Tree Diary, Part 1

A couple of months ago I bought a couple of tree growing kits from The Jonsteen Company. I had an ancient bristlecone pine grow kit that I got from the Long Now Foundation, but I wasn't able to get those to germinate. I wanted to give it another try, and bought another bristlecone pine kit, along with a monterey cypress.

Back when I got the grow kit from the Long Now Foundation, I'd liked the notion that something I sprouted would not just outlive me, but potentially live for many thousands of years. I got the monterey cypress because I always loved how these look along the coast of Monterey Bay and wanted one in the landscaping around my house.

I assembled both of the kits, cold-stratified them for 30 days, and put them in the wet room of our main bathroom (it has a soaking tub and a shower), to get them in a nice, warm, humid environment. I was pretty surprised that I got nearly 100% germination of the seeds! Five bristlecone pines sprouted, and four monterey cypresses.

Sprouted Trees

I had the decision then to cull or try to transplant the extra sprouts. I went ahead and attempted to transplant three sprouts, two bristlecone pines and one monterey cypress. If transplanting them didn't work out, I would just cull the remaining extra sprouts to give the best ones the best chance.

Transplanting them didn't work. All of the ones I tried to transplant died quickly. So that was that, and I culled the smallest of the remaining sprouts.

I'm thinking of being careful about watering them directly and relying on the humidity of the shower to keep the soil moist, and directly watering them only if the soil looks dried out. They don't get a huge amount of sun in here, but the window should provide a good amount of diffuse sunlight during the day.

Hopefully, I'll write more of these diary entries as things grow.


Tags: longnow

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