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Seed Acquisition, Conditioning, and Storage

The production of most hardwood seedlings begins with acquisition of seeds, exceptions being stem cuttings (cottonwoods, willows, and hybrid poplars), or grafted stock (high-value hardwoods such as black walnut (Juglans nigra L.). This chapter discusses the various technologies involved in producing and wisely managing high-quality seedlots. Some nurseries collect and process their seed requirements completely in house. Other nurseries, either by choice or obligation, contract part or all of this process. In either case, knowledge of the entire process is important to assess the qualifications of contractors and suppliers, as well as to judge the quality of their product. Readers should become familiar with the The Woody Plant Seed Manual (Bonner and Karrfalt 2008), which discusses a full range of seed topics. That book features both general material on the topics and species- or genera-specific information such as seed collection dates, numbers of seeds per pound, and germination requirements. This chapter covers those latter topics in more detail and some seed-related topics that have emerged since the publication of The Woody Plant Seed Manual. (See the glossary in Appendix 2-1 of this chapter.)

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Author(s): Robert P. Karrfalt, Carolyn (Carrie) Pike

Publication: A Nursery Guide for the Production of Bareroot Hardwood Seedlings