

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed


You are right to be nervous. I'm lucky, I had a lab I could use with all the glassware, safety gear, and procedures already available.

After 30-40 minutes, the seeds started to bleed color (like a teabag) into the acid. I diluted the acid and then rinsed the seeds at ~45min.

You could try a lower acid concentration and leave the seeds in until you saw the color bleed starting. HCl (Muriatic Acid) for a pool or battery acid (Sulfuric Acid) can be bought fairly easily. You may need 2-3 hours or more of soak time b/c they are at much lower concentration than the 95% Sulfuric.

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

I've grown a few of these by seed. I started by taking a file from my toolbox and filed away the seed coat. Don't be shy about this. It'll go from dark brown to light brown to whitish. You're through when you hit the white. Then I put them in a glass of water for a day or two. You should see the seed swell up from absorbing water. Then plant. I've had seeds several years old germinate.

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

Bumping this since I ordered some seed from Schumacher's.

Is the seed shaped in a way that it's obvious where the embryo is? If I nick or file it I don't want to cause damage to the embryo or seed leaves?

Which brings the next question - do the cotyledons turn above ground or are they hypogeal?

RE: Cladrastis kentukea from seed

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 23, 14 at 8:49

If you're going that route, IMO, plant seeds where you finally want them. After a couple yrs, they're difficult to transplant & don't handle it well. The shellbark hickory I transplanted hardly noticed, but transplanted KCT suffered badly for yrs & the stem finally died, but has resprouted from the roots.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Trees Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here