From Cones to Seeds
Going from cones to seeds requires a few basic steps, the first of which is drying. Once the cones begin to look dry and fan out seeds are ready to be harvested. First, the winged seeds need to be extracted from inside the cones. This is done via agitating them with a simple mechanical separation process. We use a container with small holes that the cones cannot fit through, allowing the seeds to shake out.
Shaking out the seeds using mechanical separation
After the seeds are liberated from the cones, small bits of debris and dried resin are removed. The seeds are stored in a refrigerator for long-term, ensuring they remain viable for a long time to come.
Automatic Seed Counting Technology
Automating the repetitive manual work with computerized optical-mechanical portioning devices. Emphasis is on providing a highly pure seed sample with generous uniform counts.
Foreign matter is filtered out during serial production and clean packaging
Instead of discarding your disposable single-use containers after consuming, why not re-purpose them for something more important? Growing trees. We have had great success using recycled coffee cups for growing many species of trees.
The pinyon pine, common in the south-western United States, is hardy to zone 5. This means it should be able to grow in the temperate climate of southern Ontario. Our tests of the seedlings proved that germination was easy and rapid.
These trees can resist drought and prefer hot weather. The leaves are a pleasant turquoise-green colour that makes it stand out among pines. A significant trait of this species is its large and delicious seeds that are collected as a food in its native range.
The theory of hybrid vigour maintains that often crosses between two species can have favorable traits, and superior growth traits compared to either parent. This experiment is a long-term project to see how this hybrid of pinus monophylla x pinus edulis will perform in Canada.
Pinus armandii seedlings
These seedlings of Chinese white pine (pinus armandii) have grown indoors in recycled containers for one year now. They are ready to be moved into the greenhouse and then outdoors in full sun once the weather warms. They are slated for planting in Autumn 2019, after the end of the growing season and the seedlings have entered dormancy. This species of pine tree is known for its edible pine nuts, a delicacy.
Hybrid spruce (Picea mariana x rubens)
These hybrid spruce seeds are a cross between red spruce and black spruce. Growing now for almost a year, they are developing stems and a few side-branches. The colour is variable - between the blue-white of black spruce and the shiny red-green of red spruce. A great tree for environments in eastern Canada.
Seedlings up close
These photos are taken at 8x zoom through an optical lens to give greater detail on the foliage of the seedlings.
A red spruce seedling exhibits green new growth.
A white pine seedling clearly shows its stomatal bands running across the length of the leaf. When viewed under magnification, it appears as a line of small, fine white points.
This is our area of focus in Ontario. Within The Greenbelt we have several distinct growing zones. Explore our interactive map below.