?'s on starting pine trees from seeds

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by tamarackreg, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. tamarackreg

    tamarackreg Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2006
    W. MI
    I would like to plant some scotch pine and white pine on my property. I have a lot of cones available. How does one most effectively start pine tree's from seed for transplant? (I don't have a greenhouse)
  2. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Well-Known Member

    Mar 5, 2004
    wyoming/ now tennessee
    O.k. here is how I start a tree. I get the seed as fresh a possible, after you get it out of the fruit or off the nut tree ect. I have a fence between the chicken house and back yard where I have a large shelf made out of wood. I have it so the seeds set in pots get about 3 hours of direct sunlight a day and stay in shade the rest. It really made a difference. I have started paw paw, persimmon, hickory, walnuts, almonds, plums, ect. It may take a year for some nut seeds but keep at it with the water.
    Now for a pine, I think it will need to have heat set to it, to germinate. I would take a pinecone make a fire or use a tourch flame the outside of it until its black. Let it cool pick the seeds out of it and plant. The seeds are in between the layers of pinecone.
    Or you can just go out and see if the seedlings growing around can be transplanted. I'd get them eye balled as to where thery are and go get them in the fall after they go dormant. They will transplant better.

  3. bonsai jim

    bonsai jim Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2005
    It's not necessary to burn the cones unless that is the natural way- not necessary for the two varieties you mentioned.

    Collect fresh cones that are not fully opened, from healthy bushy trees, if possible. Collect large cones with firmly attached scales, not small ones, those with open scales or on the ground.

    I would soak them for a day in a pail with water and flowers of sulpher/lime sulfur to kill insects and fungus. Safe step not required.

    Dry them in the sun on a screen. Once dry open them and remove the seeds, remove the wings, usually by rubbing a bunch together. Use the largest strongest seeds. You can store in paper bags away from insects and mice, until planting time.

    Eastern white pine needs 60 days stratification. This means refrigerate for 60 days. (<40degreesF) Usually I mix with dampened clean sand or vermiculite in a plastic bag.

    Scots pine needs no stratification.

    I soak for three days before in water and a little hydrogen peroxide. The seeds that float are not viable.

  4. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 20, 2006
    Michigan's Thumb
    Boy, I must really have a green thumb. I'm constantly pulling seedlings out of my flower beds. :shrug:
  5. via media

    via media Tub-thumper

    Jun 3, 2005
    Yep, my grandmother told me the best trees are the ones planted by squirrels.

    Can you allow a natural area near your existing trees? I get seedlings galore in my flower beds and natural areas.

  6. longrider

    longrider Southern Gent

    Jun 16, 2005
    Opelika Alabama.
    You might consider the state forestry farm, they will often give pines and ceders away depending on the time of the year. they also sometimes sell them cheap depending...

    if you do get them they will be about 9 inchs tall and well on their way.

    just a thought, carney