6

My spruce trees produce hundreds of seeds, but when I plant them very few germinate and the ones that do don't overwinter. I was sowing them in fall to overwinter and sprout in spring in acidic, humusy soil in full sun, in a regular nursery bed. I don't have the normal equipment used for this, just the nursery beds. How should I be doing this?

6

According to the National Christmas Tree Association:

Most propagation is by seed. Rooting is difficult and a challenge.

According to Floridata:

Propagate Norway spruce from seeds sown in spring. Seeds usually germinate readily and do not require pre-treatment. The dwarf cultivars may be propagated from tip cuttings of mature shoots taken in summer. Some of the cultivars typically are grafted onto seedlings of the species.

So I would hold the seed over winter (perhaps in the fridge -- I think most conifers want a cold period to break dormancy), and plant in the spring in acidic, well-drained soil.

Lastly, I know people who grow Christmas trees, and they expect significant losses (in related species, not necessarily Norway Spruce) when they plant from seedlings, so I wouldn't expect all of the seeds you plant to survive. A good strategy might be to sow 10x (or even 100x) what you want, and then thin to the strongest survivors after a couple of years.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.