INTRODUCTION by PAUL CAMIRE:
My family has a 45 acre forest. With the loss of the ash trees to the emerald ash borer I am looking to replant with some conifers. I've been experimenting with giant sequoia.
The forest is pretty well protected from the wind. I walk the trails and then can't believe how windy it is by the farm fields.
The forest has white oak, beech, linden (basswood), red oak, swamp white oak, witch hazel...etc. The soil is loam with lots of organic matter. I've been experimenting with Franklinia and American Chestnuts.
I could use my bulb planter to get a depth on planting of the seeds.
Editor's note: Paul Camire was one of two Michigan volunteers who received seeds in Spring 2017. By then, our group had determined via field experiments that rodents would decimate the "free-planted" seeds unless the depth was at least 4 inches. Both planters followed the depth instructions and, as of July 2018, have met with early signs of success. Meanwhile, all Michigan planters who received seeds in previous years (and thus planted shallow) had zero positive results.
SEEDS VIA TORREYA GUARDIANS: Connie Barlow sent 150 seeds April 2017 from the Medford OR Fall 2016 harvest of Frank Callahan's pair of trees. May 2017 Lee Barnes sent Paul 50 more seeds from the same Oregon 2016 harvest.
SEED PLANTING DOCUMENTATION: Paul wrote: "I free-planted in the woods and marked about 100 of them with a flag. I planted 10 in pots and the remainder I planted on the bank above the creek here or along my trail in the woods. There were about five to seven seeds that had been chewed/hollow broken in the batch."
19 JULY 2018 REPORT: Paul wrote: "I went for a walk in the woods today and decided to do a survey of the Torreya I planted last spring. After checking about 30 flags I spotted one! I figured that would be it after checking about 60 more and then I found two more! So I have a total of 3 Torreyas that sprouted from Frank Callahan's seed source.
One of the sprouts was probably about 6 inches tall, but it has been nipped off by some creature (photo below right). The last time I checked for sprouts was the first week of June. So in the last month and a half they decided to grow. I did not plant any of my seeds under rocks or logs. [All were planted 4-6 inches deep.]
The ground is extremely dry right now because we haven't had a significant rainfall in a couple weeks. Two of the sprouts are on the southern end of the forest, about 15 feet from a soybean field and near some American beech trees. The other is in a sunny spot in the woods where several dead ash were removed. There is a possibility that a fourth seed had sprouted, but something attempted to dig to the seed and may have nipped it off, but didn't reach the seed.
In addition to those three, I planted 3 gallon-sized trees and 11 seedlings that I bought from some nurseries in the spring. All of those plants are doing great and were never given supplemental water. Their laterals grew first this spring and the terminal buds just started growing now. I've attached a few pictures for you to see [below].
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