Confusion About Germinating Ginkgo
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Derald
Posted on: April 17, 2002

I am just wondering where to start. Some say stratify the seeds; others don’t say a thing about doing that, I am lost! Could you please help me out?

Rarely is there only one way to do things in horticulture. Ginkgo can seeds can indeed be started without stratification, but that depends on the condition of the seeds in the first place. For example, fresh seed harvested and seeded in October will germinate, but the germination rate will be less than 50%, while seed collected and sown in December after the seeds have had a three month cold, moist exposure on the ground will germinate at 90%.

Typically, the seeds in commerce, such as Richters seeds, are not sold immediately after harvest, but are allowed to dry out and are stored. Such seeds will develop a dormancy that will need to be broken by the stratification prcess where dry seeds are placed in moist sand and kept at 5-10 degrees Celsius (40-50 degrees Fahrenheit). This stratification process typically takes 30-90 days, but for many species it can take much longer, sometimes three years.

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