Got plans for spring!

monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)January 30, 2012

Hey, everyone!

I wanted to share with you and get your opinion on a couple of experiments I intend to perform this spring.

The first involves seed from Cryptomeria japonica 'Barabits Gold'. I wish to grow these and find any with special golden foliage like that of the parent.

The tree:

The seed from 5 cones:


- Should I germinate each seed in its own small pot?

- Do you suppose any of the seeds will actually grow, or will this cultivar produce sterile seeds?

- What are those small white dots on some of the seeds in my second picture? Mold? Insect eggs? Should I be concerned?

The second project involves hybridizing fir trees. I obtained a large amount of pollen from Abies pinsapo 'Glauca' this past spring, in the hopes that I could hybridize it with Abies koreana 'Aurea' which always produces abundant cones...

A Ziploc bag full of pollen:


- Do you think this could produce a successful cross?

- How should I go about applying the pollen to the cone?

- Would I need to stratify these seeds before germinating them next year?

Thank you so much for your assistance in my horticultural endeavors. I truly appreciate it.


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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Hello Sam.

From what I understand one of the bigger problems you can have is contamination by some fungus or the like. While I would not plant each one in a gallon pot I might try for three or four beds or them "group starter pots" or whatever they're called.

The rest I know even less about.

Do post pics thougb and let us know what works.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2012 at 10:57PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)


I'm not familiar with this tree or the process of hybridizing conifers, but I say go for it and PLEASE report back. I love the challenge of hybridizing and growing things on from seed. I've hybridized roses, peonies, iris and daylilies. I had not even contemplated conifers. Good luck to you. I think it will be a fabulous experiment.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:09PM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Sam - Pinsapo and Koreana cannot hybridize, it's an impossibility. Pinsapo can hybridize with:
nebrodensis, equi-trojani

Good luck with your Cryp seeds. There's one way to find out if they germinate and that is to follow stratification requirements if there are any and I would bury the seeds in a larger container at proper depth to see what pops and then eventually after a few sets of leaves move them, to their own pots. You can find strat requirements at any seed-selling site.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2012 at 8:59PM
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monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

Thanks, everyone.
Dax, I do have an Abies alba 'Pyramidalis' that makes cones every year. Maybe I'll cross it with the Abies koreana 'Aurea'..

Should I just grow the Cryptpomeria outside in the spring, or must they be germinated in a greenhouse?

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   February 3, 2012 at 11:03AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Hi Sam,

Alba and Koreana again are not (together) in the group above so no go.

Koreana hybridizes with these firs:

Sam, take a look at strat requirements and make a decision how you want to grow them when stratification requirements have been met. Of course you can do either.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:10AM
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Sam, another idea is to borrow the idea from a couple of the geniuses of the craft that is conifer alchemy. The likes of Bob Fincham and Jim Boyko, try to cross cultivars of the same species with different attributes with the goal of creating something really cool. For example:

Bob's project in crossing Picea abies 'Gold Drift' pollen with 'Acrocona' creating the well-documented line of golden seedlings that create cones at the branch tips at a young age.

Another one he's working on is a cross of Picea orientalis 'Skylands' x 'Nutans' with the goal of creating a weeping golden Picea orientalis. I saw the young seedlings a couple of months ago and while they're still too young to predict what's going to happen, a couple are looking promising.

Only problem for you is that there's not a heck of a lot of good pinsapo cultivars out there right now. Hmmm that pollen might be of little practical use.

However, there's lots of Abies koreana cultivars out there. Maybe an Abies koreana 'Aurea' x 'Horstmann's Silberlocke' cross for a golden, curly-needle look or a cross with one of the spreading cultivars for a golden spreading Abies koreana.

Just my 2 cents. Have fun with the project.


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 10:52AM
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monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

Hey Dax, I meant to say that I could hybridize Abies pinsapo 'Glauca' with Abies alba 'Pyramidalis'. That one might make for an interesting cross...? Thanks for clearing that up.

Dave, unfortunately, my Abies koreana cultivars aren't much for making pollen. Plenty of female cones, but not an abundance of pollen with which to hybridize. Thanks for the info. It was Bob Fincham's experiments that inspired me to try this.

So, I will check for the stratification requirements as Dax suggested, and I'll see what happens. I'll post pictures if any germinate!


    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 1:24PM
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