Can I grow a tree or shrub from seed?

Most people never stop to think about where trees come from. In nature, almost all trees have been grown from seed. It is actually quite easy to grow most trees from seed. Some are a lot easier than others and some take a lot less time than others. For the beginner, I would recommend species that either requires no stratification or a short stratification period. I would also recommend species that have a relatively simple scarification, such as a 24 hour water soak. These seeds will germinate quickly and then just need plenty of light and warm temperatures to grow.

Some easy species are:

  • False Indigo (Amorpha fruticosa)
  • Orchid Tree (Bauhinia purpurea)
  • Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa)
  • Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)
  • Flame Tree (Delonix regia)
  • Korean Evodia (Evodia daniellii)
  • Thornless Honey Locust (Gleditsia triacanthos Inermis)
  • Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)
  • Amur Maackia (Maackia amurensis)
  • Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
  • Empress Tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
  • White Spruce (Picea glauca)
  • Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens glauca)
  • Bristlecone Pine (Pinus aristata)
  • Dwarf Mugo Pine (Pinus mugo Pumilio)
  • Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)
  • Royal Azalea (Rhododendron schlippenbachii)
  • Coastal Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)
  • Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis)
  • Soapweed (Yucca glauca)

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