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Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers) Conifers and relatives (cycads, Ginkgo and Gnetum) - Growing, Propagation, Identification, Appreciation and more!

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  #1  
Old September 25th, 2008, 02:21 PM
gpringle gpringle is offline
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Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

Help, I'm new at this. Trying to plant seeds from cones. It's September 25th. Are the seeds formed and ready yet? Not sure what to look for on the cone and I'm not really seeing anything that looks like a seed on the cone. How do I go about getting the seeds and planting them. Trying to start a group of Blue Spruce trees in the field behind the house.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 02:42 PM
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Re: Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

The seeds are inside the cones, two under each cone scale. When the cones are ripe (turning from green or purple to yellow*; any time now or in the next 2 or 3 weeks), pick some cones, and let them dry out on a sunny windowsill till they open. If the cones don't open well at first, soak them in cold water and then re-dry them, they'll open wider on the second drying. Then just shake out the seeds. Store the seeds cold (+1 or +2C) in some slightly moist (not dripping wet!!) sand. Then sow them in spring.

* Make sure they are this year's cones - old cones left over from last year won't have any seeds left in!

Note that seed from cultivated trees (particularly from a single tree on its own not close to other Blue Spruces) may have very low viability. Also note that the seedlings may not be so bright blue as the parent - most in cultivation are specially selected for blueness, wild trees are often dark green.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 05:01 AM
gpringle gpringle is offline
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Re: Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

Thanks Michael, The cones I examined were down low on the tree which I now uderstand were male, thats probably is why I didn't see any seeds in the leaf of the cone. I will try your recomendation on cones from the upper part of the tree (female). Thanks Gary
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Old September 26th, 2008, 07:44 AM
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Re: Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

Too right!! ;-)

You want cones that look like this: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Im...ngens_cone.jpg
But not this: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Im...1_beentree.jpg
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Old September 26th, 2008, 08:33 AM
gpringle gpringle is offline
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Re: Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

Machael, Didn't see anything on the tree that looks like the picture I didn't want. All Female tree I guess? I don't see any seeds eather. Maybe old cones left on the tree from last year?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 09:17 AM
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Re: Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

An old, open cone after shedding its seeds looks like this:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Im...a_pungens2.jpg
Is that what you have?
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Old September 26th, 2008, 09:32 AM
gpringle gpringle is offline
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Re: Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

Thanks Michael, learned a little about cones today. Thats exactly what it looks like. I looked around the tree again and found some new cones with seeds. Do you think I will have much luck planting them in the field and letting mother nature take over? How deep do you plant them? Thanks for all your help.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 12:53 PM
Michael F Michael F is offline
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Re: Planting Blue Spruce cone seeds

No good planting the cones! You have to extract the seeds from them, and then sow the seeds.
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