Root Stock Seed Storage & Stratification
QUESTION: How do I store fruit seed for root stocks? I happened to find a huge box of relatively local organic pears from Creston, and want to save the seed for possible root stock. How should I best store them until spring? In a bag in the fridge? or freezer?
ANSWER (R. Walker): For the pear seed, remove seeds from the fruit and clean them well. Mix the seeds in with 3 to 4 times their volume of damp peat moss in a plastic bag, seal and put in fridge for a minimum of 60 days- 90 days is better. Check once a month for mold. If moldy,remove from peat moss,wash in 20% bleach solution, rinse them, and get new bag, new peat moss and put back in fridge for the remainder of the time.
As for stratifying other kinds of seed:
All willow seeds will not work..their viability is gone within 3 hours. Ribes, Lodgepole pine, Mountain Ash, Prunus, Pinus: Same as above. Maples: same again, best done with seed half green. Vibernum requires something a little different. Put the seed in a deep freeze for 1 month, no peat moss. Then stratify with peat moss for 1 month in the fridge and cycle this way 3 times total.