Harvesting Trachycarpus seeds

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by palmera, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. palmera

    palmera Active Member

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    Well, today I harvested a branch of Trachy fortunei seeds from my local provider tree. I was going to wait a few weeks but I didn't want to miss out on the seeds. I was quite surprised that someone had already cut a branch. In fact, they had cut two branches, but one had become stuck on a leaf so it looks like they gave up on it and went for another. I say I am surprised because this looks to be the first year that any seeds were gathered from this tree as previous year's seed brachts are still attached. It just goes to show that interest in palms is increasing!

    The tree I gather from is a real beauty. She is side by side with her fella and they are a handsome couple. It is about 25 feet tall and may have some waggie genes as her fronds appear stiffer than other trachys her size. She is tough as nails as she faces East and, to my knowledge, has never been additionally protected. Pretty good. I don't think that 20-30 years ago people thought any palms were completely hardy here.

    This morning my finger tips are numb from picking the seeds off the stem. Thousands of seeds. My husband has learned not to ask questions. I'm sure he thinks I am planning to forest my suburbian lot in palms. Many I'll plant, some I'll give away, the rest are in the Buy and Sell. Gardening can be an expensive hobbie and hopefully I can continue to self fund my addiction. All else fails, I'm going for the palm forest!

    So here's a question for you all. I have read mixed info on the removal of the papery seed "wrapper". I know that the seeds will still germinate if I do not remove the paper, but does anyone have a strong idea how the germination percentage is affected? Or is there any difference at all? Some of the paper slipped right off, but most is still attached. Any thoughts would be appreciated...
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Morning palmera.
    I'll answer your question straight off. No difference in germination rates with or without the thin papery covering. I've grown many thousands from seed and the biggest hurdle is after they germinate. A nice semi-shaded spot and regular amounts of water are best. Some die for no apparent reason right next to healthy ones. Some are vigorous and out pace others 2 to 1.
    Now my question. Just how did you harvest those palm seeds from a 25' tree? I know your husband is tall and standing on his shoulders still isn't enough. I just harvested about 2,000 seeds from a 12' palm and it's about as tall as I can manage without a ladder.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2007
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    How long till someone else on this forum owns up to being the person who harvested the other . . . :-)
     
  4. palmera

    palmera Active Member

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    Barrie,

    Thanks for the info. I knew you'd have the answers!

    As far as the reach...without giving away my tree's exact location (for obvious reasons) it is very conveniently located next to a stairway. Does anyone else feel like this is starting to be a treasure hunt?

    Michael...the thought has crossed my mind! Fortunately, I can share and there still is one branch of seeds left... that is until the treasure hunters find it!
     
  5. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    palmera,
    Well I certainly don't need any more palm seeds. I don't even need the ones I have. I've got 650 seedlings in gallon pots and numerous others in 2, 5 and 15 gallon sizes, so don't count me in on a treasure hunt (I'm basically lazy anyway).
    As a side note, I recieved a very nice gift from the Salt Spring Center School the other day. Carol's students sent two lovely hand made cards filled with thank you notes. A fabulous gesture from some awesome young people and future gardeners.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  6. palmera

    palmera Active Member

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    It's addictive, isn't it? Picking seeds, I mean. I had no intentions of picking all the seed from the branch originally. But once I started, I feel I have to keep going until each seed is off. I still have about half of the batch to go. My poor fingers are raw. Please tell me there is an easier way!

    The thank-yous you got from Carol's kids-I am assuming you supplied them with some palm seed? I would think that they are buried in seeds from the SSI palms. Very thoughtful of you to help them out. Growing up in Chilliwack I only got to germinate and grow marigolds in school. It was kind of cool though as the marigolds we grew bloomed at Christmas. Maybe that's when my Zonal Denial began...
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    No easy way to pick Trachycarpus palm seeds I'm afraid. Limit yourself to a 1,000 a day and you should be fine.
    No palm seeds from me to SSI school as I figured Joe would be a main supplier there. A variety of other things went there. I have some other things already germinated that I can donate for their spring plant sale.
    All we ever got to grow in school was a pea plant. I never remember it growing to produce anything either.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  8. Tom24

    Tom24 Active Member

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    I was wondering if you would send me some seeds? I can send you some jelly palms in exchange?
     
  9. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Sure thing. I'll PM you with more info.
    Cheers, LPN.
     
  10. Hendrik

    Hendrik Member

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    Hi All
    My name is Hendrik and living in South Africa I'm growing thousands of Trachy's and the best for me is to put them in hot water for 12 hours and they germinate like crazy. I am about to harvest my 2007 seed, its best to sow them fresh.
     
  11. sudbury

    sudbury Active Member

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    I've never done any palm seed picking... But on the topic of picking seed, I'm traveling down to florida in mid march. Does anyone know if there any specific types of palms that would have seeds ready to pick at that time that I should try to collect and grow at home.
     
  12. sudbury

    sudbury Active Member

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    Oh, forgot to mention I will be driving down to Florida ,so palms in Georgia, or the Carolina's could be included.

    thanks
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    When are they mature, then???

    28 January; Northern Hemisphere:
    26 February; Southern Hemisphere:
    Shouldn't the two hemispheres be harvesting about 6 months different, rather than one month?
     
  14. Hendrik

    Hendrik Member

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    We usualy harvest the seeds in May June but at the moment it is very hot and dry (no rain at all) and I think its got something to do with the seeds ripening so fast.
     
  15. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hope they are mature then, and not just dried out by the heat!
     
  16. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I wondered the same. Do the palms show any heat stress?

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  17. Hendrik

    Hendrik Member

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    No they dont show heat stress they stand with their feet in the water. But it is if all the seeds are ripening very rapedly at the moment.We are desperate for some rain to get everything back to normal again.The seeds are nice and full and their will not be any problem with they germination.
     

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