The most important thing about growing trees from seeds is that you only use absolutely fresh seeds. This should either be collected yourself or bought from a trusted dealer. Make sure, however, that they actually only sell fresh seeds and have stored them correctly. Old or incorrectly stored seeds show a poor germination rate. It is easiest with native tree species: in autumn, just go into the forest and collect acorns, beechnuts, chestnuts and fir and pine cones. Cones should be placed in a warm room for a few days until they open and you can collect the seeds.
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The seeds of native tree species need a cold period with frosty temperatures so that the dormancy is broken. So plant these seeds outdoors in autumn or winter and don't forget to put a protective net against birds and rodents. Stratification, as this procedure is also called, can, however, also be brought about artificially. To do this, pack the seeds in a container with damp sand, which you then put in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Seeds with a hard shell or pod, such as pine or beech seeds, are best soaked in water before sowing. This will soften the shell and make germination easier.
Sowing and caring for the seedlings
Once all the preparatory work has been done, you can now proceed to sowing:
- Fill a seed box or tray with seed compost.
- Normal garden soil mixed with sand is suitable for this.
- Put a thin layer of sand on top.
- Pull out the sowing furrows.
- Place the seeds in the furrows one at a time.
- The space required depends on the size of the seeds.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of potting compost.
- The seed box is well watered and put outside.
- The well-developed seedlings are placed in individual pots.
- Alternatively, you can also plant them out.
Deciduous trees in particular can also be propagated very well by cuttings. However, this form does not work with many conifers, especially pines.