Germinating Gymnosperms

With the optimistic enthusiasm of the budding horticulturalist and arboriculturalist in springtime, we are trying to propagate our own noble firs (Abies procera) from seed we’ve gathered from the hill above the house. Gathering the seed was an interesting exercise – noting the sail-like blades for wind dispersal and the separate bracts. I filled a plastic tray with a peat-based compost mixed with some vermiculite (on reflection, should perhaps have used perlite for moisture retention), watered lightly, covered with plastic and left to do its stuff. I realise that viability may be something of an issue as we only have ca. 30 seeds and the ratio of seed production to sapling in Noble Firs must be pretty low. But you never know.

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