Chinese Elm From Seed - Knowledgebase Question

Menlo Park, CA
Avatar for hurkmans
Question by hurkmans
April 12, 1998
I wish to grow a Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia) from seed rather than purchasing at a nursery because I've seen so
much variation with this tree.

I've taken seeds from a parent tree with great form, color and bark and I'd like to know what steps to take to ensure
growth from the seed and how long before I see it sprouting.

Answer from NGA
April 12, 1998
The seeds of Ulmus parvifoliar ripen immediately and are normally planted as soon as they're collected in the spring. If you allow the seeds to dry completely, germination rates will be reduced. Sow seeds in moist sand or peatmoss. They'll germinate faster if you can keep the daytime temperatures about 85F and the nighttime temperatures about 68F degrees. You can expect germination in 10 to 30 days; viability rates from commercially harvested seed is only 12%, so plant as many seeds as you can collect!

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