The Q&A Archives: Dawn Redwood

Question: I recently collected some cones from a Dawn Redwood. What would be the best process to successfully germinate the seeds?

Answer: Redwood tree seeds germinate best after being chilled. You can either plant them in pots and leave them outdoors where they will receive a winter chill and then germinate in the spring, or you can chill them in the refrigerator and sow them in pots indoors this winter. Either way,

1. Insert the redwood seeds 1/2 inch deep in the top of a peat pot filled with potting soil.

2. Place this pot in a plastic bag and seal it with a rubber band.

3. Keep MOIST in a cool area with indirect light. Seeds may take up to eight weeks to germinate and must not become dry during this period. However, do not over-water.

4. When seedlings are 2 inches high, plant the peat pot in a larger container with potting soil. Mist the needles often, but don't over-water the roots.

5. Once the tree reaches five feet or more, it can be planted in the ground.

Best wishes with your new trees!

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