Showing posts with the label cold stratification

Regal Prince Acorns Collected, Tested and Ready for Cold Stratification - November 2023

For the past few months, I've been collecting acorns for a set of columnar oak trees and have been planning on trying to get them ready to plant up in the Spring.  Last Fall, I collected a wide variety of nuts, so when Spring came, I wasn't totally sure what was what.  This year, I know I only have one variety. Here's the pile of Regal Prince Oak (columnar) acorns that I started with: I put them in a bucket of water to test which were viable.    You can see all the floaters below: I also had three Chestnuts that I tossed in, too. After 12 hours, I fished all the floaters out - below are the number of non-viable acorns.  I'd say that's probably half (or more). I went back after 24 hours and found a couple more floating.  I fished those out and tossed them for the critters to enjoy: And here, below, is what I was left with:  enough acorns to pack away in wet sand and stick in the fridge for Winter: Next Spring, I'll pot them up and see if we can grow our own colu

Regal Prince Oak Acorns Collected - September 2023

I recently posted an update on the grown-from-seed tree seedlings that I've been nurturing for the past few years and included the oak trees that are from acorns that I collected last Fall .  Last year, I collected a variety of tree species - various oaks, chestnuts and even an Illinois Pecan and stashed them in the fridge to cold stratify.    That lead me to what I'd describe as 'mixed' results.  I have had quite a few seeds turn into seedlings, but because it was a mixed-bag, I am (somewhat) guessing on the variety of the tree and where I picked it from (a park?  Our block? Up in Wisconsin?) when I took the acorns.   But, I've enjoyed that seedling-growing process.  So, this year, I'm simplifying things.  I'm only going to keep ONE variety of acorns over winter.  What tree is that, you might be asking?  The answer is:  I'm not sure.   But, I do, indeed, know that it is a columnar oak tree that is planted along Maple Avenue near downtown Downers Grove.

Growing Catalpa Trees From Seed - Fall Pod Havesting - December 2021

In our backyard, we have a couple of mature (and a few smaller, understory) Catalpa trees .  I've posted about them from time-to-time and talked about how I've come around on them and have grown to really enjoy the species .  And how the Catalpa tree has become a sort-of gateway into the whole "Native Tree" world.  This Spring, we came across some Kentucky Coffee Tree seed pods at a Downers Grove park and successfully germinated them and grew some seedlings .   We're currently attempting to overwinter those tiny seedlings by digging their containers in the ground .  What I've learned from those seedlings was that the seeds required a winter rest.  Or...what they call stratification.  That means that they require a period of dormancy that comes along with the cold temperatures of Winter.  For the Kentucky Coffee tree, that happens with the seed pods hanging on the trees all Winter until Spring when they drop.   Based on that experience, I've decided to try

Welcome To Acorn Season - Our Backyard 2019

We have two very large Oak Trees in our backyard.  One of them has been documented here on the blog last Summer - and has our tree swing hanging from it .  The other is on the southside of our property and is almost as massive as the first.  I posted a photo of it's trunk when I was talking about a potential tree house here .  We also have a few medium-sized and a few MASSIVE Black Walnut trees in our yard.  Having these trees around means that come mid-to-late August, our yard starts to transform into a nut wonderland.  Above you see three of the green acorns that I picked up.  They were among HUNDREDS of their brethren.  Some in good shape. Others that have been already worked over by various critters including the Acorn Weevil .  These things aren't falling of their own accord.  Or at least...most of them aren't.  They are being released by squirrels.  It is kind of fun to watch these guys climb up into the extremities of these trees, hang on for dear life and gnaw a