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How to grow a giant sequoia from seed

The giant sequoia or redwood, Sequoiadendron giganteum, is a tree american that reaches a height of between 50 and 85 meters of height. It is one of the three conifer-known with the popular name of redwood. Although it reaches a lower height than its relative, the Sequoia sempervirens will win in volume. It is in fact the vegetable organism most voluminous on the planet. Also, as his family is very long-lived and has come to be dating an exemplary 3200 years old.

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Well, let’s see what we can do to raise our giant redwood from seed. These are the we can get from the cones produced by the tree. And even though we live far away from their place of origin, the Sierra Nevada of California, the united States, there are copies spread all over the planet. For example, in Spain there are registered 29 giant sequoia trees as tall trees, but in the rest of the world there are 3901 and a large number of them in Europe, specifically where there is in France, 1110, and he remains Belgium with 986. Interestingly in the united States there is only registered 218.

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You have to collect the green cones fallen on the ground. Its seeds are those that are more likely to germinate (between 20% and 40% is the rate of germination in their natural habitat).

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Let that dry well cones open, the seeds will fall off by themselves and we can pick up with ease. Anyway we can also order the seeds in a trade devoted to their sale. Surely will be the most efficient way to get good results. Usually these seeds have a germination rate above 40%.

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Like most conifers, the seeds of giant sequoia need a period of cold before coming out of dormancy. A good way to perform this scaling in cold weather that need is the following. We will place the seeds wrapped in coffee filters, we ensure a paper-free of chemical elements, humedecemos the filter and introduce them in airtight bags made of plastic.

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Then we will introduce the bag with the seeds in the refrigerator. And leave for about 4 weeks. After this period of time we will remove the bags and leave in a dark place at room temperature. This change will make the seeds start to germinate.

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After a few days we will release the filter paper from the bag, and we’ll see how they are seeds. We separate them from the ones that have sprouted and the plant. The rest we’ll leave a few more days.

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We will prepare a few plots with substrate current and will be planting the germinated seeds in them. The moisture will be a key factor for the development of the seedling. We have to be very aware of this and do not let the substrate dry out never. To prevent the appearance of molds, we can add some fungicide.

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The seedlings of giant sequoia can have 3 to 5 cotyledons. We will continue with the irrigation and we will avoid that the seedlings can receive direct sunlight.

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Shortly after we will see that appear the first leaves final after falling to the cotyledons.

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After a few weeks they will begin to grow branches. This is an indicator that the seedlings are ready to receive more light. Slowly moving your seedlings to an environment more bright, but avoiding is still the direct light of the sun.

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When they have been acclimated to the sun we can get them outside during the day. Will have to be intensified, then the caution of always having the soil damp.

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When plants reach 10-15 cm in height it is best to take them out of their pot and plant them directly in the ground. This will ensure they do not dry out and give them space to grow the roots.

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The final place you’ll need to measure some 10 metres in diameter. Enough space to develop the roots of this great tree. The planting there our giant sequoia add slow-release fertilizer for conifers, in order to have enough food to properly develop their roots the following season.

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The first years we will protect the redwood of any animal that might try to eat your tender shoots. A metal mesh we can go well to protect her in those early years. Then, you just need patience and go see how it grows little by little.

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