Spruce seeds

Growing New Spruce Trees – Learn How To Propagate A Spruce Tree

The birds do it, the bees do it, and spruce trees do it too. Spruce tree propagation refers to the different ways that spruce trees reproduce. How to propagate a spruce tree? The methods include growing spruce tree seeds and cuttings. If you are interested in learning about propagation methods for spruce trees, and how to start growing new spruce trees, read on.

Propagation Methods for Spruce Trees

In the wild, spruce tree propagation involves spruce seeds falling from the parent tree and beginning to grow in the soil. If you want to start growing new spruce trees, planting seeds is a common method of propagation.

Other propagation methods for spruce include rooting cuttings. Propagating spruce tree seeds and cuttings both produce viable plants.

How to Propagate a Spruce Tree with Seeds

How to propagate a spruce tree from seeds? The first thing you need to do is to buy the seeds or harvest them at the appropriate time. Harvesting seeds takes more time but less money than purchasing spruce seeds.

Collect seeds in mid-fall from a tree in your own yard or in a neighboring location with permission. Spruce seeds grow in cones, and it is these you want to collect. Pick them while they are young and before they are ripe.

You’ll need to extract the seeds from the cones. Let the cones dry out until they open and spill out the seeds. Count on this taking about two weeks. You may, but do not need to, treat the seeds in some way to help them to germinate, like scarification.

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Plant the trees outdoors in late autumn or early spring. The trees will need water and light. Depending on your climate, rain can take care of the need for irrigation.

Spruce Tree Propagation from Cuttings

Take cuttings in late summer or early fall. Choose healthy shoots and clip off each about as long as your palm. Recut the base of the cutting at an angle and strip all needles from the lower two-thirds of each one.

Plant the cuttings deep into sandy loam. You can dip each cut end in rooting hormone before planting if desired, although it’s not required. Keep the soil moist and watch for roots to form.

Norway Spruce Tree Seeds

The Norway Spruce tree can reach heights of 40 to 60 feet. The Norway Spruce is one of the fastest growing of the Spruce Trees. Commonly used as a wind break or shelter.

Soil Type: Prefers moderately moist, sandy, acid, well-drained soils.

Zones: 3 to 7

Germination Range: 70-90%

Stratification Requirement: None required.

Indoor Planting: If your seeds require stratification or scarification – do the recommended pretreatment before planting indoors. Planting Instructions: Fill a container with seed starting mix to about ½ inch from the top. Place your seeds 1 inch to 1 ½ inches below the soil surface. Gently water your seeds to keep moist, not soaking wet. Heat & humidity is critical for germination. Germination may occur in 1 week or as long as 3 months (depending on the species). Place the seed container on a heat mat under growing light(s). Keep your growing lights on 14 hours per day. Keep your heat mat on 24 hours per day. Once your seeds germinate, move each seed into its own container under the growing lights and on the heat mat. Keep your seedlings indoors for 2-3 months before transplanting outdoors in the spring (May to June).

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Outdoor Planting: If your seeds do not require stratification: the best time to plant tree and shrub seeds outdoors is after the last frost in your area (spring). In the Northern states – the best time to plant seeds outdoors is from May to June. If your seeds require pretreatment: you should plant your seeds outdoors before the ground freezes in your area (late September to early November). Your seeds will naturally stratify during the cold winter. Germination usually occurs in May or during the spring season.