Thursday, January 5, 2012

Seabuckthorn Seedlings in the Snow

Will direct seeded, fall planted seedlings survive the winter in Maine?  The experiment continues.  In October they looked very healthy even after experiencing some very cold weather.  A couple of months later in mid-December they look, well, hard to say really.  Definitely not dead and for a deciduous plant, actually fairly healthy.  

Seaberry Seedlings winter- Maine

More Seaberry  Seedlings winter - Maine
As a reminder of what these looked like in late fall, here is a picture taken in October.

Another question which should be interesting to see the answer is whether the un-sprouted fall Seabuckthorn seeds are still viable and waiting for favorable spring weather.

Some of the literature makes a distinction between stratified and non-stratified recommendations for outdoor planting.  Stratified seeds (seeds stored at 35-41 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 days) are recommended for outdoor planting in the Spring.  Non-stratified seeds are recommended for fall planting.  The seaberry seeds and seedlings here are planted from stratified seed and this is not the best practice from the literature.  I'm not fearful of these failing - lesson learned.  I also am confident they will do just fine.  To date the literature's best practices have been only a guide since not every iteration of experiment has been documented.


  1. Didn't realize you were in Maine! So am i. You must be much more north of me if you have snow. Its been bare ground here since Christmas.

    I ordered some Seabuckthorn plants from Raintree which will arrive this spring, a male plant and a Titan female.
    I can't wait to get them and see how they do. I noticed you mentioned a way back that Junebugs like them, so thanks to you, i am aware of this since most catalog companies are not saying so and are calling the plants "virtually pest free" without elaborating.

  2. Hello Icebear,
    I am in Maine,as well as, Massachusetts. I am hoping this plant will love it in Maine as much as I do.

  3. Good luck up there!

    We are trying a similar experiment in Mississippi. My mom & I planted a single Botanica and a male on a west-facing, shallow graded pasture with pretty rich soil December 10th. They were small saplings when they went in the ground. Note: I'm not sure if sapling is the right word for this species. But they were about 12" tall and had a relatively small number of leaves. I was concerned that they may not overwinter since they didn't go into the ground until mid-December. But seeing seedlings peeking through the snow gives me a bit of confidence.

    I'll try to drop over here occasionally and give an update from the farthest south location to try this species out that I can find.