Hello gardeners. I have been trying to reproduce Umbrella Tree
( Magnolia Tripetalis )from seed with no luck what-so-ever. I've removed
seed from cones and then soaked for a few days to loosen and remove the
red outter skin. I've planted the hard black seed in the ground, in soil
filled flower pots, in wet paper towel and have been soaking some in
water for the past few weeks to no avail. I can't seem to get these seeds
to sprout. I have seen seedling plants in the wild so I do know they will
grow from seed. Perhaps they've been through the digestive tract of one
animal or other to soften the shell some. ( ? ). Anyone have any
suggestions ? I would prefer seedlings verses cuttings. Is some form of
scarification required ? Has anyone out there ever propegated said trees ?
Was the seed ripe when you removed it from the cones? According to
http://www.ibiblio.org/openkey/intkey/web/MATR.htm the fruit takes a
year to mature. Have you tried stratifying the seeds for several weeks
in a refrigerator, or leaving them out in pots over winter to allow the
cold and frost to get at them? This is from
Propagation by Seed:
Time of year to collect seed: Autumn
Time of year to sow seed: Summer
Seed treatment: stratify 40 degrees F 4-5 months.
Preferred temperature for germination: 70-85 degrees F
Time required for germination: 3-4 weeks
Comment: Mulch seed-beds.
By the way, the correct name is Magnolia tripetala, not tripetalis.
On Sun, 29 Sep 2013 18:48:47 +0100, Jeff Layman wrote:
Most informative. Thank you. 'specially the ala vs alis. I have dug
them up in the past and transplanted but I must have damaged the tap root
in each case as they grew somewhat stunted the first few years and then
grew more branch growth than normal. Much too bushy. That is my main
reason for wanting to grow seedlings. I will try putting the seeds in the
fridge as suggested and will see what happens in spring. Next fall I will
try again with fresh seed.
No, I haven't... but a couple of points from an old seed lab hand:
1) if you've got a seed source handy, consider trying to germinate half-developed seed immediately,
no scarification or vernalization. In fact, if they're really handy, I'd start collecting 10
seeds every week after the first month after pollination, and try to germinate immediately.
Many seeds "add" dormancy factors towards the end of seed development, and you may be able to
shortcut vernalization by going for less completely developed seeds. It's worth a try if it's not
too much of a nuisance for you.
2) Some species put down big tap roots, and then have problems if the tap root is later disturbed.
There's been work on some species that suggests that letting them grow till the tap root is maybe 3-4"
long and then trimming off the very tip of that root encourages better growth after transplanting.
Again, I know nothing to suggest that this is the case with M. tripetala but it would be an interesting
experiment if you've got seedlings available and a few extra minutes of time.
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