Root experiment

(Shay Cohen) #1

Hello all,
I had a fascinating experience with a few oak acorns I planted this season that gave me an idea.
I planted the acorns in a colander and at that time had a small amount of soil. so they were planted very shallow. I figured I’ll transplant them once they sprout. They sprouted and when I took them out, instead of having a long single tap root, they had lots and lots of ramified short roots. I didn’t take any pictures of that unfortunately.
I thought I’d try the same thing with JBP. Maybe the cutting procedure can be avoided and a natural look can be achieved… I planted about a 100 seeds in a shallow colander relic. Attaching some photos and I’ll update about the results

Any thoughts?

(Frank Corrigan) #2

Interesting possibilities. Can’t wait to hear your observations on the outcome. I appreciate the willingness to experiment. I would suggest checking a few in various stages as they progress. It would be interesting to know how fast the roots ratify under those circumstances.


What are the seeds planted in, I wonder ?? looks like rice

(Shay Cohen) #4

Perlite… (:slight_smile:
We don’t have akadama here and its working well for the first few weeks until cuttings are made.


How do you keep it damp/moist? After placing the seed , do you wrap it up in some type of clear plastic type covering?
Thanks Just curious

(Shay Cohen) #6

I moist the perlite prior to seeding and use mist when it begins to dry out. It holds water very well… And I have a northern balcony so no direct sunlight for most of the day.
Before this experiment I used lava perlite 50/50 and it enabled watering without displacing the seeds. Now because its very shallow, I have no problem keeping it wet with misting alone.

(clive bennett) #7

A Japanese black pine grower uses colanders similar to yours and gets fantastic growth, I have used it on Scots pines with great results and no tap root problem


I had some of that Adakama or what ever it is , so put some in shallow container I had [ no colander handy ] and spray often. I had 12 seedlings come up , but all died cept 4 and I put those in container with adakama and sand. They got up to about an inch high and died ! I pulled them out of the sand /adakama stuff and only one had a root formation . the others just had a straight tap root . Think I may have caused root rot ? So gonna try again . PS , ordered some of that Pearlite today .

(Shay Cohen) #9

It has a lot to do with the origin of the seeds other then over damping them. get seeds from a trustworthy supplier. Also be careful with dust from the perlite, you shouldn’t breath it.


Where do you get your seeds for BLK pine ? I had about ten in some adakama for two weeks , none sprouted yet.
The other question is : I previously had 4 to sprout , one died - left me with the 3 , but when they get up about an inch high , the trunk or stem appears to shrivel , and they fall over . I had these in some sand and adakama- haven’t had any luck with them this year… What you plant them in when they get up that high ? and somewhere read about pulling them out and cutting the tap root back . The 3 I have living? have been careful not to over water or under water , they are on deck facing north ,receiving some sun and shade. I spray them during the day with water.once or twice …

they get up about an inch, then fall over and die .- had hoped to get at least one growing this year :slight_smile:

(Jonas Dupuich) #11

Sounds like:

(Frank Corrigan) #12

There are several points you may wish to consider. Seed source. Seed preparation prior to planting. Planting media. Depth of planting and routine for watering. One factor that makes a difference is air flow. I have found the following combination to be very effective. Seed Source ( Sheffield ) follow preparation directions provided on package. I use screened horticultural pumice ( fines). Andersen flat or similar container ( colander) with excellent drainage. Plant seeds 1/4 inch depth. Water well but allow it to dry out on the surface between watering. Place seed tray in an area that receives air circulation and good light. No extremes. When the seeds are newly germinated i use a fine spray mist for watering.
What you have described sounds to me like damping off as Jonas suggested. From my experience that is most often attributed to overwatering and neglecting to let the surface dry out a bit. This is where the air circulation in the chosen location is important. Good luck with future attempts.

(Shay Cohen) #13

I have some conclusions:

  1. The germination percentage was low due to old seeds (last season leftovers)
  2. From the ones that germinated, a lot of them died after a couple of weeks. Their tap root was short and in poor health.
  3. When I examined the roots of the surviving ones, I saw a very weak and short tap root with a few splittings at a higher area.
  4. The overall health and vigour of the survival seedlings was poor.

It appears that this method did not work well on pines. nonetheless, i’ll give it another shot next year with fresh seeds just to be sure it’s not the seeds condition fault.


(Jonas Dupuich) #14

Thanks for sharing Shay. I don’t always make seedling cuttings as it is possible to get interesting roots without removing the taproot when the seedlings are young. Will look forward to your investigations!

(Jerry) #15

Here is something to try since I’m an new at trying to propogating seeds. Im successful in fig cuttings though. Do NOT use a POWEDERD rooting hormone use a liquid or no rooting hormone if you have none. Powder will tend to rot the roots. Also, mist only, we tend over water the plants root system
And cause root rot. Seeds are very delicate Propogate with a seed starter mix it holds moisture more than a fast draining soil. In your seed starter tray remove soil with a fork to put in pot try to keep soil intact of seedling if you can use bonsai soil in its repot. Good luck!

(Jonas Dupuich) #16

I have good success with both liquid and powdered root hormones:

Misting is great advice :slight_smile:

(Mr O F Claffey) #17

I took down a pine tree last year, client requested all of the branches chipped and spread in an area for her two dogs. cones were also chipped. I returned to the property and found the whole area covered in average 6 inches of pine seedlings. looks like pine seeds like pine chip to propagate. I lifted a few and potted them in perlite, acadama, grit and vermiculite. even mix. all seem to be doing well. in future I will try to propagate pine in pine wood chip. seems to work well.