Bald Cypress seed experiences?!

Can a Yankee germinate a bald cypress tree?


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#1
Hey guys, I am really interested in collecting "experiences" you've had germinating bald cypress. I guess second hand successes are okay too, don't want to narrow it down too hard.
There's one tree near me that has dropped cones and I collected all I could. Very few, maybe 3 of them have sunken in water (that sinking seed viability thing apply to taxodium?). I have treated some with different strengths of peroxide, and rubbing alcohol, sanded the seed coat on some and of course just threw a bunch in water untreated as a control. I would have liked to pretreat with an alkaline solution but didn't have anything at my disposale at the time.
My question ultimately is .. Are my seeds duds because they are floating?
And if cypress seeds normally float for days how do I get them to sink?
Do they need to sink? Usually I'm good with the whole germination thing but this species has me stuck and it happens to be the species I want to "specialize" in. Thanks in advance for links, tips and judgements
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#2
I heard tell that BC seeds aren't viable further north than Southern Illinois.

I believe it enough to try cuttings over seeds.

Sorce
 

GrimLore

Imperial Masterpiece
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#3
Hey guys, I am really interested in collecting "experiences" you've had germinating bald cypress.
After reading this article by SF Gate a long time ago I decided not to try - http://homeguides.sfgate.com/propagate-bald-cypress-68246.html . One to two foot seedlings are quite inexpensive and grow easily to four foot in one season were we live. It seems the process to start with seed takes sooooooooooooooooooo long is counterproductive, at least to me :oops: And yes, I am one of two people on the site that leave them grow in pots in standing water all year :rolleyes:

Grimmy
 
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Mobile, Alabama-The Heart of Dixie
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#4
Hey guys, I am really interested in collecting "experiences" you've had germinating bald cypress. I guess second hand successes are okay too, don't want to narrow it down too hard.
There's one tree near me that has dropped cones and I collected all I could. Very few, maybe 3 of them have sunken in water (that sinking seed viability thing apply to taxodium?). I have treated some with different strengths of peroxide, and rubbing alcohol, sanded the seed coat on some and of course just threw a bunch in water untreated as a control. I would have liked to pretreat with an alkaline solution but didn't have anything at my disposale at the time.
My question ultimately is .. Are my seeds duds because they are floating?
And if cypress seeds normally float for days how do I get them to sink?
Do they need to sink? Usually I'm good with the whole germination thing but this species has me stuck and it happens to be the species I want to "specialize" in. Thanks in advance for links, tips and judgements

I don't know if the good ones are supposed to float or sink, never tried it, but I suspect that they would float because they don't weigh much and have a slight coating of resin on them. I have germinated them and my dad does also. I picked up some cones recently (last fall) and gave them to my dad, he broke out the seeds, threw them in a pot, keep them damp and this spring they have sprouted.

I don't think all of the pretreating is necessary, just break the cone apart, plant the seeds, keep them damp.
 
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Pekin IL
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5b
#5
Last February I collected a Pepsi can full of BC seeds off of this tree in Spring lake " middle of IL" IMG_20160228_084036_229.jpg I put the seeds in a container of water for a month. After that I put half in a concrete tub with potting soil and the other half in a container with peat. All the ones in the potting soil grew straight as an arrow but the ones in the peat grew more twisted. The peat shifted alot when I watered or the tub flooded from rain. I had a higher survival in the potting soil. I will try to get some pics of them when I get home
 

Anthony

Masterpiece
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#6
English guy down here was able to get cuttings of the swamp cypress from the Lafayette, tree day
to grow.
So it might be even easier for you guys.
The tree from 1980 is still alive but untrained [ maybe this year ] and an airlayer is planned.

Needs no refrigeration, just goes self dormant and comes back out around March.

Anything special for an airlayer ? Anyone ?
Thanks in advance.
Good Day
Anthony
 
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Bethlehem, PA
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#7
Thanks everyone for the input and article. Thank you especialy @Rusty Davis , I was about ready to quit but I'll follow your lead with the seeds I've collected. I have bought seedlings offline, love how fast they grow, but after shipping and everything I'd be paying a healthy chunk for a good amount of trees. And @Anthony will agree that free is king. The tree I've been collecting from is way to big for cuttings but I will take cuttings from the few trees I already have but not until next year or later. I'd love it if we could debunk a myth or two. Especially the sterile North issue, hurts my arbor pride a little
 
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Pekin IL
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#8
Not the best pics but IMG_20170420_172722994.jpg IMG_20170420_172957258.jpg those are the ones in potting soil IMG_20170420_172754473.jpg IMG_20170420_172824264.jpg IMG_20170420_172948506_HDR.jpg those are the ones that I grew in peat. Most of the really twisted ones I pulled out all ready. Now I have a dixie cup forest swamp lol. I don't think it would be to much to send some out it the mail if someone wants some to play with. I can't exactly afford to send one to everyone though
 
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Location
Savannah
USDA Zone
8
#9
I break apart the cones, Put the seeds in a bucket of water (they float)leave it outside under a large tree. In spring as they germinate I plant each in a pot or many in a flat
Bald Cypress Seedling Forest (2).jpg seed bucket.jpg
 

zelk

Shohin
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San DIego
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#11
Where have people purchased BC seeds and had good results? I'm looking to buy about 100 seeds. I know there is a thread on seeds here but I'm still searching for it.
 
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Pekin IL
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#12
I would order from scheffields seeds. Had great luck with everything from them. But they are also the only ones I've ordered from
 

zelk

Shohin
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San DIego
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#13
That's a reputable sounding company from what I've gathered reading here. If it works out better than rareexoticseeds.Com I'll be happy.
 

zelk

Shohin
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San DIego
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#16
http://hos.ufl.edu/sites/default/files/faculty/gdliu/CypressSeedGermination.pdf

I'm not sure if anyone has posted this here before but I found this research paper with google. It describes methods to enhance germination success with bald cypress. I found it interesting and relevant so I may attempt applying the most beneficial treatment described on half of whatever seeds I order. I notice sheffields recommends soaking bald cypress seeds in ethyl alcohol while this paper disputes any benefit in doing so. it actually fairs quite poorly in comparison to distilled water 24hr soak and even a mild HCl solution. The study experimentally determined a 5% solution of Sodium Hydroxide for 5 mins then a distilled water 24hr soak as the best of the treatements attempted in the experiment. Then it proposes that this works by neutralizing the seed coat. In that case I see ethyl alcohol making little sense.
 
Last edited:
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#17
I'll give that a read. After a month of sitting in water some of my seeds where still sticky as hell.
 

zelk

Shohin
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San DIego
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#18
I forgot to mention the seed coat itself is acidic and that's why a base like sodium hydroxide could work. The seed coat is to extend viability or do they have a short shelf life? I wonder how this plays into the seed protecting itself. What would stimulate the seed coat to break down in nature? Maybe slight quantities of salt water flooding in from the sea during some very active storm seasons? This could in some way tell the seed that there will be lots of moisture for it to succeed.
 
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#19
@zelk I second sheffield's. That's where I got all my seeds in the past. I have actually read that article and used the methods (all of them) on about 75/80 seeds I collected. No luck at all. Some sunk after about 5 days, maybe 4 or 5. And a fewe more sunk in the following week. Nothing sprouted, I don't blame the germination technique. I was told those seeds would be sterile and I guess that was true. I'm keeping a "mother" tree now for cuttings but have heard after the first 3 years success rates with cutting go downhill in this species.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
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Fairfax Va.
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#20
I heard tell that BC seeds aren't viable further north than Southern Illinois.

I believe it enough to try cuttings over seeds.

Sorce
Sure they are. If you want to screw around with seeds for this species (and I have no idea why anyone wants to do that), you can grow them beyond Southern Illinois.
I have no idea WHY you'd want to do that, other than watching them grow is slightly more entertaining than watching paint dry (but not much more).

BC seedlings are dirt cheap if you look around.
http://forestry.ky.gov/statenurseriesandtreeseedlings/Documents/Seedling Order Form.pdf

Guy Guidry also sells more developed seedlings on ebay every once and a while. I've got a 1" diameter trunk with a 3" basal flare in a bundle from him a while back.