Look at this.
Canned tree seeds!
This was another gift I received during the holiday week.
One of the nice things about creating a bonsai blog here on Hive is that on holidays I often receive gifts in the form of new supplies to refuel my hobby.
These are the seeds from inside the kit.
Bristlecone Pine is an ancient tree species. There are Bristlecones alive on this world older than the pyramids. Can you believe it? 5000+ years old!
Over thousands of years of growth, these trees become gnarled and winkled, with more fossilized deadwood than living wood.
As Alpine trees growing on mountain rocks, Bristlecones tend to tip over in the high winds. Trees with the strongest roots manage to continue to grow despite the new precarious shapes they take on. They learn to adapt, not necessarily evolve, in order to survive. These trees have the same basic DNA since dinosaurs roamed the earth.
Inside this kit were instructions, soil, and a pouch of rocks to use as a mulch.
A little plastic jar is used to house the layers of soil, seeds, and rocks. The instructions stated to dampen the soil with water and cover the seeds with a layer of rocks, and put it into the refrigerator for 20 days.
Watch out! I found out the little plastic jar leaks from both ends (drainage and air holes). I think they should have at least included a baggie to hold in the liquid, so it doesn't make a mess in the fridge. I opted to put the jar back inside the outer can to catch the water percolation.
After the 20 days, it can be brought back into a warm room and the seeds are guaranteed to sprout. An actual 100% guarantee on seeds is not something I often see.
Young trees, unlike their elder representations, are said to be handsome green needle conifers with a thick mass of foliage. I am expecting this tree to be vigorous with fast root and branch growth in the first few years.
These are not Bristlecone. However these seeds went through a similar cold stratification process in the fridge.
Here, I've discovered my Giant Sequoia seeds have started to take root. They have been sitting on a warm heating mat at 71 degrees F for nearly two weeks, after 30 days of moisture inside the cold fridge.
Giant Sequoia is another massive tree, that can grow hundreds of feet tall. They often have a thick perfectly straight trunk that continues to grow taller every year. Needles are scale shaped and hang in clusters.
It will be interesting to see how many continue to sprout. This little cup is only 1 inch deep, so I'll need to be repotting them I expect.
Outdoor Life in Winter
Finally, I'll close with this photo. Last summer I really discovered the potency of what good quality enriched soil can do to boost my plants in these grow bags.
I even added horticultural sand to this one, and it really seems to be helping with drainage, moisture retention, and temperature insulation in winter, while the enriched soil provides nutrients and beneficial bacteria to support healthy roots.
Usually plants like these would get eaten up by the slugs (they eat everything if the weather is damp enough), but on the deck under the direct sun they seem to be better protected from rot. All of these plants seem to love the cold rain and fresh air. I think the sharp sand is also helping to deter slugs from tracking through.
Growing here is crocus, sweet peas, and Farewell-to-Spring (Clarkia amoena). Everything in this grow bag flowers, and I expect it to be popping full of colors by Easter and lasting through early Summer.
Find me on discord and chat with other tree growers, bonsai enthusiasts, and gardeners.
This is my way of thanking each of you for your friendship and support. By sharing my talents on Hive, I can also share to help with your needs.
Let my success also grant you some happiness too.