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.
Dan Andrews - Graduate Student (Horticulture)