Looking for tree Seeds

(Question)

We Just moved to Toronto and would like to buy some tree seeds from the market. we need your help to find stores who sell tree seeds.
my dad wants to try and see different types of trees, its kind of an experiment
Thanks

(Answer)

Thank you for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners.

Growing trees from seeds can take some effort and patience but is a very rewarding.

Things that need to be considered when planting seeds is what does the seed need to germinate. When a tree produces seeds it has certain things in place to ensure the seed germinates at the right time and in the correct place.

  1. Most seeds need to experience stratification. This means the seeds will not sprout until they experience a prolonged period of cold. This ensures the seeds do not germinate before winter conditions set in killing the seedling.
  2. Many tree seeds have plant material surrounding them. This is to encourage animals and wind to help disperse the seeds. While the seed is encased in this material it will not germinate. Some of these seeds like the walnut can retain the outer layer for several years.
  3. Many seeds need to be scarified or soaked before planting. In nature seeds are eaten and pass through digestive tracks which scratch up the seed coat. Scarification mimics this. Some smaller tree seeds are easily scratch up but some require heavy duty filing and some times acids are used.
  4. Some trees are almost exclusively grown from grafts. Fruit trees that produce good fruit are usually not possible from seed.
  5. If you collect your own seeds they may or may not propagate a tree that is true to its parent. Many trees hybridize and others have grafts which will change your results.

It is important to know the tree and seed you are planting and what its specific requirements are so you have a maximum success rate. There are many good books available at libraries and from stores which will help you figure this out.

When purchasing or collecting the seeds, it is best to have seeds that were produced as locally as possible. A maple seed grown locally will have more chance of success than a maple seed from the same species grown in a different climate. Master Gardeners does not recommend places to purchase products. You can check with local nurseries as well as look online.

I am including a link to LEAF which lists the native trees for our area in case you would like to explore planting the trees that are fast disappearing but native to our region. LEAF may also be able to help you find seeds.

https://www.yourleaf.org/

Good luck with your venture!