Starting January 1, 2018!
This contest will run 6 years - from January 1, 2018 - December 31, 2023; six full seasons of growth.
You cannot start seeds prior to January 1 (ie no soaking or stratifying) but you can buy your seeds and propagation materials and get them ready. There is no penalty for starting later... many people will not be able to start on January 1 due to winter temps, or they may just choose not to for one reason or the other. The point is to give everyone 6 growing seasons.
Rules of the Contest
(1) You have to announce that you are participating. No showing up in year 6 and saying "surprise, here's my winning tree"
(2) You need to share all of your information - including where you sourced your seeds, and all the steps you used to get them to germinate, as well as post germination care.
(3) At the minimum you need to post one photo per year (on or about the end of December) showing general progress. Since I assume people will be growing more than one tree, it is ok if early photos show numerous trees in early development (i.e. flats full of seedlings). However by the end of year four I'm assuming people will have a good sense of which trees are progressing most rapidly, and you should share some photos of those trees. Don't show up at the end of year 6 with a "winning" tree that we have never seen before
(4) On December 31, 2023, you can only enter ONE TREE as your finalist, even if you have more than one that has shown good development.
Trees will be judged on quality and trunk caliper at the highest surface roots. The fattest tree will not necessarily win, but the contest focus is on getting maximum growth and development out of JBP in 6 years, so no skinny literati trees (for example).
Assuming we have numerous participants and finishers, I hope to have a guest judge, as well as awards for all finishers (at least one tree alive end of year 6) and perhaps special awards for the top three trees. I will have 6 years to plan However, I want to make sure that people understand the focus of this contest is FUN and LEARNING. Assume there will be no physical award and only bragging rights... and then you might be surprised.
If we have friends in the Southern Hemisphere who wish to participate, we can run a second wave from July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2024. I will create a second contest thread if there is interest.
[EDIT] PLEASE REFER TO THE OFFICIAL CONTEST RULES THREAD FOR FINAL RULES AND DISCUSSION [/EDIT]