Garden, Home and Garden

Conifer Tree Update (Starting Trees From Seed)

Conifer tree seedlings in the winter

This is a photo of a few of the conifer trees that I started from seed back in 2023. I believe these are the White Pines. They are doing very well this winter so far.

Stratifying The Seeds (Mimicking Winter Conditions)

Soaking conifer tree seeds
Stratifying conifer tree seeds

In the summer of 2022, I had lofty plans to plant 100 conifer tree seeds in the hopes of making a “natural fence” around my property. Well, as it does, life happened and the seeds stayed in my fridge for nearly a year. In March of 2023, I realized I had to try something, so I did some research on how to mimic winter conditions so the seeds would germinate. It was fairly easy. You soak the seeds for 24 hours then drain them, place them on a paper towel in a container and leave them in the fridge (at about 3-5 degrees Celcius) for 30-60 days, depending on the species.

Planting The Germinated Seeds Indoors Under Grow Lights

Seed of a blue spruce tree that has germinated
Conifer tree seeds planted and growing under grow lights indoors

After about 60 days, most of the seeds germinated. I had a mix of White Pines, Blue Spruce (shown in the photo on the left), White Spruce and White Cedar. I planted the germinated seeds and placed them in my basement under the grow lights. It took them about a month to start popping through the dirt!

Moving The Saplings Outdoors In The Summer

White pine tree seedlings

We had quite a lousy summer in 2023 but as soon as the rain decided to give us a break, I brought my little saplings out to be in the sunshine. Saplings need light and ventilation to grow.

How To Winterize The Saplings Safely

Conifer trees in tires

I started with 100 seeds and I’d say maybe 55% of them germinated and pushed through the dirt and survived the very rainy summer we had.

I was left with the question of what to do with them! They seemed too small and fragile to plant directly into the ground.

I contacted the company where I bought the seeds and was advised that I could winter them in the ground – or in my case, in old tires filled with soil.

I planted the pots directly into the dirt, with the soil coming up to the rim of the pots This would help to ensure that the saplings made it through the winter without freezing.

Conifer tree seedlings in the winter

So here we are, end of January of 2024. Though it’s been a mild winter, we’ve had snow and very frigid conditions some nights; and the little trees seem to be fine! I’m looking forward to the spring to see how they do. I plan to plant them into the ground in early fall of 2024. I’ll keep you updated on this project!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Fascinating, Rain. Your little saplings look beautiful.

Last edited 3 months ago by Becki

Hi Rain, I love the idea of pine trees for a fence. It will give you beautiful fence and a lot of cut critters. I love your website.