The Q&A Archives: Starting Arborvitae Seeds

Question: I have seeds from three Arborvitae trees in my yard. What do I have to do to start them indoors?

Answer: Arborvitae, or Thuja seeds are generally sown in the spring and have the following requirements: T. occidentalis, T. orientalis and T. plicata germinate best when sown in moistened growing medium and kept at 75F-80F during the day and 68F-73F at night. Viable seeds will germinate in about 20 days (germination rate is only about 30 percent). Thuja seeds often benefit from a pre-planting stratification treatment. Here's how: Soak in water overnight, then place seeds in a plastic bag with moistened potting soil, and refrigerate for 30-40 days. Then sow in fresh potting soil, just covering the seed. Good luck with your new trees!

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