How to Grow Cedar Trees From Seed

Updated November 21, 2016

Cedar trees look good in any yard and fit any landscape without overpowering other foliage. They grow well in USDA zones 7 to 9 and have a silver-green foliage that makes an interesting backdrop for other plantings. Growing a cedar tree from a seed often is time consuming but not difficult and is an inexpensive way to add trees to your yard. Cedar seeds are encased in cones that fall from trees.

Pick cones from the ground under the tree or from the tree itself. Pull the cones apart and remove the seeds from inside.

Fill a plastic bag halfway with moist sand. Bury the seeds in the sand and seal the bag.

Place the bag in the bottom shelf of a refrigerator in the back, or in a vegetable drawer. Leave it there for one week for stratification, which helps the seeds to germinate properly.

Remove the seeds from the sand carefully at the end of 12 weeks. Leave any roots that have begun to form attached. Plant the seeds 1 inch deep in a container filled with potting soil.

Water the soil well enough to cause drainage from the holes in the bottom of the pot. Let it drain thoroughly.

Place the pot in a sunny indoor location. Check the soil for moisture regularly. Water before the soil dries out completely.

Move the pot outside in the spring, as long as the seedling is more than 6 inches tall. Transplant to a sunny location outdoors when it is more than 1 year old.


Seeds can also be stratified in damp paper towels surrounded by moss in a plastic bag.


Be sure to place your seedling in an area where deer and other wildlife will not feed from it.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Cedar seeds
  • Potting soil
  • Pot
  • Plastic bag
  • Refrigerator
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