New here and a few questions

A place to discuss grafting, orcharding, and related topics.
MartinD
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:24 pm

New here and a few questions

Postby MartinD » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:21 pm

Hi all! Firstly I want to say I've been searching for a site like this for months and I'm so glad I found it. Its almost as if it was a closely guarded secret lol

I'm new to fruit trees but I would love to start a small personal fruit orchard on my new property. I live in New Brunswick,Canada, right on the line between zones 4 and 5. So far, I've got a few wild apple and crab trees to graft onto, and I've planted a montmorency cherry and a Moore's arctic plum. I've got some pear seedlings to graft onto as well, and I ordered pear and apple scion from the nursery that sold me the cherry and plum. I'd be glad to list the varieties I have and share with others on the site when/if the grafts take and I have enough material.

I recently ordered seeds for p. Avium and p. Cerasifera to try and grow some rootstock. Does anyone have any experience germinating these seeds? I understand they need cold stratification, so should I keep them in the fridge? Outside? Is it ok if they freeze?

I guess I'll end this post here, but I have sooooo many questions, and zero local people I can ask for help.
Last edited by MartinD on Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

IL Paradise Farm
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:54 am

Re: New here and a few questions

Postby IL Paradise Farm » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:43 pm

I don't know anything about Canada but if you have your seeds now, you may be able to plant them outside and have a long enough cold stratification in the ground for them to germinate come spring. It's too late here in zone 6 to stratify outside, that would have been back in late Dec / early Jan. Cherry seeds need warm stratification for 120 days and then cold stratification for 120 days, so you won't be able to start them outside now. Cherry will do best planted in late summer / early fall, when they can experience a warm spell before a cool spell.

I am currently stratifying seeds indoors in my refrigerator. Keep them in a bag with moist material, punch a few holes in the bag with a small needle. Check the bag every couple of weeks to make sure the material isn't drying out. If it dries out, your seeds are dead. Keep the seeds in the crisper, away from anything else. The temperature stays just about right in there and steady also.

I'm actually attempting to break the warm stratification of cherry seeds by using GA3. If you want to follow my progress, you can follow along, http://growingfruit.org/t/gibberellic-a ... ds/14611/1

MartinD
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: New here and a few questions

Postby MartinD » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:55 am

Thanks for the reply! I ended up soaking the seeds for 24 hours, and they are now sitting in lightly moist potting soil in the cabinet above my refrigerator for the warm stratification period.

I checked out your link, very interesting. I didn't crack any of my seeds out of the shells. Is that standard procedure? If it increases my chances of success, I'll give it a try.

IL Paradise Farm
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:54 am

Re: New here and a few questions

Postby IL Paradise Farm » Sun Feb 18, 2018 7:44 am

Yes, all of the scientific research papers that I read, said that cracking the seed coat increased the percentage of germination. You have to be careful though, it's easy to apply too much force and damage the seed inside. Planting them outside for winter stratification, I wouldn't worry about removing the seed coat, nature is much better at breaking things down than we are. Stratifying them indoors, we're just attempting to mimic what would normally take place over several months of harsh environmental effects in the ground. It's definitely easier sowing outside than starting inside and then moving them outside, like I am doing. I have to keep watching my seeds, checking for signs of germination, then carefully plant them outdoors in the nursery bed as soon as I see signs of sprouting or the 120 days comes to an end, whichever comes first. Using GA3, it's uncertain when they will sprout. The hardest part is going to be manually planting out thousands of germinating seedlings without damaging their root in the process. I've attempted to time it, so that as soon as the weather turns to spring here, all of the seeds will be ready to go outside, before they begin to germinate. I've grown trees inside under lights before, not much fun.

Stay tuned to that post for progress on how things progress in my GA3 project. Keep us all posted on your progress as well, it's fun to see and hear what others are trying. Hope everything works out for you and your blessed with more trees than you know what to do with! :lol:

MartinD
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: New here and a few questions

Postby MartinD » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:47 am

Ok I think I'll try cracking open the seed coats if there is a chance that can help. I'll also be stratifying them in the fridge because by the time my warm stratification process is done, the weather outside will be too warm.

I'm in no position to be giving advice to anybody but if it helps anyone i can take pictures along the way and make a sort of tutorial to give newbs like me an idea of what to do (or not to do lol)when first starting out.

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aphahn
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:17 pm
Location: Westminster CO 6a
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Re: New here and a few questions

Postby aphahn » Sun Feb 18, 2018 10:33 am

Hi Martin,
I have started a lot of Prunus from seed. I remove the shell using a vice. It allows you to go very slowly and not damage the kernel inside. I typically put the seed in the vice width wise so that the pressure is applied to the 'seams'.
Then I put the seeds in deli containers on damp perlite in the fridge and check them weekly until they germinate. Usually takes between 2 weeks - 2 months.

Here is a picture of one I'm starting now.
IMG_3758.JPG
IMG_3758.JPG (1.73 MiB) Viewed 1947 times
Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

MartinD
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Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:24 pm

Re: New here and a few questions

Postby MartinD » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:13 am

So aphahn, you're saying that you go straight to the fridge with no warm stratification? The package for the P avium says straight to cold but P cerasifera states a period of warm followed by cold.

It's starting to look like there is more than one way to skin this cat lol

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aphahn
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:17 pm
Location: Westminster CO 6a
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Re: New here and a few questions

Postby aphahn » Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:43 am

I should have mentioned that I have not started either P. avium or P. cerasifera. If the instructions you got with the seeds are probably what you want to follow. Some seeds do need both warm and cold stratification, so the instructions sound reasonable.
Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

IL Paradise Farm
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 9:54 am

Re: New here and a few questions

Postby IL Paradise Farm » Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:31 pm

Prunus avium does indeed require warm stratification for optimum success. You can skip this process and go straight to cold stratification if you so desire. If some seeds fail to germinate, you can remove them from the fridge, give them a 30 day warm stratification, then put them back in the fridge for cold stratification again and this may wake them up. You may get lucky and not need to undergo the warm period. I know I didn't want to wait, which is why I decided to use the GA3 to negate the warm period. Removing the seed coat also helps break the warm stratification period in some seeds. All seeds are mutations, so it's unknown which seeds will respond best to what.


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