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A Screen for Cleaning Small Lots of Sycamore Seed

Removing hairs from seed of sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) is a disagreeable and often an unhealthy task. The hairs attached to the base of each seed break up into a fine dust, which irritates the skin and causes respiratory ailments. In the absence of commercial cleaners, some nurseries have improvised methods for cleaning the seed-a fertilizer spreader has been modified to effectively break up the heads, releasing the seed to fall through and the hairs to fluff up and rise to the top. However, bulk methods of screening seed will not work for genetic studies of sycamore because numerous small seed lots must be kept separate. We devised an inexpensive screen for cleaning seed rapidly without contamination among lots and that largely eliminates the irritation of dust (fig. 1) . Although designed to handle small lots of seed, the device can be used to clean larger quantities. To determine its bulk capacity, one man cleaned a halfbushel of dried heads in 1 hour and 15 minutes, a yield of about 6 pounds of cleaned seed.

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Author(s): Charles D. Webb, Edward J. Porterfield

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 20, Number 2 (1969)

Volume: 20

Number: 2