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Advice needed: growing chestnut and linden from seed

 
pollinator
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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.
 
pioneer
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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
pollinator
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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
 
gardener
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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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