Author Topic: Red Pine Seed Planting  (Read 5695 times)

jlushious

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Red Pine Seed Planting
« on: January 10, 2014, 04:25 PM »
Hi Folks, just looking for a little advice. I harvested some red pine cones from my neighbourhood and scarified them with hot water back in October and have had them cold stratifying in my fridge since. They are starting to sprout in the ziplock bag I put them in, so I am thinking I should probably get them planted soon.

I am generally following the advice on growing pines from seed from the Bonsai Tonight blog posts (and intend to follow the process outlined on the blog with making seedling cuttings eventually). This link can show you the latest post on this series and link you back to cone collection etc. if you want to see my plan: http://bonsaitonight.com/2013/03/26/repotting-1-year-old-black-pine-seedlings/

So here are my questions:

1. I have a grow tray, but it doesn't have drainage holes - should I use this at least for seed starting as it also came with a clear dome top that would be good for humidity once they get going.
2. I don't have any heat mats/grow lights. Will this be bad or can I get away with keeping them in my warm house in front of a bright window until temps get better (note my zone info, yikes!). O rshould I just go pick some up? There's a good hydroponics store close by if I need to.
3. Potting medium, Jonas uses sand for his seeds, what do you guys have best experience with? Right now I have my bonsai in a mix of Turface, perlite and black lava - none of which I think will work well with tiny seeds.

Thanks for any help, this is so far a fun experiment, I didn't think that they would start sprouting so soon in my fridge (or at all to be honest!).

Jodie
 

tmmason10

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 06:06 PM »
I think you may have started them a bit early in your climate. I might have had the cones stored for a few months and started the process closer to spring.

 The soil you suggested should work fine, but I would think about putting a layer of sand on top. I would also try to have drainage holes in your tray if possible.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 06:08 PM by tmmason10 »
 

Sorce

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2014, 03:07 AM »
Awesome!

I put some juni cuttings in "model railroad" ballast. It's available in different sizes, close to sand. What I have doesn't break down, drains, and doesn't float.

It seems a better option than fine sand.


 

Sorce

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 03:15 AM »
Oops.

Definitely drain holes.

I would put a few in different soils, places, covers. See what works best. Then they all won't go bad if anything goes wrong.

I started a few spruce too early. They should be ok.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 11:49 AM »
1. I have a grow tray, but it doesn't have drainage holes - should I use this at least for seed starting as it also came with a clear dome top that would be good for humidity once they get going.
2. I don't have any heat mats/grow lights. Will this be bad or can I get away with keeping them in my warm house in front of a bright window until temps get better (note my zone info, yikes!). O rshould I just go pick some up? There's a good hydroponics store close by if I need to.
3. Potting medium, Jonas uses sand for his seeds, what do you guys have best experience with? Right now I have my bonsai in a mix of Turface, perlite and black lava - none of which I think will work well with tiny seeds.

Jodie

1.) I'd opt for drainage holes.  The dome will only be of use for the first few weeks, ...but you may need it to maintain a bit more heat.
2.) I'd provide them as much light as you can.  If you're growing them in a warm house, they're going to want to grow faster.  Fast growth in poor light yields growth of poor quality for bonsai: lankiness.  Another option is to slow them down by growing them as cold as they'll tolerate ...which you'll have to research.
3.) Turface will probably suffice, especially if there's a layer of sand on the top to help maintain moisture while the seeds sprout and establish roots into the turface.
 

jlushious

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2014, 08:44 AM »
Wonderful, thanks everyone!

I will document progress. I hope to plant them out this weekend once I get my hands on some sand.

Jodie
 

Gaffer

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2014, 08:39 PM »
Keep the seedlings in as much light as you can. If you are still living where I think you are this way too early. They need to be in a very cool environment 10 c to 15c until you can harden them off in July ha ha. I have some tridents up already and we have had such a mild winter that bugs have eaten half of them.
Good luck
Qualicum Brian
 

jlushious

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2014, 10:35 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I realize now it was too early. When I did my research it suggested to collect in October, which I did. I had them in my house and the cones started to open (probably from the warm dry air), so I collected the seeds. A few dried so much they were popping open - kind of like popcorn - so I thought it best to stratify thinking that it would be a few months (not realizing that a few months would get me to January... ugh!).

Anyways, the process so far has been encouraging, even if I don't have any survivors this year, I know that next year I will try and figure out how to prevent the recently released seeds from getting too dry (some kind of preserving technique I guess).

Anyways, I have a great south facing bright window in my house (which is around 15C - 19C on average) so it's not too warm but not as cold as outside!

They will definitely stay in for as long as I can - at least until April/May! It might give me a chance to even do the cuttings while still indoors if they sprout.
 

jlushious

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2014, 09:37 AM »
So I popped the seeds into some soil, picked up a grow mat and put my seed tray and dome on top of the heat mat on Saturday. I already have half of the 24 seeds popping! So at least there's some good results so far.

I also picked up a fluorescent grow light and now have them under the light - I didn't think my window was going to give them enough and I want to avoid lankiness. I was reading that to reduce the chance of getting leggy growth to place the lights pretty low above the seedlings - just a few inches - and move it up as they grow. So I am going to try that.

I will give the heat mat a few more days to push the other seeds and if they don't come up I will take it off the heat mat. I know too much heat can be bad for new seedlings and I don't want to jeopardize the ones that have popped in the hopes that a few more will come.

I am hoping to keep these little guys indoors for a month or two of growing, repotting them into individual containers in the spring so that they can go outside once temps warm up some more.
 

Judy

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2014, 10:27 AM »
What I do with seedling flats that I grow is to put a oscillating fan on them for a few hours a day, the motion of the wind over them strengthens them and makes them grow bigger lower stems, and roots.  This is my experience with vegetable seedlings, but I would imagine it has merit to transpose onto any seedling venture inside.  It also adds a nice air circulation that can't hurt.
 

jlushious

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2014, 11:14 AM »
Thanks, I have one so will give it a whirl!
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2014, 11:58 AM »
For next year,  seed of P. resinosa (North American Red Pine) stores well dry, in the refrigerator, up to 10 years germination will be above 50%. It also will sprout well without any pre-treatment. You will get more uniform germination with cold & moist stratification for a month to 6 weeks before planting. This is what seed suppliers recommend. True also for P. banksiana, & P. rigida, possibly a few others. For 5 needle pines, seed does not stay viable much beyond 2 years with cold and dry storage.

You could give the seed a short cold stratification for 6 weeks by figuring out when 6 weeks before average last frost date is, then at that time, take dry seed, put it in a plastic bag with a handful of moist inert potting mix, then putting the bag in  the refrigerator. Plant out when it is warm enough outside.

Since they are native to your area, the P. resinosa seed is adapted for a 5 or 6 month winter. You can stratify them for as long as you have a winter. Plant the seed in fall, and leave them outside with your outdoor hardy trees all winter. Then they will sprout, at the right time for spring.

Any fine potting mix, mostly inert, should work, I just use my 'shohin' size bonsai mix.

Sometimes a home refrigerator does not stay as cold as one might think, if it is set for 4 C or 39 F, every time you open the door it warms up, usually taking upwards of an hour to return to the set temperature. if the refrigerator is opened frequently during the day, it can get surprisingly warm for extended periods. For zone 3 trees this is a bit on the warm side for keeping them dormant, that is likely why you got so much growth while in your refrigerator. Put them in the back, where the temperature doesn't warm as much. 

Worthy project. Seedlings can be fun.
 

jlushious

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 06:22 PM »
Had some good growth already with these. They were planted in jiffy pellets which worked really well. They started pushing roots through the peat pellets so I repotted them today in net pots (I will start a new thread later with this process and showing these). They are 6" pots so they should last these guys a while and leave lots of room to grow. I ended up with 10 seedlings from 25 seeds.
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 06:38 PM »
Be sure and cut the tap roots.
 

jlushious

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Re: Red Pine Seed Planting
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 06:43 PM »
Sure did! I have never been so patient and delicate in my life, haha. Detangling the roots from the peat pellet netting and then removing the soil. Champion. :)