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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Seed #6 - Radicle

Seed #5 - Radicle

Seed #4 - Radicle

Pretty aggressive little radicle, eh?

Seed #3 - Radicle

Seed #2 - Radicle

My one mistake today was in leaving these newly-germinated seeds out of water for thirty minutes before planting them in their cel-packs. I think they'll be okay, but when I did get around to planting them, even though I had sprayed them with spring water, the radicles had shriveled up a little bit. I'm going to have to be careful in the future.

Seed #1 - Radicle

Today was a really good day to be a coast redwood fan. After only five days in wet coffee filters (baggie method), I found six seeds have sprouted already. This really surprised me, considering all I had read said that coast redwood have very low germination rates.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Getting Started...

This is my first attempt at growing coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) from seeds. The seeds are harder and darker in color than those of giant sequoias. The deep color is most likely due to a high concentration of tannin.

To begin, I'm soaking one-hundred seeds in aerated spring water overnight. In the morning, I will set the seeds up with the baggie method to pre-germinate them before putting them in the cel-pack greenhouse. For the baggie method, I fold the seeds into wet, unbleached coffee filters, and keep them in the dark in ziplock bags until the seeds' radicles (embryonic roots) start emerging. At that point, the seeds can be transplanted into seed-starting soil in my cel-pack mini-greenhouse.

I'm not expecting a high germination rate from these seeds. In fact, I'll be thrilled if I can get ten good seedlings from this batch. Seeing that it may take up to ninety days for some of these to germinate, it's important not to keep them in the greenhouse long enough that they develop mold. This is why the baggie method is so helpful. If I can protect the seeds until they germinate, and only keep them in the greenhouse until they sprout, then my chances of mold are much lower.

Coast redwood seedlings develop quickly - it's possible that they may reach eighteen inches tall in their first year. These are the tallest trees in the world, reaching over 350 feet tall! As long as they're watered often, and given enough time, there's no reason these trees couldn't reach that height in my back yard... aside from my neighbors...