There is good news and bad news on the subject of pine cones.
I am not a huge fan of Christmas festivities generally, but when the children are around at Christmas, they like a Christmas tree, and hence there is usually a trip to one of the local Christmas tree farms. When the farm sells you of these trees, it does not kill the tree. Instead, it lops off the top bit of the tree, leaving the roots and the base, and that part of the tree then regrows. It has occurred to me that if I had, say, half a dozen of these trees growing in my upper paddock, I could do the same thing. Not that I particularly mind the trip to the Christmas tree farm. But unlike my old Jeep, my new Jeep does not have a roof rack, and so getting a decent sized Christmas tree home starts to be a problem.
So, earlier this week, I was taking Perdita for a run in one of the local forests and noticed freshly fallen pine cones. I stuffed my pockets with half a dozen of these, thinking that I could plant them, and hopefully end up with half a dozen pine trees.
It turns out that it doesn’t work like this. It is no good planting entire pine cones. Instead, if you want to grow pine trees from pine cones there is a routine, which works something like this:
- You put the pine cones in a paper bag or a box somewhere sunny, and wait for them to open;
- after a while, the actual seeds will fall out of the pine cones;
- you then put the seeds in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for a month or so;
- with a bit of luck, the seeds will germinate;
- you then plant them in little pots in which, with a bit of luck, they will start growing into little saplings;
- when they big enough, you can plant them out, and they start growing properly.
Plainly, this is all a bit troublesome. On the other hand, if it works, you end up not with just 6 pine trees, but lots of pine trees.
I am not hugely hopeful about this, but I will give it a go.