You can grow pine trees using seed in pine cone scales that are harvested from female cones. Female pine cones are considerably larger than their male counterparts. Mature pine cones are woody and brown in appearance. One cone produces about two seeds beneath each scale. These seeds will remain in the cone until it dries out and opens up completely.
Once you have enough viable seed, they should be dried and stored in an airtight container or planted immediately, depending on when they were harvested, as pine tree seeds are usually planted around the first of the year.
How to Grow a Pine Tree from Seed
Growing pine and fir trees from seed can be a challenge, to say the least. However, with a little (actually a lot) of patience and determination, it is possible to find success when growing pine and fir trees. Let’s take a look at how to grow a pine tree from seed.
Germinating Pine Seeds
Seed in pine cones can usually be identified by the prominent-looking wing, which is attached to the seed for aid in dispersal. Seeds can be collected once they fall from the tree in autumn, usually between the months of September and November.
White Pine Tree Seeds (Conifer) 6785. A beautiful looking evergreen with long, soft needles. Quick growing for an evergreen, white pine ranges in height from 20-35 m (65-100′) in the wild. While white pine grows best in a sandy loam soil, it tolerates a wide range of soil types and moisture conditions (but not saturated soil). White Pine wood is straight grained and an absolute treat to work with – it is used for finishing, trim work, cabinetry and even as dimensional lumber. Many mammals and birds live in, on or feed from this tree. White Pine is a long lived, native tree of Canada and is Ontario’s provincial tree.
55 seed/gram. Stratification of tree seed occurs naturally outdoors through the winter. Sowing tree seeds outdoors in the fall takes advantage of this natural effect. To stratify indoors, mix the seed with a moistened, sterile, peat based growing medium in a container, wrap in a ventilated bag, and place it in a refrigerator for 12 to 20 weeks. In the spring plant the seed in a sheltered spot outside to grow into seedlings. Transplant to permanent site when well rooted.
How to Grow
Birds, squirrels and bears are not the only species that depend on whitebark pine.
A diminished number of seed cones has an effect on grizzly bears, the scientists say; the bears regularly raid squirrel seed caches to prepare for winter hibernation.
"But as more and more whitebark pines die, every year becomes a low-cone year."
Whitebark pine seeds are an essential food source for many animals in mountain habitats.
Each year, pollen from male cones is carried on the air to fertilize female seed cones perched atop nearby trees.
"We want to find out whether the surviving trees are still producing cones," Crone says. "They represent the future of whitebark pines."
June 10, 2013