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Advice needed: growing chestnut and linden from seed

 
gardener
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Next year I'm hoping to propagate a lot of chestnut and little leaf linden from seed. I have no greenhouse though. Is it possible to just stick the seed in a pot in the fall and keep it moist in my garage? If there's not a simple way, what materials and preparation do I need to do to get ready?
 
gardener
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Make sure no hungry critters are going to forage for it there.  Also be sure your garage gets cold enough to cold stratify...that's all off the top of my head.
 
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James Landreth wrote:Next year I'm hoping to propagate a lot of chestnut and little leaf linden from seed. I have no greenhouse though. Is it possible to just stick the seed in a pot in the fall and keep it moist in my garage? If there's not a simple way, what materials and preparation do I need to do to get ready?



I do it by keeping seeds in a ziplock with damp peat moss in the refrigerator all winter.
 
James Landreth
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Thanks Amit. It's unheated and detached so hopefully stratification won't be an issue.

I haven't found anything on if I need to scarify or do anything weird for either of these seeds
 
steward
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I planted 4 seeds according to these instructions.


All 4 germinated. I transplanted them when they reached about a foot tall. One location was too dry, that tree is no longer with us. But at 4 years old, the others are doing great!
 
pollinator
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You should not need any special scarifying tricks to get germination - I would keep them in the ground, out in the rain and cold with a wire cover on top to keep out rodents out.

If you want American Chestnut I have some 50-100 year old trees to harvest from -- the deer and squirrels don't leave them around for long.
Mine are close to you in Longview, WA -- anybody from the area can message me if interested .
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Hmmm... I just finished watching it all the way through. I never used any of the fertilizing recommendations. Just purchased potting soil, and later in the ground, mulches.
 
James Landreth
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Yes Eric! That would be great! I'd love to get more American chestnut planted around here. I was told by a horticulturist that chestnut blight doesn't proliferate here because of our dry summers. So this is one of the only places we can still grow pure Americans
 
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My best success with chestnuts involves finding the seedlings in summertime underneath the tree and digging them up. My second best results come from mimicking this environment: I place the nuts on the surface in pots or bags filled with a soil mix that is mostly leaf mould, and cover them with a lot of chestnut and oak leaves. I put them in a cool spot out of the way where they will get rained on and at least a bit of frost. I suppose that if rodents were an issue I could cover them with wire mesh.
 
Eric Thompson
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James Landreth wrote:Yes Eric! That would be great! I'd love to get more American chestnut planted around here. I was told by a horticulturist that chestnut blight doesn't proliferate here because of our dry summers. So this is one of the only places we can still grow pure Americans



Good -- I will try to collect some seed this year and also mark any small sprouted seedlings for transplant.  There are 3 trees here that were planted in the 20's, and several seedlings in the surrounding area which is mostly forested hillside.  There are some small seedlings, but I can only identify them with leaves, so marking for winter transplant is necessary..
 
James Landreth
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That'd be great!

Also, Eric, I'm likely going to be involved in putting in a 15 acre food forest in Rainier Oregon (just across from Longview) starting in the fall!
 
pollinator
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Trace Oswald wrote:

James Landreth wrote:Next year I'm hoping to propagate a lot of chestnut and little leaf linden from seed. I have no greenhouse though. Is it possible to just stick the seed in a pot in the fall and keep it moist in my garage? If there's not a simple way, what materials and preparation do I need to do to get ready?



I do it by keeping seeds in a ziplock with damp peat moss in the refrigerator all winter.



I have done chestnuts twice this way; success rate was perhaps 65% the first year and 40% the second. I'm sure I could improve this by policing for mold or taking more care to get moisture more right... but have a good volume of nuts available from street trees so even 40% is alright.
 
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I accidentally started chestnuts this year 🤣. I bought a few pounds to try and forgot about them in the fridge. I don’t remember exactly when but they started sprouting in the ziplock bag I had them in. From there I potted each one up in a 1 gallon container and left them in an unheated garage. A good number of them have sprouted now! I’m wondering though when the seed energy is used up and detaches from the seedling. Does anyone know about how long that takes? I currently have wire cloth over them to keep the squirrels and mice away but this is going to create a new problem if the seedlings get too large growing through it.
 
gardener
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Thanks for the tip Phil. Think I will try that next. Had some chestnut in the freezer all winter. Planted 2 in containers late winter but neither has sprouted yet. Same for a couple in the ground. Might just put all the others loosely in the soil under leaf mould & hope for the best. Before it rains today. Then keep eyes open for naturally occurring volunteers this coming season.
 
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James,

I grew 50+ chestnut trees from several trees in our area. I just stratified them in moist peat moss in my spare fridge and potted them up but be sure to protect them.
I lost about 30 to Squirrels them damm hungry bastards. I have some liners for sale if you want, see my blog at https://phonenixnurserys.blogspot.com/
 
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