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Roots

Follow these instructions to plant your seeds of native Michigan trees:

 

 


White Pine - Pinus Strobus


The state tree of Michigan, the towering white pine provides shelter throughout its life—for wildlife in the forest and as lumber for homes once it’s harvested. It can grow in poor soil and persevere in drought, giving it the wherewithal to thrive through troubling times. Large roots spread out and down, providing a firm anchor against buffeting forces.

To plant your white pine seeds:
Soak seeds in water and let stand in water for 24 hours.
Cold stratify* (see below for directions) for 60 days.
Sow seed ¼” deep, tamp the soil, and mulch the seed bed. 

White Flowering Dogwood - Cornus florida

Rarely exceeding 30 feet high, and often wider than tall when it matures, the flowering dogwood doesn’t try to reach too far. Instead, it covers its area thoroughly, a steady presence in a relatively compact footprint. At first glance, the flowering dogwood merely produces white flowers in spring and red fruit in fall. Look deeper and you’ll find it was once used to make dyes and golf club heads—even as a medicinal for dogs (perhaps how it got its name). Hardly just another tree.

To plant your flowering dogwood seeds:
Soak the seeds in water. Let stand in water for 24 hours.
Cold stratify* for 120 days.
Sow seed 3/8” deep, tamp the soil, then mulch the seed bed.
Of note, fall sowing in mulched beds is preferred to artificial stratification.

Sugar Maple - Acer saccharum

The sugar maple delivers spectacular fall color to those with patience. Year after year, it rewards the steady drip of persistence, painstakingly producing 40 liters of sap to achieve sweet success in the form of just one liter of syrup.  Exceptionally shade tolerant, it persists in murky conditions, but responds with a burst of growth as soon as there’s a break in the canopy. The hard, dense wood is used for making everything from bowling alleys to baseball bats, giving the sugar maple uncommon versatility in demanding applications.

To plant your sugar maple seeds:

Soak seeds in water then let stand in water for 24 hours.
Cold stratify for 90 days.
Sow seed 3/8” deep, tamp the soil, then mulch the seed bed.
Of note, fall sowing in mulched beds is preferred to artificial stratification.

Downy Serviceberry - Amelanchier arborea

One of the heaviest woods in Michigan, downy serviceberry delivers extraordinary strength and rock-solid reliability. The tree has an extensive root system that gives it the ability to hang tough in any environment, even steep conditions that might cause others to lose their purchase. The species tolerates varying light conditions—from bright prospects to gloomy days—and yields an abundance of berries after periods of dormancy.

To plant your downy serviceberry seeds:
Soak the seeds in water, then let stand in water for 24 hours.
Cold stratify for 120 days.
Sow seed 1/8” deep, tamp the soil, then mulch the seed bed.

* Cold Stratification

Cold stratification is to pre-treat seeds as a simple measure to break a seed’s dormancy which will allow the seed to be more ready to germinate. In a sense, you’re providing those seeds with the effect that Mother Nature would have had on the seeds if left to their natural course. Applying the pre-treatment yourself speeds up the process and allows you to control those negative factor’s detrimental to a seed’s survival.

To cold stratify:
Mix your seeds in a clean plastic sealable sandwich bag with thoroughly moistened peat and place in one of the bottom drawers of your refrigerator (not your freezer!). It’s important to thoroughly, but only slightly dampen the peat as too much moisture leaves your seeds susceptible to mildew or mold. You should not be able to squeeze any excess water out of the peat after you’ve moistened it.


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