Sunday, March 25, 2012


Okay, I know they're not really twins, because they're the seeding bodies, and not the seeds or plants from the seeds, but seriously, aren't these cute?

Previously, I've had three (I think) cones from my other young pine tree, but these look like the first for this tree! (I have two other, quite small pines, too, but they're still not mature enough to make cones.) These are in a good spot to see from my deck, so I'm eager to watch them grow!

I have a top super secret special thing that I call the "Pinecone Project." It's sort of embarrassing, or at least has the potential to be. When the cones from the other tree dropped, I opened them up the rest of the way and got out some seeds, and then read up a bit on the internet about pine seed germination and learned about cold stratification. The basic idea of cold stratification is that you put the seed in a cold, wet area (wet cloth in the refrigerator, for example) and fool it into thinking that it's been the spring thaw, so that it gets ready to germinate. So I did that, and had, for a while, a container with seeds in my fridge.

That got me thinking that I should gather some other seeds (since there were so few left in the cones by the time they dropped), and do the same, so I went to a local parkish area (there's a pool area, golf course, walking area, and parking lot all together) and collected some pine cones. Because the cones are differently shaped, I was able to collect both white and red pine seeds, and did. (The nurseries here tend to only carry white pine plants, though I'm not sure why, but I'd like some diversity in my pines.)

I did the cold stratification thing to those seeds, too, and then planted them, and here's the result. I'm pretty sure the one seedling is just a random seedling from weeds or whatever, but the others? They look alike, but they don't look anything like pines, do they? Of course, that makes sense, since pine needles grow out of a fascicle, and it would make sense that a tiny seedling wouldn't just produce miniature fascicles and pine needles. But I'm eagerly waiting to see if these actually ARE my pines or not.

Why the project? There's this lovely green space between my house and the ones on the far side of the little valley thing, and supposedly, that's too steep to be developed with other houses. (Yes, I'm pretty sure that will eventually be changed and they'll decide it's not too steep, but I'm guessing it will be too steep for a while yet.) And if somehow, some tiny pine trees started growing in that area, then in 50 years, there would be a bit more privacy, right?

That and doing it is fun, too.

There's also this. We get a fair bit of road noise, and more trees (in my fantasy world) helps absorb and diffuse that. (Though in 50 years, I have a feeling we'll have less road noise because fewer gas cars and quieter, more aerodynamic cars. And somehow quieter tires? I don't plan to be around in this house, but maybe someone will!)

My plan, if things work, is to put these seedlings in a cage near the house for a couple of years (the rabbits eat anything not caged, if it tastes good), and then in a few years, move the seedlings out to near the sumac plants you see in the one picture.

In other news: The lone surviving Tamarack has greened up already, and the daffodils have bloomed beautifully. There are also the little blue Glory of the Snow flowers, blooming with delicate loveliness! And the grape hyacinths are showing, looking like little, tiny grape clusters. (I should take some more pictures this morning!)

This past week, spring has come in quite dramatically, and it's so wonderful. (But also scary, because we didn't get much snow this winter, and our farmers need plenty of water for crops and such.)

1 comment:

  1. I love that you are planting for people you don't know. So many people don't cultivate (and I use that term deliberately) a long term mindset.

    This makes me want to gather pine seeds from the trees this fall.