Sunday, November 24, 2013

Winter in the Greenhouse

During winter we devote a large portion of Greenhouse #1 to native tree seed germination. We travel the state and into Texas searching wild tree populations for seed. Ideally we look for tree species growing in isolation so that hybridization is minimized. We carefully collect, tag, preserve, and transport seed back to the nursery for planting. In some cases we are unable to plant immediately so then we refrigerate the seed until use. Depending upon seed size we then plant one or two seeds per cell. Seed may take one to three months to germinate depending upon variety. 

The tray in the photo shows Vasey Oak tree seedlings about one month after planting.

Seedlings spend the winter months in the greenhouse then in spring we move them to the Arboretum Tome for further growth and development. They usually spend two to four years at the Arboretum where they are transferred first to one gallon containers then five gallon containers and sometimes into 15 gallon containers. They then return to the retail store at the 5 or 15 gallon container size and made available for sale.

Photos and Narrative By:
Steve Sain
Staff Plant Physiologist

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