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W.Pine: Planting from Seed

andrews at skyfox andrews at skyfox
Tue Aug 24 10:59:06 EST 1993

In a previous article, Nicholas Michael Madjerick <nm13+ at andrew.cmu.edu> wrote:

>"Reenchantment of Place" Project. I must plant in available soil and for
>this reason I want to plant seeds not seedlings- it would seem that the
>trees would have a better foundation to grow on if they started their
>lives in the space as seeds (advise me if I am wrong).

Although any advice I may offer will depend on your growing 
conditions....  Where I live pine started from seed would not have a 
chance (drought, weeds...).  A healthy seedling with a well developed 
root system (grown in root trainers - many kinds are available) and 
with some degree of after care (watering and weeding) will do well.

Some additional things you can do which may or may not be of 
significance to project are:

collect ripe cones from the best and most adapted trees to your area;
collect some soil from near the parent trees (may have benificial 
fungus,... etc);  grow up your seedling with minimun of stress 
(adequate water, nutrition,....) or purchace seedlings from reputable 
source; weed and prepare site prior to planting;  plant seedling 
quickly and water them immediately;  if you are planting in spring 
then an initial feeding of 20-20-20 may help as the phosphorous 
(xx-20-xx) should stimulate root growth;  avoid having your seedlings 
sitting in the hot sun while planting;  avoid having your seedlings 
drive 100mi in the back of an open pick up truck; provide after care 
(weed and water);  if winter injury is a problem, wean trees of water 
in late summer/early fall and water just before freeze-up.

Certainly much of the above is common sense but when your reletives or 
friends arrive to help you plant and it is 80 degrees out and a case 
of beer to drink after planting....

Bottom line is that seedlings are the way to go and seeds in the field 
are going to be a disappointment. 

Good Luck,

Dan Andrews - Graduate Student (Horticulture)

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