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Beginner Gardening Questions: Pine cone seeds

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Sailstheseas
Staten Island, NY
(Zone 7b)

February 25, 2013
1:10 PM

Post #9431325

How do you propagate them? Do you use seeds from only the biggest pine cones, or will any size will work?
Thanks! Carol =^.^=__?

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WeeNel
Ayrshire Scotland
United Kingdom

February 25, 2013
2:06 PM

Post #9431399

You never said what type of pine you have but I'm sure propagation of the seeds will be the same for all types, IF you have pine or walk through the woods where they grow, you will find ripe seeds everywhere, even IF you take a stick and rub it up and down a cone that has spread open, the seeds that fall out will be ripe enough to plant.

The time to plant them is March in a cool area, use seed potting compost, I would use a seed tray and plant as many seeds as you can collect as these are quite difficult to germinate, don't throw out any seeds that don't germinate as they are slow, and don't all sprout together.
Once the seeds have sprouted, (next spring ??) take a small pot, refill with fresh seed compost and gently lift the seedlings (when large enough handle) poke a hole with pen or pencil in compost and insert the little seedlings, I would put about 3 per pot with space between each.
Place the pots outside in light but sheltered area away from direct sun, water when required, the following spring, pot each plant into it's own pot but this time use an acidic compost as pines prefer this type of soil. grow on and move each spring into larger pots till they are ready to plant out or give away. remember not to let the pots dry out BUT don't have them in constant flood.
Good luck. WeeNel.
Sailstheseas
Staten Island, NY
(Zone 7b)

February 26, 2013
11:18 AM

Post #9432493

Thank you, Weenel!!
The pic of the tree is the one I picked the cones from. There's a bunch on a hospital grounds.
Carol =^.^=__?
Diana_K
Contra Costa County, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 27, 2013
9:36 PM

Post #9434205

Different pines need different treatments to grow.

Some pines are adapted to areas with frequent fires, and the seeds will only germinate if they are exposed to the heat of a fire.

Some pines are native to very cold climates and will only sprout when they 'think' it is spring. They need to be kept refrigerated for a while to make them 'think' they have gone through a winter, and it is safe to sprout.

If you can post more pictures, perhaps ID the species, you can figure out if it is one of the pines that needs special treatment.
Cone- size, shape, and where it hangs in the tree. Also if it takes more than one year to mature? (Are there open and closed cones on the tree at the same time?), Needles are in bundles- how many needles in each bundle?, overall shape of the tree (stand back a ways)
altagardener
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3b)

February 28, 2013
7:28 AM

Post #9434423

Diana_K wrote:Different pines need different treatments to grow.
Some pines are adapted to areas with frequent fires, and the seeds will only germinate if they are exposed to the heat of a fire.


I think the adaptation you may be refering to is that some pines depend on forest fires for the cones to open to drop the seeds (though not for the seeds to germinate). Examples are lodgepole and jack pines. (There certainly are species for which seed germination is enhanced by, or dependent on, fire or even just smoke.)

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