Yellowhorn nut germination

I’m still working on it but have yet to have success after scarifying, soaking, and cold stratifying yellowhorn seed from Tradewinds Fruit. Anyone else have success from seed with this plant?

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I ordered seed a couple years ago from sheffields. I think i had around ten seeds. One of them came up for me so far, and the rest are still in their germination bed, hopefully thinking about it this year. It gives a very slow start. On a visit to Edible Landscaping, they had six of them, also einy-tiny, that they had just up potted to four inch pots. I bought two of them. In my zone 6b location, they stayed outside overwinter, secondarily potted with a couple of other seedlings against a brick wall. At present, the one year old is about 2 inches tall with a 1 mm calipre, and the two year olds are about three inches tall with a 3-4 mm calipre Leaf color is not the same (one is a limish green, the other darker).
They were a bear to nick, but I did manage to scrape several down to whitish undercoat, although the file I used was fine and the dust it raised was whitish to begin with, so it may be that I didn’t scrape the first ones as deeple as I thought I had. I suspect cracking them a bit might have been more effective, but the instructions I had did not suggest that, and I did not want to risk the germ.
I have not dug around in the bed the rest of the seeds are in, but it does not appear anything else has either. I only casually observed them over winter, and a japanese maple added a layer of dry leaves. One of the seeds (at least) was pushed to the surface that I just inspected. It seems to be starting to crack, but does not have any other signs (or noticeable weight) that suggest it might be joining its cousins on a greener topside.
Quackin’ Grass lists it, and had it in stock late last year, but it is showing out of stock at present. Nutcracker nursery also listed it in stock last year, but not now. They had two sizes seemingly bigger than mine, but I had life by then, so I did not snag any. I don’t imagine they were all that much older as slow as mine are growing. Seed everywhere, but rarely live trees.

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Thank you very much for sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear someone else is attempting or succeeding at this. I’ve cracked a seed to taste the nut and suspect that scarifying is the way to go because the nut was shattered when I cracked it but this was only 1 attempt

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I had decent germination from just giving them a soak and then regenerating over winter. I can’t remember if they started sprouting before of after planting, but I recall more sprouted than didn’t. They’ve grown pretty slowly though. I’m not sure what to do with them now. Lol.

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They show up in a lot of places, but usually as “sold out.” If they are still potted, or pottable, you might add them to your shipable stock list and find them gone in no time.

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They’re breaking dormancy already so I’ll have to hold off for now. It would be easier if I had eaten them before so I could know how I feel about them.

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The story of about half of what I’ve planted in my yard. And I’m not finished yet. If you’ve got a bunch, you could try grafting a couple onto each other to see if it tricks earlier fruiting, and to see how readily they accept a graft. Maybe an inverse graft as well. They’re kindof in a class by themselves, since all their close family is dead.

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PFAF indicates they can be propagated from root cuttings. Perhaps I should wait another year and then pick the most vigorous seedlings to try this with as a way to get a larger batch started…

Confusingly, PFAF states in one part of its article that this has a non-suckering, single trunk growth habit, but later states it may be propagated by digging up suckers…

I need to figure out if they need cross pollination or not as that would impact how many I should keep for further propagation and how many I could re-home.

https://pfaf.org/User/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Xanthoceras+sorbifolium

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I found one nursery claiming that yellowhorn is self-fertile. However, in a government study to assess whether yellowhorn presented any invasive tendencies (they found it did not pose any major risk), it was noted this species is self incompatible. If that’s the case maybe I should keep three. I’ll have to double check how many extras beyond that I actually have.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/weeds/downloads/wra/Xanthoceras_sorbifolium_WRA.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwiVrrK7r6T3AhVOLTQIHS6IDns4FBAWegQIFxAB&usg=AOvVaw1_aJNhWeCN_rLax2j2hVEx

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Interesting info I had thought they were not self fertile and that they were suckering. I’d love to hear from someone down the road if they try propagation by root cuttings.

Are all of yours in pots still? Maybe it’s growing slow because it’s a taprooted tree and wants to be strictly in ground

Yes, mine are in 1gal pots. They’re two years old. I did see references online which indicated they are slow to establish. If they do propagate well via suckers and root cuttings (which are supposed to be planted horizontally) then I would think tap root disturbance should not be a major issue for young trees of this species as long as they are still getting enough nutrients and water.

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Dirr/Heuser ‘The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation’:

SEED: Seeds require no pretreatment for germination, however, cold stratification for 2 to 3 months at 41F hastens and unifies germination.

CUTTINGS: Root cuttings with moderate bottom heat can also be used.

I’ve grown these many-years ago and planted them and they didn’t tolerate Midwest humidity. I remember having a dozen or so plants that were pretty large in a manner of 1-2 years (8-12" tall) and very-well, rooted… just no luck after I planted.

I don’t recall how many seeds I was sent from a lady in Denver or how many I actually attempted to germinate, but, they came up quickly right along with tomatoes and everything else I was growing indoors that Spring-time.

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Update: about 3 weeks in and 1 of 3 seeds planted have germinated and it has sent up growth. These seeds weren’t cold stratified much but they were scarified all over with several spots completely through the shell and we’re submerged in tap water and placed in the fridge for 72hrs before planting in damp soil that has been covered in a seed starting tray but not moistened much since. The soil is still moist.

I’ll post pics later but thought I should update everyone

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