Starting seed from Sciadopitys verticillata

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by mcwho, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. mcwho

    mcwho Member

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    I was recently given a pine cone from an umbrella pine in MA, USA. I got about 20 seeds that look good. I would appreciate it if someone would give me detailed instructions on how to plant the seeds and grow on the seedlings.
    Thanks!
    mcwho
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Re: Sciadopitys verticillata

    Note it isn't a pine, the cones are koyamaki cones, not pine cones.

    In my experience, the seeds are easy to germinate, but very difficult to keep alive after germination. Never found out why they all died, though.
     
  3. smivies

    smivies Active Member

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    Re: Sciadopitys verticillata

    No problem keeping them alive for me but their exceedingly slow growth when young will give you years to change your mind and go buy one at a nursery.

    Mine are 6 years old and grew a whopping 1-1/4" this year. A whole 1/2" more than last year. They are now 4" tall. I'm crossing my fingers that next year I might get 2" out of them.

    I stratified the seeds for 3 months in the fridge with moist vermiculite. They were slow to germinate in spring, waiting until the hot weather in early July when they virtually all germinated within 3-4 days. No special care after that....kept them moist and wintered them in a cold frame. They currently reside in 1 gallon pots sunk into the garden and are unprotected in the winter.
     
  4. mcwho

    mcwho Member

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    SMIVES:
    Thanks for getting me started. I placed the seeds in a plastic container with about 4 inches of a mixture of peat moss and perlite (60% pearlite/40 peat moss). I moistened the mixture, placed the seeds on top, sprayed a fungicide and then closed the container with a lid and placed it in an air tight clear plastic bag. I have this in a refrigerator.

    Q - I did not cover the seeds. Should I have done this?

    Q - 3 full months in the refrigerator?

    Q - When I take the seeds out of the refrigerator, should the container be left open and placed under lights or go into a cold frame?

    Q - Did you give the seedlings any fertilizer? Strength?

    Sorry to be such a bother but you are the first person I have found with experience growing these seeds and available to share it. Thanks!
    mcwho
     
  5. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    With all pines the best time to plant is in the fall. Umbrella pine seeds that cannot be planted at once should be stratified at 35F for two months before planting. The seed of umbrella pine remain viable for several years in a sealed container, if kept cool and dry. It is best to plant them in sterilized soil or an artificial soil medium, so damping off diseases will be less of a problem. The type of fertilizer schedule that I would recommend would be 18-6-12 Osmocote slow release 6-9 months fertilizer (NO SUBSTITUTE0). Many tree nurseries incorporate this formulation directly into their germinating medium. 18-6-12 is made for seedling mixes, as the formulation has a very slow initial release, then gradually emits more nutrients as time passes. This coinsides with the growth pattern of tree seedlings. Umbrella pine is a very slow grower, but you should expect about 6 inches of growth per year. They make a very nice ornamental tree. Good luck. - Millet
     
  6. mcwho

    mcwho Member

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    Millet:

    Thank you for the additional information. Please tell me what potting medium you would use. If the seeds germinate the seedlings will probably stay in the starting tray for the first year. When transplanted into pots what medium mixture would you use. I am accustomed to growing azaleas and rhododendrons. For them I use a mix of organic compost, pine bark fines and garden soil (silt-loam). Does this sound like a satisfactory combination?
    mcwho
     
  7. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Growth medium for tree seedlings in containers must be well aerated, yet have a moderate water holding capacity. Developing roots of seedlings with high respiration rates require oxygen levels greater than older plants. Because the column of growth medium in a container is not continuous as soil is under field conditions, the water accumulates at the bottom of the container, this is known as the "perched water table". Therefore, the more shallow the container, the less growth medium in the top of the container that is well drained and suitable for good root growth. Likewise, the deeper the container, the more growth medium that is going to be well drained and suitable for root growth. The shallower your container, the more porous the growth medium must be. Likewise, the deeper the container, the smaller the pores can be within reasonable limits. The drainable pore space for tree seedlings should be 25 to 35 percent. I would use a germinating container not less than 4 inches tall, nor more than 6 inches in height. Growth media that have worked well are 1:1, peat and perlite; 2:1:1, ground pine bark, peat and perlite; or 2:1:1: ground pine bark, peat, and vermiculite. To obtain good growth, the need to transplant seedlings as soon as proper from the seedling container to the growing container should be done to prevent stunting . A growth medium that has been found to work well for the on growing of your tree seedling is a mix of 3 parts ground pine (or other conifer bark), plus 1 part good Canadian peat, plus 1 part concrete sand (not fine play sand), To this mix add a 9 month Osmocote slow release fertilizer such as 19-5-9, dolomite for magnesium and calcium, and trace minerals. - Millet
     
  8. mcwho

    mcwho Member

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    Millet:
    I think what I have done with the seed thus far is ok. I'll try the growth medium you described. I shouldn't have any trouble finding the Osmocote. Thanks again! Your informaiton was interesting and very helpful.
    mcwho
     
  9. mcwho

    mcwho Member

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    Hi all:
    Well took the advice you provided and got 12 seeds to germinate. The did well for a while but then 10 died. I have two remaining, which are now planted in 4 in. pots and are in a cold frame for the winter. They were watered twice but are now under 2 ft. of snow so I can only hope they are doing well. I also took Michael F's advice and bought a plant of 18 in. height. Only time will tell if my two seedlings survive.
    Thanks for your info.
    mcwho
     
  10. GRSJr

    GRSJr Active Member 10 Years

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    Sorry, I can't find the reference, but a study under Prof. Franck Blazich at NC State University showed that Sciadopitys verticillata growth can be greatly speeded up by subjecting the plants to artificial cold periods. I believe they alternated between 40F and room temperature on a 30 day cycle. Thus the plants put forth a flush every 2 months instead of once a year, an increase of 6 times the normal growth.

    A refrigerator will produce the cold but the light must be left on inside.

    If you do a google search with the plant name and Franck's name, you should turn up the reference and be able to get the actual procedure and results.

    Hopefully this might make raising them from seed more exciting.

    Ray
     
  11. DaveK

    DaveK Member

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    I have some seeds. Must the seeds be stratified ?
     
  12. ksc

    ksc Member

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