Scarification with Dremel Tool

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Junglekeeper, Jan 30, 2005.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Scoring is the conventional way to scarify large seeds with a tough shell. Since effort is much reduced with a Dremel tool, would the process be improved on by roughing up the seed surface with a sanding band as opposed to carving groves with a cutting disc? I'm thinking this would greatly increase the area in which water can penetrate the seed. Any thoughts on this?
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I think you should count your fingers! :)
     
  3. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    More seriously. I would think that overall scarification would be more effctive than targeted. The more you can rough up a seed coat to enable moisture penetration and radicle development the better, non? I eagerly await Mr Shep and Ron B to respond to this post....
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Since a full complement is desirable I'll be using a vise!

    The logic behind the premise seems reasonable. I was hoping to hear from someone who's tried it both ways. That someone may just turn out to be me.
     
  5. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Junglekeeper,

    As you've already noted, the idea behind scarifying seeds is to break the seed coat to allow moisture to penetrate. Sounds a bit harsh to use a Dremel. I don't think you need to make lots of cuts to let the moisture in. But let us know how it goes if you decide to use this method.

    Newt
     
  6. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi

    I know of people that put the seed in an old pantihose and throw them in either the wash machine on spin or the dryier.

    They seem to have good results.

    regadrs Doug
     
  7. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi

    I know of people that put the seed in an old pantihose and throw them in either the wash machine on spin or the dryier.

    They seem to have good results.

    regards Doug
     
  8. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I think a lot depends on which seeds need scarification.

    Sometimes a little sandpaper is ample enough for
    some seeds as I have used it for non-native to here
    Lupines I had come in from Colorado. The soaking
    in water just has not been effective at all for me so I
    used a coarse sandpaper to roughen up the outer coat
    and then soaked the seeds immersed in water overnight.
    It has worked well for me in the past.

    For Giant Sequoia seeds fire or intense heat does
    the best job for them. I know of hot air being used
    for certain small grains and other cereals also as it
    will open them up just enough to let the seed enable
    water to enter quicker than without the heat treatment.

    I suppose the use of a Dremel tool can help but I
    would think the pericarps have to be rather hard and
    probably be a large seed used for it to be successful
    as long as we do not forcibly sand them too deep.
    Just to rough them up a little I would think. Hard to
    say for sure as I have not done it using a Dremel tool.

    Alright, what seeds is this proposed method for?

    Jim
     
  9. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Artabotrys seeds are fairly large and have a very tough pericarp that appears to be waxy or oily. A batch that was planted earlier without scarification failed to germinate. I figure a Dremel tool would make the job a lot simpler especially since a large number of seeds are involved. Treatment with acid is an alternative but then I don't have the experience or the materials (or the inclination) to try something so exotic.
     
  10. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  11. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Yes, thanks. I saw the same page. Hopefully I'll get the stated germination rate with scarification. In case you're wondering, I opened one of the seeds before planting and it appeared to be viable.
     
  12. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    You're very welcome. Thanks for the feedback.

    Good luck,
    Newt
     
  13. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Unfortunately there'll be no experiment. I gave up trying to rough up the seeds with the tool after having several of them fly off in various directions. Ended up cutting groves in them as per usual. It took a long time even with the tool. I wonder if a rock tumbler could be used for scarification? Anyone try?
     
  14. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Gosh Junglekeeper sounds like you need a hard hat too! ;-) Thanks for the update. I don't know about the rock tumbler, but I'd say be ready to duck!

    Newt
     
  15. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    My experience is that only a nick is needed -- only enough to allow water through the thick husk, then soaking a day before planting. IMO total husk removal may be undesirable and there are parts of the seed you don’t want to damage. Are you are looking for a way to do it in mass? If not, then stick to the tried and true notching the seed at non growing end.
     
  16. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I agree. No use second guessing now. I ended up cutting two groves on each edge and roughing up the edges at the growing end. All I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
     
  17. fourd

    fourd Active Member 10 Years

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    Well it's my fault I didn't get in the mix when I first saw this ... but I did enjoy reading these inovative ideas... best of luck....
     

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