Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - June 06, 2011

From: Monroe, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Saving seeds of western red cedar from Monroe WA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to know how to save and store seeds of western redcedar if not planning on planting them their current year.

ANSWER:

On our Native Plant Database for Thuja plicata (Western arborvitae) (also known as Western Red Cedar), here are the Propagation Instructions:

"Description: Cuttings taken in Dec. or Jan. and treated with hormone root very well. Western cedar is also easily grown from layers or seeds. Occasional dormant seeds are found which require stratification.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 34-41 degrees for 30-60 days. No treatment may give satisfactory results.
Commercially Avail: yes"

This USDA Plant Profile Page has pictures of the tree and seeds and shows that the plant is, indeed, native to Washington. After some more searching, we found a long technical paper from the USDA Index of Species Information that had this paragraph germane to your question:

"Germination:  Germination is epigeal.  Western redcedar seeds germinate
well without stratification and remain viable for at least 7 years
stored dry (5 to 8 percent moisture) at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 deg C)]. 
Stratification may improve the germination of some dormant seed lots.  However, in others it may lower the germination capacity. Haig reported germination rates of 73 percent, and Schopmeyer reported germination rates of 34 to 90 percent."

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Where can seeds or plants of Ruellia nudiflora be obtained from Cedar Park TX
January 10, 2011 - Where can I purchase Ruellia nudiflora seeds or plants?
view the full question and answer

What kind of alcohol to use with Passiflora seeds?
March 12, 2010 - Hi, I read a question and answer related to gernmination of passiflora incarnata. You recommended a 5% alcohol/water solution to soak the seeds prior to sowing. I just want to make sure that you are...
view the full question and answer

Information on propagating alder (Alnus crispa) from seed or cuttings in Alberta, Canada
January 20, 2006 - What do you know about propagating alder (Alnus crispa) from seed or cuttings? I'm involved in a small stream side revegetation project in central Alberta, Canada.
view the full question and answer

Harvesting seeds on the American basket flower (Centaurea americana)
May 30, 2010 - Where are the seeds on an American basket flower? How do I get them out to propagate them? When can you get them out? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.