How to Start Pine Trees From Seed

Written by debbie tolle
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How to Start Pine Trees From Seed
Growing a Pine Tree (pinecones image by Brandt Boulden from

You can purchase pine trees or harvest them yourself. To harvest pine tree seeds, collect the larger female pinecones--male pinecones are smaller. Gather at least 10 female pinecones that have fallen and have opened completely. Collect 50 or more seeds to end up with a few that will possibly sprout into a tree. To get the seeds out of your pinecones, shake them over a pie plate. This is the point where you will begin to grow your pine tree from seed.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Female pinecones
  • Multiple draining flower pots
  • Potting soil

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  1. 1

    Fill a bowl with water and drop in your seeds. Collect only the seeds that are floating--they are the only ones that have the potential to grow into trees. Plant your seeds immediately.

  2. 2

    Completely fill several well draining flowerpots with potting soil. The more seeds that you plant, the better your chances are of succeeding in growing a pine tree.

  3. 3

    Place one seed in each pot with the pointed end facing down. Your seeds must be in a vertical position to be able to grow. Each seed should be just below the surface of the soil.

  4. 4

    Set each flowerpot in a window that receives plenty of sunlight. Water the seeds thoroughly, but not so much that water is standing in the soil. Check each flowerpot daily to ensure that the soil remains moist. Your seeds should start sprouting in two to three months.

  5. 5

    Turn your flowerpots every two or three days when the tree begins to grow. This will keep the tree from leaning towards the window, and it will continue to grow in an upright position.

  6. 6

    Transplant your tree to a larger pot when it is approximately 6-inches tall, and plant it in the ground when your tree reaches 12-inches in height. If you continue to place your tree in larger pots, it will slow the growth of your pine tree.

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