Pine seedlings staying in their cases

RoadManDenDron

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Have tried searching and did not find anything about pine seedlings staying in their seed casing or what I should do.

My previous knowledge of vegetables suggests this was down to not being planted deep enough, is this still true?

I decided to pick a couple cases off gently and was surprised to find another soft casing that was even harder to remove underneath.

Would leaving the cases eventually kill the seedling (no light)? is there a recommended way to remove the casing? could i cover the remaining seedlings with something maybe sand and hope the increased depth removes shells for me?
 

Shibui

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Nothing to do with planting depth in pines or in vegetables. Planting depth only seems to influence how the root penetrates the soil.
Pine seedlings frequently have the seed case stuck on the seed leaves for a few days. As the seed leaves expand they will push off the cases. Infrequently the seed case will stay on the seed leaves but the growing tip is at the tip of the stem and will push out between them as it grows.

Occasionally I pull seed cases off the small plants but, in the long run, it does not seem to matter if they stay on.
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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Planting depth matters, as does planting orientation. I've done ten or so experiments and the conclusion is:
If you sow with the root-end upwards, the bend the root makes will cause the seed shell to be pushed/dragged off by the friction with the soil when the stem re-orientates and grows upwards in an upside down J shape.
But a soft and fluffy soil - which is a good thing - can cause the dragging mechanism to fail. The seedling will just burst through it.

As long as the case/shell is off when the first shoot starts elongating, it's not that big of a deal. Those first needles are spent by the end of the summer.
 

Potawatomi13

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Personally sour on removing it. Once killed valuable sprout when pulled off seed leaf with casing and took off growth tip of sprout with it.:mad:
 

JeffS73

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Only pull them off if you think the needles are trapped,which can occasionally happen. The needles should balloon out, then the case will fall naturally. These first needles/cotyledons are being nourished/maturing via that soft inner case, if you meddle, you are weakening the seedling. If you do this with cedar for example, it sets them back, the needles don't last and the next set take a lot longer to grow out. I know this from my own meddling and observing. Nature knows best.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Would leaving the cases eventually kill the seedling (no light)? is there a recommended way to remove the casing? could i cover the remaining seedlings with something maybe sand and hope the increased depth removes shells for me?
Sow 100 seeds and leave them alone. In a couple of months you'll have 95 seedlings to play around with, and the rest aren't worth the time to try to figure out what went wrong. Maybe they were too weak? Maybe they had a genetic abnormality? Maybe they were just unlucky? Regardless, you are better off planting more seeds than you are trying to manually futz around with each individual seedling.
 

RoadManDenDron

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Thanks all for the replies!

Have seen pics if the ballooned out cotyledons but as this is my first time I needed reminding to trust nature!

@Potawatomi13 i also pulled the leaves off a scots pine before I posted this so ill join you in the sour patch!

@Bonsai Nut i have read up on a lot of the 6 year contest posts and was disappointed when my pack of jbp seeds contained 10 seeds so this time round its only a small batch! Next time will hopefully have strength in numbers! And I will have a better idea of what to expect.

Thanks again!
 

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