How to Grow a Noble Fir From Seed

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The noble fir tree, or Abies procera, grows slowly and straight. You can try to start a fir tree by collecting the seed from fallen cones. When allowed to grow, the tree will reach heights of 250 feet and live for hundreds of years. The seed germination is not necessarily easy, but it does work if you can locate a 50-year old tree -- the average maturity age of the noble fir -- from which to gather pine cones. At the age of 50, one mature noble fir tree might produce up to 3,000 cones and over a million seeds, but that is very rare since seed production is poor in this species. The noble fir grows on the west coast from northern California to Washington State.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant pot
  • Peat moss
  • Garden soil
  • Collect the cones as soon as possible after they drop, any time from late August into September. Store the cones in a dry container outside where they can still have adequate ventilation but away from the reach of squirrels and mice.

  • Stratify the seeds for at least three months outside in the cold to help break their dormancy.

  • Remove the seeds from the cones over a work surface. Collect only the fattest seeds and leave them intact with their wings, being careful not to scratch or damage the seed coat.

  • Plant the seeds in a mixture of equal parts of potting soil and dampened peat moss at a depth of 1/2 inch in a plant pot. Keep the pot in a shady place indoors between 50 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit for six to eight weeks.

  • Transplant the seedlings outside in a permanent location in early spring where they will grow very slowly, only reaching about 6 inches in height after five years.

References

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