Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

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Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:05 pm

Hello to all IBC members,
I use this method of stratification for many seeds of the North hemisphere zone, around this time of the year. This category of temperate seeds needs a period of low temperature to activate the proteins controlling the seed germination.

Here, I use the Ulmus parvifolia for the topic.


Fresh Chinese elm seeds, after 48H hydratation.


The hydrated seeds are blended with the charcoal to limit the growth of the micro organisms.





Preparation of the stratification base: 1/2 Sphagnum moss + 1/2 charcoal.


The hydrated seeds will be put on the first layer of the stratification base.


Another layer of the stratification base will cover the seeds.


The kitcken plastic is used to cover the stratification box.


The stratification box is put in the fridge from 4 weeks to 16 weeks. It depends on the species.

To prevent the development of micro organisms, every week, I open the stratification box for the air circulation. After 4 weeks (depends on the species), I remove a bit the stratification base to check for the germination. Usually, stratified seeds germinate during this time. For example the trident maples germinate from 6 weeks to 10 weeks of the stratification.


Chinese elm gernination.


1 month old, Chines elms


6 months old.


6 month olds, trident maples.


Regards,
Giang
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www.lotus-bonsai.com


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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  drgonzo on Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:46 pm

An excellent tutorial thank you Giang....

I'm going to try the charcoal/sphagnum mix on a batch of my Bloodgood seeds in January, I think that's a clever trick.
-Jay

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:06 pm

Hi Jay,
December is the time to prepare for the next generation of trees, specially trees with hard stones, like the Prunus mume or Juniperus sinensis...We learn a lot about the whole cycle of the growth of the trees.

Regards,
Giang












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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  drgonzo on Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:50 pm

Hi Giang

I'm in USDA zone 5b, Upstate New York. I had read that Japanese maples needed about a 100-120 day cold stratification, so that puts me at around January 1st if Im to have germination by say first or second week of april, when I can put them into the greenhouse to avoid early frosts, is the 100 days accurate?

I started my Hornbeam in late October because I read they needed almost 10 weeks if memory serves, Thats Carpinus Caroliniana.

I don't think I cant start as early as you do because of Ol' man Winter.
-Jay

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:15 pm

Hi Jay,
For the small seeds such as maples, apples, elms, pines, Zelkova..etc, the cold stratification can be done later of the year. For the Japanese maples and the trident maples, with a fresh and well preserved seeds, the germination is observed between 5 and 10 weeks in the refrigerator.

Giang,


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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  kingbean on Wed Dec 07, 2011 8:37 pm

Hi Giangus,

How do I go about starting of my black pine seeds I have them stored in the fridge at the moment
Is this ok to store them in the fridge to keep them fresh ?

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:59 pm

Hi,
The best way to keep fresh seeds to incease its germination rate, is the cold temperature (2 to 5°C and no light). The home fridge provides us these conditions. The black pine seeds (P. thunbergii) need from 6 to 10 weeks for the stratification. When you remove the stratification base weekly for the air circulation, you will notice that the seeds germinate in the cold, and it's time to get the seeds out.

In southern France, I use to do the stratification in February.

Giang

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  tanlu on Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:14 pm

Hi Giang,

I found your post to be quite helpful in many areas of bonsai seedling cultivation. I have 21 pinus parviflora seeds in a little moist bonsai soil and pine needles sealed in a plastic bag that have been stored in the refrigerator for about 2 months. When can I take them out and pot them?

I don't have a green house, so would it be advisable to plant them in regular potting soil and keep them in my kitchen until spring?

T

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Sun Dec 18, 2011 6:10 pm

Hi,
If your seeds were well stratified, from 2 to 4 months of stratification, you would see your seeds gerninate in the cold. At this moment, it's time to get the seed out and to make them germinate in suitable conditions.

Weekly, you should check and remove a bit the seeds for the air circulation, in this way can also observe them. The white pines are affected by the the fungus Pythium at their base. Therefore, you should use garllic tea to water them instead of clean water.

The germination rate of the white pines is around 70%, it depends also on the freshness of your seeds. But after being germinated, it' very difficult to keep them till the age of 1 year. The Japanese white pines are fragile compared to the black ones.

Therefore, professional bonsai-penjing nurseries often propagate the white pines by grafting on the black pines.

giang,
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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  marcus watts on Sun Dec 18, 2011 7:09 pm

excelent and interesting, thankyou,

what is garlic tea? do you make your own?

thanks Marcus

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:26 pm

Hi Marcus,
The garlic tea is just fresh garlic roughly chopped, then it is put into a plastic bottle filled with fresh water and exposed to the sunlinght. After 24h, we can use this garlic tea to water the seedling. However, the smell is a bit strong, when you live in an apartment and you dont get used to it.

Canadian pine tree nurseries were affected systematically by one of the Pythium fungus species, in the 1970s, due to the cold and humidity of the canadian climate. A team of researchers from the McGill university applied the garlic as an solution for the problem.

Garlic, wood ash, green tea, charchoal, sulfur ... are often used in Asia, specially the generation of my grandparent bonsai growers. Now professional nurseries use many chemical products such as the Thirame to treat the seedling and its soil. But it's not suitable for us and animals at home, specailly our skin and our respiration.

giang,
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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  tanlu on Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:12 am

Thanks Giang for your quick reply! I did an experiment of placing all the seeds I had in water. I read that seeds that sank to the bottom were fertile, the ones that floated were not. I found this to be true since all the seeds that floated were hollow inside. Assuming all my seeds are fertile, does that still mean a 70% germination rate?

What kind of soil do you use for your pinus parviflora seeds? Can I use fine granule bonsai soil?

T

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:29 pm

Hi,
When the seeds go down to the bottom, that indicate us the seeds have a protein reserve for its embryo development later. It doesnt mean that the seeds are still fresh and viable. Then, there are many physiologic factors happened during the stratification, that are out of our control. The micro organisms can also affect the germination rate of any species.

Professional seed sellers often show us the information about the germination rate of the seed species. With years, I have notice that the germination rate of the Japanese red, white and black, Pinus uncinata, Pinus sylvestris... is between 65 and 80%.

For the soil, 1/2 peat and 1/2 charcoal for the germination. After 4 months, when the stem is of the young pine is solid enough, I plant them in individual plastic pot with 1/3 horticulture soil, 1/3 pine bark, 1/3 sand.

giang,
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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  tanlu on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:13 pm

Giang, I haven't met anyone as knowledgeable about growing bonsai from seed. I planted about 20 Ishizuchi Japanese White Pine seeds last year in turface. All of them sprouted and grew quickly, but one weekend in July I was away and they all dried up and died! It was quite a loss since the seed was good quality and came straight from the Mt Ishizuchi region in Japan where Japanese White Pine are known for exceptionally short needles. I've always been fascinated with the whole germination process. Where do you get your Japanese White Pine seeds? I visited your website but it's mostly in French. Are you located in Paris?

T

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  giangus on Mon Dec 19, 2011 9:51 pm

Hi,
Due to my work, I have to move many countries to set up fish farms for the aquaculture. By January, I will fully focus on my bonsai and sculpture activity. I will be based in Southern France for a short time, later between Germany and the Canary Islands.

Making bonsai trees from is a long way. Usually only nurseries do this way. That's why it's not popular. Today, people prefer having a tree immediately and ready to work on it. As time flies quickly, if we dont do anything, time also goes quicky. So if we put some seeds somewhere in a corner of our garden, with time, maybe we will have a tree to enhance our back yard and some birds come and visit us.

So with this idea, every year, I produce about 3000 small trees from 15 species mostly use in bonsai-penjing. It's very pleasing when you work with small trees, you can learn and observe their growing cycle.

For the pines seeds, I mainly get every year, at this time from France. But now in the European Union, now we can no longer buy the Japanese black pine seeds, and the white pine seeds are mainly from Japan and it's not always available for the exportation.

In California you have this one http://www.mistletoesales.com/PINES1.htm. In Canada you have http://www.rarexoticseeds.com/



giang,
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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  daiviet_nguyen on Wed Dec 21, 2011 9:38 am

Hi anh Giang,

Thank you for the post and your answers on the other post. I found them very informative, and quite a few tips that I could use myself.


Making bonsai trees from is a long way. Usually only nurseries do this way. That's why it's not popular. Today, people prefer having a tree immediately and ready to work on it. As time flies quickly, if we dont do anything, time also goes quicky. So if we put some seeds somewhere in a corner of our garden, with time, maybe we will have a tree to enhance our back yard and some birds come and visit us.


Seeing a seedling pops out is, as Tim Allen puts it in For Richer or Poorer "so... honest".

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy festive season.

Best regards.

P.S. I have been to your website. Thank you for the Vietnamese language logo. My father is very touched by it.

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  Caphedangvn on Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:16 am

giangus wrote:Hello to all IBC members,
I use this method of stratification for many seeds of the North hemisphere zone, around this time of the year. This category of temperate seeds needs a period of low temperature to activate the proteins controlling the seed germination.

Here,  I use the Ulmus parvifolia for the topic.


Fresh Chinese elm seeds, after 48H hydratation.


The hydrated seeds are blended with the charcoal to limit the growth of the micro organisms.





Preparation of the stratification base: 1/2 Sphagnum moss + 1/2 charcoal.


The hydrated seeds will be put on the first layer of the stratification base.


Another layer of the stratification base will cover the seeds.


The kitcken plastic is used to cover the stratification box.


The stratification box is put in the fridge from 4 weeks to 16 weeks. It depends on the species.

To prevent the development of micro organisms, every week, I open  the stratification box for the air circulation. After 4 weeks (depends  on the species), I remove a bit the stratification base to check for the germination. Usually, stratified seeds germinate during this time. For example the trident maples germinate from 6 weeks to 10 weeks of the stratification.


Chinese elm gernination.


1 month old, Chines elms


6 months old.


6 month olds, trident maples.


Regards,
Giang
___________________
www.lotus-bonsai.com


Dear Mr Giang!
I live in Vietnam. I have bought some Japanese white pine (Pinus pavirflora) seed. Can you show me how to stratification this seed? Thanks a lot sir!

Caphedangvn
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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:12 pm

Pine seed doesn't need any stratification. I get almost 100% germination sowing fresh seed in spring.

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

Post  M. Frary on Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:44 pm

I know American elm and Siberian elm don't need stratification. I would imagine that goes for Chinese elm also.
I've pulled American and Siberian off of the tree and planted them the next day. They sprouted in a couple weeks.

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Re: Bonsai: Seeds & Stratification

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