Sunday, February 3, 2013

Coastal Redwood, Sequoia sempervirens

I have waited a LONG time to take these pictures.  Let me explain.  In 1997 I purchased 1 ounce of Coastal Redwood seeds from F.W. Schumacher Co. (  This meant I had about 6,000 seeds to play with which sounds like a huge amount, but since the germination rate is only in the 5-10% range, I didn't think it was outrageous.  A stratification process then followed by soaking the seeds in water for 48 hours and then putting them into the refrigerator for 30 days.  Then, many seeds went into indoor, artificially lit starting trays which ultimately resulted in about 100 seedlings.  After a few weeks they were gradually moved outdoors, and transplanted to 1 gallon pots using the excellent 5F potting soil mix from Pro Gro (  Some of the small plants succumbed to fungal problems, but about 50 survived. I selected the most vigorous seedling and planted it about 75 feet from the house.  Fast forward to 2013, the tree is 38 feet high and finally producing cones!  I believe male pollen cones are shown in the two pictures, below.  Hopefully, seed cones will be showing up soon.  I hope to add additional cone development pictures during the next year.

I have learned the hard way that it is much easier (and cheaper) to propagate this species by rooted cuttings rather than starting from seed.  I now have the beginnings of a Redwood forest with 38 trees scattered around our property.  Hopefully, the full grandeur of these trees will be enjoyed by future generations. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Birds-Foot Trefoil, Lotus corniculatus

This introduced Pea species, has flowers that look similar to Scotch Broom (5/26/12 blog entry).

Immature flowers

Full bloom

Seeds starting to form