Northwest Illinois Forestry AssociationWoodland owners sharing ideas on forest productivity

From Seeds to Seedlings

24 Dec 2018 1:30 PM | Richard Pouzar (Administrator)

Recently, a member wanted to know how to plant the seeds he had collected to grow seedlings successfully.  There is a very good reference with lots of information on this subject.  The "Seeds of Woody Plants in North America" by James and Cheryl Young covers 386 genera including trees and bushes.  For each of these genera, the book describes in drawings, charts, and text -

  • how soon one should collect fallen seeds to prevent them drying out
  • what temperature and humidity to maintain during seed storage
  • how long seeds can be stored
  • temperature and duration of pre-chilling of seeds
  • the best times of year to plant seeds
  • the planting depth and spacing for seeds

The book also includes information on grafting and growing from cuttings.

This 1992 book is based on Agricultural Handbook 450, published first by the USDA Forest Service in 1948, which covered fewer than half as many genera.

There are other publications on this subject as well, but I am most familiar with this book.



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