We have an old pine tree in our front yard that we just found out needs to be cut down due to extensive renovations to the house that are coming up. This tree is at least 75 years old. We are in Southern Ontario Canada and it is mid-late January now, is it possible to try and get seeds from the pine cones that are on the tree or on the ground and try to at least get the seeds of this tree to stay on the farm and grow into trees? Thanks in advance for your replies and advice.
Those cones look fairly open. You need to check and see whether or not the tree has already released the seeds as some species the seeds blow out from the cone before the cone drops to the ground. The seeds have little papery wings like a maple and they fly out of the cones while still on the tree.
I'd pick up and cut out as many as possible, collect the most "closed" ones, then bring them in and put them on a tray in a warm place, maybe a sunny window, to dry and open. If they have seeds in them they will fall into the tray as the cones open.
Thank you for your reply. I did what you said and I have some seeds that look good. Do I need to do anything to them before putting them in seed pods to germinate? Sorry, I am not well versed in this topic.
The photo looks like a spruce tree, possibly a Norway Spruce, as it has the longest cones. To see if these seeds are viable, you need to open a few and see if there is a good embryo inside. Spruce trees have a scaly bark, looks like that in the 2nd closeup photo.
I got a bunch of seeds from the cones. To stratify, do I soak them in water for 24 hours and then plant them into seed pods? I have read this, also have seen to just plant them so what's the best advice? Do I remove the wings and plant just the seed or plant it, wings and all?
Thanks in advance again for all the replies and advice.
the wings won’t hurt anything, i wouldn’t bother to try to get rid of them. stratification is mimicking a normal winter cycle. sometimes it makes sense to plant them in small pots and then bag them and stick the pots in the fridge for a month or 3. in this case (and assuming you’re somewhere that gets a decent amount of colder temps in this season), i’d plant them in pots and just leave them outside where they’ll get rained/snowed on, frozen, etc. maybe on the north side of a building so they don’t heat up too much on real sunny days. let the weather do all the work. i sometimes do a little extra rodent protection on stratifying pots but i probably wouldn’t worry about that in your case unless your mice are really out of control.
if you wanted to wait to plant until the spring, that’s when a 24hr soak would be most helpful. you’ll get enough ‘soaking’ in the freeze/thaw cycles of stratification though.
Thanks for the reply. I've got them in seed pods and put them outside. Do I need to do anything to them or just let nature take its course (water them in the spring?) When should I see sprouting, in the spring? When do I start to worry if nothing comes up? I've also set some up in the house on a heat mat to see if any of these will sprout to hedge my bets overall.
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