Most gardeners find that pine propagation is a very time consuming and difficult task. But this is not the case. There are several ways to breed this beautiful and beloved coniferous tree.
How does it reproduce in nature?
In its natural environment, the reproduction of pine, like all other conifers, occurs by seeds. Usually they lie on the scales in pairs, the placement is open, which is why pines are classified as gymnosperms. By the way, the seed method of reproduction is considered the main feature that distinguishes gymnosperms from those that reproduce with the help of spores, in addition, such crops do not form fruits.
With the onset of spring heat, cones appear on young coniferous branches. Some of them are yellowish-greenish in color.
Such cones gather in small piles at the base of new shoots, while others grow singly and have a reddish tint.
On the scales of yellowish-green cones, sacs form in which pollen matures. The envelope of each dust particle contains a pair of air-filled bubbles. Thanks to them, they are subsequently carried by the wind over long distances.
Reddish cones often grow on the tops of young branches, ovules form on their scales. When pollen hits the ovules, pollination occurs, after which the scales of the red buds are immediately closed and glued together with tree resin. A seed gradually forms inside, while the cones themselves continue to grow and woody.
After 1.5 years from the moment of pollination, the seeds reach maturity, and after 2 years they begin to pour out of the cones. Each seed of gymnosperms contains tissue, which is an accumulation of nutrients - it surrounds the embryo.
Pine seeds have small wings, which allows the wind to carry them over long distances, but not all pines have such a device. For example, cedar trees do not have them. The seeds of this pine are popularly called "pine nuts".
Growing from seeds
At home, pine is most often propagated in the same way as in nature - by seeds. They usually reach maturity by mid-January, at which point the collection of planting material can begin. Fall seeds can also be used, but the germination rate will be much lower.
The cones that have fallen from the ephedra must be brought into the house and put in a container, for example, in a cup, and put on a battery - then after a few days the scales open and the seeds spill out onto the bottom of the container.
Planting is done in winter or spring . In the first case, the seeds are placed in boxes, and in the second, directly into the open ground. It is believed that the first method allows you to keep germination under control and therefore is more effective, and in the open field the seeds often become food for rodents.
Stratification is not required for these seeds, but it can speed up germination. It is known that in their natural habitat, seeds begin to germinate after winter swelling in melt water and subsequent warming with the onset of spring. These conditions can be simulated at home. To do this, the planting material is placed in wet sand and placed in a freezer, kept for a couple of months, then taken out, rinsed in warm water and put back in the sand, but in a warm place.
Such measures are necessary if you plan to plant seeds in the fall, otherwise they may not germinate.
If you intend to plant seeds directly in open ground, you should prepare planting holes. To do this, a hole is dug in the ground 35-45 cm deep, drainage is poured onto the bottom with a layer of 20-25 cm, and a soil mixture consisting of peat, turf and sand in equal parts is laid on top .
Small seeds are buried 1 cm, leaving a distance of 5-6 cm between them.Of course, seedlings can appear even with a denser planting, but then they will raise the top layer of the earth and open unformed young roots, and this will inevitably lead to drying out of the seedlings ...
After planting, the hole should be mulched; for this, chopped coniferous bark, sawdust or a layer of peat are used.
In order for the pine seeds to germinate, they need to be moistened, since water goes down very quickly from the sandy soil. It is advisable to irrigate the land several times a day. If germination is carried out in a box, you can do it easier - put the containers in trays with water and cover them with plastic wrap. Evaporating, the water will remain on the surface of the film without leaving the space.
The first shoots begin to appear a month after planting.
How to propagate by vaccination?
Pine at home can be propagated by grafting, but this method is more often used by experienced gardeners, although beginners may well try this method.
Pines 4-5 years old are suitable for the stock, and the scion is obtained from younger seedlings one year old. The grafting is carried out during active spring sap flow or in the first half of July, while the spring grafting is done on last year's branches, and the summer one on the youngest shoots of the current year.
Usually, two main methods of grafting are used: with butt with a core or cambium on cambium.
When breeding conifers with a core on cambium, the sequence of actions includes several steps.
- All needles are removed from the stock, the buds are cut off on the sides. The size of the prepared branch should be a couple of centimeters larger than the length of the scion.
- The graft 7-10 cm long is also cleaned of needles, leaving only 10-12 bunches near the uppermost bud.
- Immediately after the scion and stock are completely ready, you can proceed directly to the grafting. To do this, make an incision on the handle with a sharpened knife so that it passes through the very center of the core - it should start under the needles and end at the bottom of the branch.
- On the rootstock, use a sharp blade to carefully remove a piece of rectangular bark. The length and width of the fragment should correspond to the parameters of the cut on the handle. It is necessary that the cut passes exactly over the cambium layer.
- At the finishing stage, the stalk is connected to the open cambium of the rootstock, and then firmly fixed.
The most effective method is inoculation with cambium on cambium - the survival rate with this approach is 100%. In this case, several steps should be taken.
- The one-year axial process of a pine stock at the age of 4-5 years is freed from needles on a plot of about 7-10 cm.
- On the rootstock and scion, very carefully, using a sharp blade, cut the bark in a small strip of 5-6 cm, while making sure that the width of the strips on the rootstock and scion is the same size.
- Places of cuts are connected and tightly tied.
- The fusion process usually takes about a month. After the cuttings have completely taken root and grow, the winding can be removed. Immediately after that, using garden shears, cut off the top of the shoot on the first whorl and the top of the axial shoot on the new one. This helps to enhance the growth of the scion. In the future, within 3 years, all whorls on the rootstock will have to be removed.
Breeding by cuttings
Pine can be propagated even with a cuttings - a small twig. This process is very slow, but the end result will undoubtedly please all conifers.
This type of reproduction is asexual. This means that during the cultivation of a young ephedra, new gene variations will not be formed and the resulting plant will be completely identical to the parent.
Reproduction by cuttings is usually carried out in June-July . During this period, the branches will be sufficiently formed, but at the same time they will not leave the stage of active growth. Due to the long daylight hours, the cuttings have time to fully take root. In regions with warm climates, pine can be propagated earlier this way. But in winter, these works will not lead to success, since the daylight hours are short and during this time the cuttings simply do not have time to get enough of natural light. Rooting will be very slow, although artificial lighting can be a good solution to this problem.
It is not difficult to grow a pine tree from a twig. To do this, you should find a wild pine and cut off a young branch from it. The younger it is, the sooner the first roots will appear.
The branch is removed with pruning shears, the length of the appendage should not exceed 9-10 cm.
When propagating by branches, the rate of root appearance is largely determined by the composition and structure of the soil. The more fertile the substrate, the more active is the formation of the root system. It is best to use a mixture of sand and peat, taken in equal amounts. As a drainage, coarse peat or rotted bark of coniferous plants can be added to the prepared substrate. It is advisable to add a little perlite - it will provide aeration and facilitate the flow of oxygen to the roots.
Peat contains a large number of various microorganisms, while some of them do not in the best way affect the state of the tree, therefore the prepared soil must be disinfected first. To do this, it can be calcined or treated with a pale solution of potassium permanganate.
Immediately before rooting, the cuttings should be treated with Kornevin or any other root stimulator. The more lignified the scion is, the more saturated solution you will need.
It is best to take a wooden frame or greenhouse as a planting container. In fact, and in another case, the future seedling must be covered with a film.
Keep in mind that when cultivating pine with shoots, in no case should you plant a branch immediately in open ground - this will have the most unfavorable effect on the root formation and survival of the plant as a whole. The sequence of actions for rooting cuttings is as follows:
- the prepared container must be filled with soil mixture and moistened;
- using any solid object in the ground, make a depression and place a branch in it;
- the top layer of the soil should be crushed and compacted;
- to prevent the appearance of rot, the landing site must be additionally sprayed with a solution of a fungicidal preparation.
Germinating branches prefer partial shade, so they need to be protected from bright sunlight. Water the seedling as needed and in moderation. The shoots need a constant flow of water, but if it turns out to be more than necessary, the root system will simply rot. The film must be removed from time to time so that the seedlings are aired. Usually, full-fledged roots begin to form after 4 weeks, the general rooting process takes 2-4 months.
After a year, branches with roots become suitable for transplanting into open ground. The more powerful and strong the root system is at this moment, the more likely it is that the plant will take root in the ground and start active growth.
It is better to choose shaded places for planting, but it is better to avoid full shade. The soil should be sandy loam with low acidity. Planting is best done in the spring on a cloudy but warm day.
To begin with, you should prepare a planting hole about 1 m deep, the width of the hole should be 2-3 times the diameter of the earthy coma. The bottom is laid out with expanded clay, pebbles or any other drainage layer of 10-15 cm. After that, the pit is filled with a mixture of river sand and turf soil in a ratio of 3 to 1, a seedling is placed there, sprinkled with soil mixture, compacted and watered.
At the end of the work, the near-trunk area should be mulched.
This method is most suitable for inexperienced gardeners - it does not require special knowledge and skills in working with plants.
It is not difficult to grow a pine tree at home. But still, regardless of which method you use, be prepared for the fact that you will be able to get a new tree only in a few years. If you do not have a fair amount of patience, it is better to purchase a ready-made seedling in any nursery.
For information on the features of pine reproduction, see the next video.