How to sow your own Christmas trees and forest seed
If you want to sow your own Christmas trees and forest seed, it is important that the seed get the correct treatment before, under and after sowing to achieve the best yield. Seed that is correctly treated and thus has the optimal conditions for germination, can save you a lot of money on purchasing plants.
Pre-treatment of forest seeds and seeds for Christmas trees
Before sowing, it is important to give the seed the correct treatment. When you buy your seeds from HD 2412, the optimal procedure for the seed in question will be described on the seed bag.
Most of the species of forest and landscape seed used in Northern Europe have a so-called dormancy. This means that the seed cannot easily germinate even though it has optimal germination conditions.
Soaking and casting of seeds
Before the pre-treatment can take place the seed has to be soaked (casted) in water for 1-2 days. It is optimal to put the seeds in bags of either jute or canvas, depending on the amount of seeds. It is important only to half fill the bag, since the seed swells up and will double its size. Is the bag completely filled, there is a risk that the seeds will be damaged because of the pressure.
During the soaking, substances which may harm the seed will be washed out, if these have accumulated around the seed. We recommend that you place the bag in running water. Alternatively, you can change the water regularly.
When the soaking is done, the water content of the seed is sufficiently raised. The seed has to drip off for one day. Hereafter it is ready for the pre-treatment.
Pre-treatment of forest and landscape seeds
During the pre-treament the seed has to be kept moist but not wet. Store the seed in a constant temperature of 5 degrees Celcius. In this way, the dormancy will be repealed after a certain amount of weeks (you'll find information about the length of the dormancy for the specific kind of seed on the bag when you buy seed from HD 2412).
Remember to check the seed regularly and add moisture if necessary. Be aware that some seeds begin to germinate at 5 degrees Celcius. This applies e.g. for the Nordmann fir, which might start to germinate under the pre-treatment. Other species will not begin to germinate until exposed to higher temperatures.
The correct pre-treatment of seed for Christmas trees and forests can be summarized in these four bullet points:
- The seed is soaked
- Subsequent drainage
- Storage at 5 degrees Celcius in the stated period
- Stirred weekly
Sowing of Christmas tree seed and forest seed
The best area for sowing of forest and landscape seed is an open area with slightly well-drained soil, where it is possible to water and where the weed pressure in the ground and the surroundings is low.
Before sowing your Christmas tree or forest seed
Most forest seed species are sensitive to fungal diseases during the germination, so avoid over-watering and a heavy water-logged soil. We recommend that you prepare the soil in time before sowing, in order to fight the freshly sprouted weed.
The soil has to be plowed and harrowed/milled to get a homogeneous seedbed for your seed. You will get the best result if you sow in well worked soil at a soil temperature over 8 degrees Celcius, which will typically be in the period from April to July.
Sowing of your Christmas trees and forest seed
You can sow in rows or in one meter beds depending on your equipment for hoeing and maintenance of the area.
On the seed bag you will find information about amount of seed per kg and the germination of the seed. This information and your desires for plant density is the basis for how close you must sow the seed. 200 - 400 plants per square meter is the best starting point.
Unfortunately, all seeds will not grow into plants. Some will be affected by fungal diseases, others do not have the vitality to turn into a tree. The success rate will vary from place to place and weather, soil type and technique are all important factors for the results you will achieve.
Forest seeds have to be sown in 1-2 cm depth depending on the size of the seed. A small seed only needs a little depth, a bigger seed needs a bigger depth. It is better to cover the seed with washed/calcium free sand instead of covering with soil. After sowing and covering you should roll with e.g. a drum to ensure that the seed gets ground contact.
After sowing your seeds
Birds love to eat forest seeds, either directly from the ground or after germination. Therefore, we recommend that you cover the area with shade netting on bows, which also promotes the germination climate. From sowing to the final germination it is important to keep the soil slightly damp and to water when necessary.
Do you want to try to sow your own trees, - buy your seeds at HD2412, in the first 6 months of the year. We are now offering seeds of conifers for Christmas tree plantations, for greenery and for parks and gardens.
The seeds are from HedeDanmark (The Danish Heath Society)'s own department of forest seeds, HD Seed, and we guarantee you a very high quality
Right now we carry the most ordinary species of conifers, Christmas trees and greenery as well as species for parks and gardens in our assortment, but our assortment will be expanded constantly.
Har du brug for rådgivning i forbindelse med dit køb af frø hos HD2412, kan du sende en mail til Mikkel Andersen, HedeDanmark Skovfrø.
Do you need advice when buying seeds, please send an email to:
Shade netting and tunnel bows
Shade netting is perfect for protection of young plants and freshly sprouted seeds, which need protection from strong sun in the spring and hard wind in the winter.
Shade netting is made of dark green UV stabilized HDPE, the lenght of one roll is 100 m, you can choose the following widths: 2, 4, 8, 12 or 14 m. Shading value is 37%.
You can lift the shade netting off the plants by using tunnel bows or poles with netting holders.