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Bad Seeds from a live tree?  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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I just yanked a handful of pine cones off of a tree and spent two hours pulling the little winged beasties from their hiding place.   Fifteen minutes later and all of the seeds are floating in a jar of water.

If seeds float they won't germinate?   Are there exceptions to this rule?


Regards, Scott

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pollinator
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I think there are exceptions. I think pine is one of them, but I’m not sure.  You could crack a few and see if the insides look full and healthy.
 
Scott Foster
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Ken W Wilson wrote:I think there are exceptions. I think pine is one of them, but I’m not sure.  You could crack a few and see if the insides look full and healthy.




Thanks ken.  They crack super easy but there is a tiny bit of white meat in them.  I will plant a few and see what happens.


Cheers, Scott
 
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Reading your post made me think of a forest fire documentary I watched some years ago. Some, but not all, pine cones will only open and release their seeds in nature when exposed to the heat from a forest fire. I googled this and learned it's called serotiny and happens in several forms, fire exposure being one of them. I looked at a few sites online and some say to store the seeds in the freezer for 2-3 months (I'm guessing for stratification) and then sow, others just say sow. I couldn't find any information on wether or not heat is required to stratify them. I think the heat is only needed to get certain varieties of pine cones to open so the seeds fall out. Good luck and let us know what germinates!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serotiny
 
Scott Foster
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Thanks James,

It is amazing that some cones only open when fire rolls through, mother nature has it worked out!  I planted 10 non-floaters yesterday, if they come up I will post a pic!

Regards, Scott
 
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Scott Foster wrote:If seeds float they won't germinate?   Are there exceptions to this rule?



I think it depends on the structure of the whole seed or fruit. For example, if your pine seeds are winged beasties, it may be the wings that make them float. A huge steel ship weighing hundreds of tons can float!

I tried collecting and planting wild caper seeds, and I separated the floaters from the sinkers, and planted both separately. Both germinated at about 50%. So did the ones from a fox scat.
 
Scott Foster
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Thanks Rebecca,

I cracked a bunch of the floaters and they were like the husk of partially popped popcorn with nothing inside.  I cracked a couple of the sinkers and they had just a tiny bit of white meat inside.   These seeds looked like little maple seeds when I pulled them out.  I took the wing off before soaking and I didn't stratify.  It's been well below freezing here for a good amount of time so I skipped the stratification process.

Regards, Scott
 
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