14 April 2009

Christmas Tree?

Well, maybe in 2020 it will be. A conversation about artificial versus real Christmas trees last December over on Poor Richard's Almanac prompted me into action. I've got the space to grow my own trees, after all and I hope I'll have the time! So I ordered a batch of Balsam Fir seeds from a website called TreeHelp (which is based in the US but also has a Toronto shipping centre for Canadian customers).

The seeds needed to be soaked in water for 24 hours and then cold-stratified (i.e. kept in damp compost in the fridge) for 30 days. I put them out in the greenhouse after that to take their chances. I figured that the fluctuations of temperature in there wouldn't be too dissimilar to what the seeds would experience naturally on the floor of a forest in the Spring.

For many weeks we've been peering into the tray of increasingly-green-looking compost and wondering whether anything was actually going to happen in there. Today our patience was rewarded when I found not one, but TWO little shoots. At least, I'm hoping that they're balsam fir seedlings, rather than random weeds that have found their way into the container. At $6 for 40 seeds, even if only one of these makes it to adulthood, it will still be quite a lot cheaper than buying a tree from elsewhere. This is the first time I've ever grown a tree from seed - it's exciting!

1 comment:

easygardener said...

I see you are in for the long haul!
It looks more tree than weed so good luck with your reforestation.