Torreya taxifolia to Cincinnati (Loveland), OHIO

Robert Miller
(reports listed chronologically)


   VIDEO: Planting Florida Torreya Seeds in SW OHIO - assisted migration

This wild forest site on Bob Miller's property in Loveland Ohio (northeast of Cincinnati) is rich in diverse habitats, notably a deep ravine in glacial till down to the limestone bedrock. This is the first video in which current species range maps are overlaid on sections depicting native trees onsite. A total of 56 seeds were planted May 2015 (seeds from the 2014 harvests).

33 minutes - filmed May 20, 2015

November 2015 - Bob Miller receives 40 seeds from the new harvest, via Jack Johnston.

Spring 2016 - Bob Miller receives a pot containing 2 young seedlings, donated by Jim Thomson (Cullowhee NC). He plants both in the cool fall of 2016 under a deciduous wild canopy in his forest: "They were planted on a north-facing slope with limestone bedrock. In addition they are in an area of mostly young maple trees so that they are not in dense shade. (They have cages around them.)


LESSON: Trust your seedlings to recover from even severe apical herbivory!

   PHOTO LEFT: Mid-June 2016 the right-most seedling in the pot shows new-growth trending to become the new main stem, following previous herbivorous destruction of the main stem apical leader.

PHOTO RIGHT: October 30, 2016 shows the same seedling on the day it was planted out into wild forest. It is photographed from the same angle as photo left. See that the spring new growth has now matured into vertical apical growth. But notice that the nipped-off stem also produced new apical growth from directly beneath the nipped-off top. So now there are two apical stems.

Photo above left by Connie Barlow of 2 seedlings donated by Jim Thomson (Cullowhee, NC) to Bob Miller of Loveland, OH (who took the photo above right).

February 2017 - (email): "A couple of months or so ago I went out to check on our two torreyas and could find only one. After some searching I found the second, completely uprooted and lying on the ground. The metal cage I had put around had rolled down the hillside. Since one of the legs on the cage was noticeably bent, I concluded that a deer had knocked it over when it went to nibble on the torreya. However, the plant showed no signs of damage and was still dark green. So I replanted it and hoped for the best."

March 30, 2017 - (email) "My two seedlings continue to look healthy, including the one that was completely uprooted."

April 2017 - Bob Miller receives 60 seeds from Connie Barlow, which were donated by Frank Callahan from Frank's autumn 2016 harvest in Medford Oregon. The parent trees of that Oregon harvest are shown in a video produced by Connie Barlow, February of 2017. Bob planted the Medford seeds under the same deciduous forest canopy area as where he planted the 2 potted seedlings below, as the two seedlings "seem to like the location."

April 21, 2017 - photos (by Bob Miller) of the TWO SEEDLINGS (outplanted from pots initially germinated in Waynesville NC):

PHOTOS ABOVE: New growth on the 2 potted seedlings outplanted Fall of 2016
Photo right is of the seedling that was uprooted by a deer and subsequently replanted.

June 27, 2017 - photos by Bob Miller:

Photos above show the same seedling as April 21 photo left. Notice that in the second photo (upper left) there is a 3-inch diameter critter hole.

Above are 2 photos of Plant no. 2, which has put out less new growth — but that's not surprising because it is the one I found uprooted.

November 12, 2017 - Connie Barlow visited Bob Miller and both walked the land in search of any evidence of success from their May 2015 "free-planting" (shallow burial, with no wire or rock protection) of 56 seeds. Seeds had been in the ground for two winters — which is usually when the first above-ground growth becomes apparent.

RESULTS: We spotted only two seedlings — both were really difficult to notice, so there may be more. PHOTOS BELOW show Bob with one and Connie with the other. Both seedlings are on the same slope of the same ravine, with the seedling shown by Connie being 50 yards farther downstream. That's a Shagbark Hickory behind Connie.


   16b: Florida Torreya to SW Ohio - preliminary report (Nov 2017)

Documents progress in all 3 elements of this experiment led by Bob Miller: (1) free-planting of seeds (shallow burial, no protection) into wild regrowth forest; (2) shallow burial outdoors in a rodent/deer impenetrable exclosure; (3) planting into regrowth forest of two potted seedlings (one rodent-damaged).

15 minutes - filmed November 12, 2017

This is the second installment in video documentation of an assisted migration experiment of the endangered Florida Torreya into southwestern Ohio (Loveland). This video was filmed November 11-12 and documents progress in all 3 elements of this experiment led by Bob Miller:
(1) Free-planting of seeds (shallow burial, no protection) into wild regrowth forest in May 2015 (using seeds from the March 2014 seed harvest.

(2) Shallow burial outdoors in a rodent/deer impenetrable exclosure of 29 seeds planted very soon after harvest in November 2015 (from the fall 2015 seed crop).

(3) Planting into regrowth forest in autumn 2016 of two potted seedlings donated by Jim Cullowhee, grown from seeds harvested fall of 2013.


• The poor success rate of the May 2015 free-planting into wild forest may owe to any combination of these factors: (1) deterioration or extended stalling of embryo development during the winter that Barlow maintained the Fall 2014 seeds above-ground prior to final distribution; (2) shallow burial accounts for heavy rodent predation of the seeds; (3) seedlings were very difficult to spot amidst the fallen leaves.

• In contrast, the tremendous success of the rodent-protected seeds planted six months later could be due either to (1) elimination of rodent seed predation or (2) strength of embryos owing to immediate placement in-ground following harvest.

   19 January 2018 Bob Miller says:
"Wanted you to know the two Torreya taxifolias I checked looked very happy despite the cold and snow."

June 11, 2018 - Email from Bob Miller: "Recently I found an overlooked bag with a few Torreya seeds packed in mulch. It had not been attended to in a long time. To my surprise two of the seeds had germinated. This is what I found (a couple weeks after planting). Amazing!" (PHOTO BELOW LEFT.) "So probably this fall two more Torreyas will go into the ground, though they seem to do well in our greenhouse. The two seedlings I planted a few years ago on the hillside still look healthy, but are not putting out much growth." Editor's note:Bob noticed those germinating seeds 14 months after he received (April 2017) 60 seeds from the Fall 2016 Medford OR harvest.


PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT: Also June 11, "These are two of nine pawpaw seeds that recently sprouted in containers in the greenhouse. Note how the sprout pushes through the soil. I planted the seeds in April after they spent the winter in our refrigerator."