Growing a Shrub or Tree from Seed the Natural Way

Have you ever tried to start a tree from a seed? It can be a very rewarding activity. Tree seeds, though, typically require more preparation than a lot of other seeds from flowers or vegetables.

 

The easiest way to start a seed is through the natural way. To do this, you can either sow seeds directly into the ground in the fall or assist the germination process through planting the seed in a pot and keeping it indoors until it is ready to be transferred outside.

 

Of course, for many thousands of years, seeds have been sprouting and trees have been growing all over the world. The “natural” seed germination for trees is to just let nature take its course. When sown in the fall, most seeds from any plant will start to germinate the very next spring. You will need to plant them at the recommended depth. If you plant the seeds too deep, the germination process may be delayed or not happen at all. There are some varieties of seeds that will spread the germination out over several years, while others may germinate in the first spring. Some seeds just take longer to break their dormancy and germinate.

 

Many species of trees were originally grown in climates that were cooler, where the seeds would drop to the ground and be covered by the fall leaves. Throughout the winter, the seeds would remain covered in this cool and moist environment. When the warmth of the spring weather would arrive, the seeds would begin their process of germination. The embryo inside of some seeds is immature and not able to germinate until it can mature in this manner (called dormancy). This delay in the process of germination is imperative for the tree species to survive. If the seeds in a natural forest were to germinate immediately when they fall to the ground in the late summer or fall, the seedlings would likely die during the cold of the winter weather.

 

Regardless of how you prepare your seeds to plant, the important thing is to plant them. By everyone working together to plant more trees, the environment and the people in it will all benefit.

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