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Pinus species – Pine

Pre-treatment:

Soak seed in warm water for 24 – 48 hours before sowing.

Sowing either:

Sow in autumn 6 mm deep, in individual pots inside a cold frame; alternatively place pots inside a ziploc bag and seal this placing it outside, protecting from mice etc which will otherwise enjoy the snack you have put out for them.  In this way the dormancy of the seeds is broken naturally and the seeds should germinate in early spring.

Or:

If the seed is not sown in autumn, a short period of stratification can be used, mix the pre-soaked seed with some peat or moss and place in a ziplock bag in the fridge for a period of 4 – 8 weeks.  Check regularly and plant any seed that show signs of germinating.  After stratifying sow in pots 6 mm deep and germinate outside, once there is no risk of heavy frost and as long as the daytime highs do not exceed 16 Deg C.

Growing On:

Once the seedlings emerge, allow in some air but keep shaded from full sun or they will die very quickly.  The seedlings look like small green umbrellas when they come up:


Plant seedlings out into their permanent positions as soon as possible and protect them for their first winter or two. Plants have a very sparse root system and the sooner they are planted into their permanent positions the better they will grow.

Trees should be planted into their permanent positions when they are quite small, between 30 and 90cm. Better results may be obtained if the trees are planted out when about 5 - 10cm tall.  As long as they are given a very good weed-excluding mulch they establish very well in this case.  Trees larger than 90 cm will check badly and hardly put on any growth for several years. This also badly affects root development and wind resistance.