Planting seeds from red berried tree

(Question)

I have acquired some seeds from a shrub or a tree that has red berries.  I brought them home as decoration.   I see there are seeds in the berries. I’d like to plant them in the community garden.  Is this a good time to plant them?   I don’t know what kind of a tree it is.  It is a very tall thin tree.

 

(Answer)

Without more information on the species of tree or shrub you have, it isn’t possible to tell you with certainty when planting should best take place.  If the seeds within the berries are dark brown or black, this is a good indication that they are mature.  If you have a sheltered spot to plant them within the community garden, it is worth planting them this fall.  Plant them shallowly, make sure that you label or identify the spot where you have planted them and water them well.  Some tree and shrub seeds have specific requirements for germination (when they begin to sprout).   In a natural setting, most seeds sown in the fall will begin to germinate the following spring.  When tree and shrub seed does not readily germinate following ripening, it is said to be dormant. Dormancy is a protective mechanism that prevents newly germinated seed from being destroyed by the cold of winter. The degree and type of dormancy varies with the species.  Dormancy of many species can be overcome by sowing in the fall. Fall sowing takes advantage of cold winter temperatures which satisfy stratification requirements. The seed will germinate the following spring as temperatures increase.

Check back regularly in the spring for signs of germination – this can be quick or slow, so a good dose of gardener’s patience might be required.  I wish you the best of luck and hope you will enjoy the pleasure of nurturing your community garden tree over the years to come.