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greenhouse or enclosed porch, followed by outside planting, or cold stratification for at least two months.

How to Plant: When planting, cover seeds very lightly with fine soil, or mix them with sand and spread on the surface of the seedbed. Remarks: The seeds stay viable for several years if kept cool and dry. Seedlings are quite hardy.

Beech Fagus spp.


Beech nuts, each containing two seeds, are enclosed by brickly burrs that split open when the seeds are ripe. Squirrels and birds love them. Beech trees produce good crop in cycles. On off years, the nuts usually dont contain any seeds. When to Plant : The seeds lose viability in storage and should be not allowed to dry out. Plant seeds in the fall or stratify them and sow them in the spring. Breaking Dormancy: Stratify seeds for three months at 400F (40C). How to Plant: The trees develop a taproot, so should be transplanted early to their chosen places. Give the seedlings light shade for most of their first summer.

Birch Betula spp.


Birch seeds are contained in fragile cones, called strobiles, which dry out and disintegrate while hanging on the tree. Black birch (B.nigra) tree disperse their seeds in summer, other species in fall. Collecting Seeds: Pick the cones before they break apart. Rub them to loosen the small oval winged seeds. Separating seeds from scales is an impossible job; just sow the mixture. When to Plant : Sow in the fall or in spring after one or two months of stratification at 0 34 F to 40 0F (10C to 4 0C). Breaking Dormancy: Birch is one of the few trees that bear seeds that seem to have some sensitivity to light. Unchilled birch seeds may need exposure to light to germinate. When exposed to light, the seeds may germinate without stratification. How to Plant: Seeds should be just pressed into the surface of the seedbed. When chilled, as they will be if sown in fall, they may be lightly covered. Give the seedlings light shade during their first summer.

Catalpa Catalpa bignonioides


This is an easy tree to start from seed. Catalpa seeds are born in narrow, cylindrical capsules 6 to 12 inches long. The thin, papery seeds are 1/4 inch wide and 1 to 2 inches long. They dont need to be stratified.

Collecting Seeds: You can collect them in February and March when the capsules begin to split. When to Plant: Plant them in either the fall or spring. Germination is usually prompt (two weeks in spring), and the germination rate is high.

Cedar, white Thuja occidentalis


Also called arborvita, this tree produces male small cones containing 1/4-inch-long winged seeds. Good seed crops occur every three to five years. Collecting Seeds: Watch as the cones ripen from green to yellow to brown. They open seven to ten days after ripening. Closed cones may be sun-dried until seeds can be shaken out. When to Plant : Fall planting is probably best, but you can also stratify stored seeds and plant them in spring. Breaking Dormancy: Stratify the stored seeds for two months at 340F to 40 0F (10C to 40C). How to Plant: Many seeds are empty, so plant about 50 percent square foot of ground. Growing Conditions: Give the seedlings half shade for their first summer.

Chestnut Castanea spp.


This genus includes C.mosllissima, the Chinese chestnut, and C.dentata, the American chestnut. Chestnut seeds are good to eat, and the squirrels know it. Chestnuts are protected by a wickedly spiny burr, but they usually fall free when the burr hits the ground. Collecting Seeds: Good nuts should have a smooth surface. If theyve deteriorated, the nutshell will be slightly wrinkled and dull. Weevils often infest the nuts. You can float off the damaged ones. Good ones will sink. If youre collecting nuts for a weeks or more in fall and saving them to plant all at once, keep the first ones in a paper bag in a cool place. When to Plant : They spoil quickly, so plant gathered chestnuts immediately in the fall. How to Plant: Bury them 1 inch deep. If chestnuts dry out, they lose viability, but theyll also decay readily if theyre too damp. Purchased seeds will probably be dry and should be soaked for 24 hours before planting. Growing Conditions: Mulch fall-planted beds and remove the mulch in spring.

Dogwood Cornus florida


The beautiful spring-flowering dogwood produces striking red 1/4-inch oval berries (technically, theyre called drupes) in the fall. Each contain a small stone that shelters one or two seeds. Seeds of the familiar flowering dogwood, C.florida, are often empty if the tree is not cross-pollinated by another dogwood. The seeds are slow starters because they have both hard

seed coats and dormant embryos. Dogwood volunteers are all over the woods, though, and we recently found at least a dozen seedlings near a parent tree in my aunts yard, so dont be discouraged. Collecting Seeds : The fruit flesh contributes to the seeds dormancy, so remove the stones as soon as the berry turn red, and plant them immediately. When to Plant : Plant immediately in the fall. Breaking Dormancy: They may not germinate until their second spring in the ground. If you want to hasten things along dont mind going to some extra trouble, you can give them 60 days of warm stratification followed by three to four months of cold stratification, or treat them with sulfuric acid for one to three hours. You might try nicking or rubbing the stones between sandpaper also. Seeds that have dried should be soaked in water for a day. How to Plant: Mulch the planted seeds over winter with 1/2 to 1 inch of sawdust or other fine stuff. Remarks: Kousa dogwoods (C.kousa) have smaller seeds and are even more difficult to start from seed. Dogwoods suffer in a drought, so be sure to keep both seedlings and saplings well watered.

Elm Ulmus spp.


American elms disperse their short-lived, winged seeds in the fall. Viable seeds have firm, slightly rounded centers. Collecting Seeds : Collect the flaky winged fruits a soon as theyre shed, and air-dry them for a few days. When to Plant : Sow them right away after they have been air-dried. Breaking Dormancy: Seeds that have been stored should be stratified for two to three months, and planted thickly because the germination rate is often lower. Remarks: Seedlings dont need shade.

Fir Abies spp.


Starting at age 20 to 30, fir trees produce 3- to 10-inch-long female cones that contain fragile winged seeds with soft, thin coats. Good seed crops appear in two- to four year cycles. Collecting Seeds : Seeds usually start to blow out of the cones about one month after the cones turn brown. Collect the cones just before they open and dry them on screens. Seeds at the tips of the cones are usually infertile. Dont remove the seed wings. Keep the cones in a damp, cool place. When to Plant : Plant them in fall if you can, spring if you must. Breaking Dormancy: The average germination rate of fir seeds is 20 to 50 percent, and drops lower for seeds that are one year old. Unlike most conifers, fir seeds tend and to go dormant and benefit from a brief period of stratification, around 2 to 4 weeks. Seeds left in the stratify medium for longer periods of 15 weeks or so will often germinate at the stratifying temperature 400F (40C).

Diseases : Seedlings are susceptible to damping-off.

Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba


Trees start to bear at 30 to 40 years. To produce seeds, a ginkgo tree bearing female blossoms must be pollinated by one with male blossoms. The resulting yellow fruits which contain single seeds, have an unpleasant odor when crushed. Ginkgos are easy to raise from seed. Just be sure that the seeds dont dry out. Collecting Seeds : The fruits usually drop after frost. At that time, the seed embryos are immature. They will continue to develop for six to eight weeks after the fruits fall. Store the fruits in a warm place until their flesh becomes soft enough to wash off. When to Plant: Sow them in late fall. If you miss the fall planting, stratify the seed before spring sowing. Breaking Dormancy: The seeds dont actually go dormant, but chilling seems to increase their germination. Stratify the seeds for one to two months at 34 0F to 40 0F (10C to 4 0C). How to Plant: Cover the seeds with 2 inches of soil. Growing Conditions: Ginkgos thrive in most ordinary soils.

Golden-rain Koelreuteria paniculata


Also called varnish tree, the fruits of this handsome street tree ripen in September and October. They are brown, triangular husks about 1 1/2 inches long. Each contain three round black seeds. The tree produces good seed crops almost annually and the seeds keep well. Collecting Seeds: Gather the husks when they fall from the tree in autumn. When to Plant: If you can obtain fresh seeds, soak them in water for two hours, and then plant them in the fall. Breaking Dormancy: The seeds have impermeable seed coats, and their embryos go dormant. If youre working with seeds that have been stored and are, therefore, more deeply dormant, try nicking or sanding the seeds, and then give them sulfuric acid for an hour, and then stratify for three months. Remarks: Golden-rain trees do well in average soil, but they need full sun to germinate well.

Hawthorn Crataegus spp.


This slow-growing tree produces white flowers in spring, followed by small red or yellow fruits that contain hard-coated, nutlike seeds. Collecting Seeds: Pick the seeds out of the fruit pulp and wash them before planting.

When to Plant: Plant seeds right away; they will sometimes germinate the following spring. Stored seeds can be planted in the summer after stratification. Breaking Dormancy: Before the seeds can imbibe water and start germinating, the seeds coat must decompose. In addition, the embryos need chilling in order to break dormancy. If the seeds have been stored, stratify them over winter at room temperature to break the seed coats and then chill them for four to five months in the refrigerator before planting out in summer. If you decide to use an acid treatment on hawthorn seeds, treat only seeds that have been kept at room temperature for several weeks, because the embryos in fresh seeds are damaged by the harsh acid. How to Plant: Plant seeds thickly, because some will probably be infertile. Some should germinate the first year, but some will take another year to sprout. Remarks: Hawthorns develop taproots and should be transplanted out of the nursery bed by the time theyre a year old.

Hemlock Tsuga canadensis


Seeds of these short-needled evergreens are borne in small oval cones 1/2 to 3/4 inch long. Seed production begins at 20 to 30 , or bit a later if the tree is in the shade. Most hemlocks bear frequent large crops. When to Plant : Either plant seeds in fall or stratify them for three months. Breaking Dormancy: Although some kinds of hemlock seeds dont go dormant, stratification still improves hemlock seed germination. Seeds planted in the south need less stratification than those grown in the North, and recommended temperature is higher for southern seeds 700F (210C) than for northern 55 0F (130C). How to Plant: If you can, plant seeds from trees growing in a latitude and elevation similar to yours. Some growers use a sterile medium for hemlock seeds because they are prone to damping-off. Remarks: The seedlings are small and delicate and should be shaded for their first two summers. Theyre usually kept in nursery bed until their second or third season.

Hickory Carya ovata


C.ovata is the shagbark hickory, C.laciniosa, the shellbark hickory. Hickory nuts are enclosed in woody husks that split open when they fall to the ground. Good crops are periodic. Our shagbark hickory tree has had two excellent crops in 14 years, with poor or fair harvests in the remaining years. Collecting Seeds : Gather the nuts promptly a they drop, because squirrels and mice collect them, too. When to Plant : As soon as they drop or after stratification. Breaking Dormancy: If you are planting saved seeds, chill them for one to five months 0 at 33 F to 40 0F (10C to 4 0C). Hickory nuts may be stratified in plastic bags without moss or other surrounding medium. Spread mulch over planted nuts.