Monday, May 25, 2015

Redbud Propogation

Redbud seeds and pod
I want to start planting some more trees on my 2 acres of land as it has grown more barren these last few years I have lived here. Besides planting some hardwood species like oak and hickory trees, I would also like to grow some under story trees, particularly ones that flower in the spring like redbuds, serviceberry or dogwoods. To get a deal and a two year warranty on our fruit trees last fall, I also purchased a serviceberry tree at full sticker price. That price plus the fact that we have a huge deer population, has led me down the path to try and complete this project on a cheaper scale.

Way back in mid April before I left for Boston, I decided that I should try planting some redbud trees from seed since I have some growing down in the ditch. I read up on the subject and found that they produce a thin pea like pod of seeds in the fall from which I can gather some seeds. I took something to mark the tree with so I could easily find it among all the scrub trees around it in the fall but much to my surprise, it was still loaded with last fall's seed pods. So I picked a double handful of them and shucked the seeds that you see above.

The donor trees later a few weeks after picking the seeds
Advice varies greatly upon the subject of germinating redbud seeds so I didn't do them all at once. I scarified 20 of the seeds a bit by rubbing them between some sheets of sandpaper and then placed them in some boiling water and let them soak. Here the advice varies from one hour to several days so I removed some at 1 hour, 8 hours, 1 day and 2 days to see what works. Then I then planted them in moist soil in some plastic seed starters set inside some bread pans and placed in a refrigerator under 41 degrees and will leave them there for four to five weeks before moving them outside to germinate. If all goes well, perhaps by this fall I can stick them in the ground in their permanent location. I would love nothing better than to plant a whole grove of those suckers throughout the base of my yard near the wooded draw.

Redbud "birthing" unit

4 comments:

sage said...

Good luck with this. Redbuds are beautiful in the spring--it was a time of the year that I always tried to float a part of the Thornapple in which there were redbuds all along the bank of the river.

Ed said...

Sage - I pulled them out of my refrigerator after six weeks and put them in pots out on my deck. I should soon see if things work or not.

Bone said...

I planted birch and cypress seedlings a couple of months ago. The birch seem to be doing ok. The cypress pretty much look like someone (me) stuck a stick in the ground.

Ed said...

Bone - Birch and cypress should do very well in the pond you call your backyard!