How to Start Pine Trees From Seeds


When starting any plant from seed, you will be most successful by mimicing what happens to the seed in its natural environment. Pine seeds, once released from the cone, fall to the forest floor where they will remain all winter in a cold, moist environment. When the weather warms and conditions are conducive to germination, the seed will break its dormancy and sprout. When starting pine trees from seeds, you can mimic that process in your own home.

Step 1

Fill a plastic sandwich bag with moist sand. Add the pine tree seeds and make sure they are pushed into the sand. Close the bag, place it in the refrigerator and allow it to remain there for 90 days.

Step 2

Fill individual planting pots with equal parts of sand, peat moss and potting soil. Moisten the mixture well and allow the pots to drain completely.

Step 3

Remove the bag from the refrigerator and the pine tree seeds from the sand. Push the seeds 1 inch into the planting medium in the pots. Cover the seeds with soil.

Step 4

Place the pots on a heat mat set to 70 degrees F, in a sunny area. Water the soil to keep it moist at all times. The seeds should sprout within 30 days.

Step 5

Water the seedlings only when the soil feels dry when you poke your finger into the root area.

Step 6

Transplant the pine tree seedlings into the landscape when they reach 6 inches in height.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Sand
  • Pine tree seeds
  • Planting pots
  • Peat moss
  • Potting soil
  • Heat mat


  • University of Nebraska Extension: Growing Conifers From Seed
  • United States Forest Service: Germination of White Pine Seed as Influenced by Stratification
  • ‭"‬The Gardener's Guide to Planting and Growing Trees‭;" ‬Michael Buffin‭; ‬2007
Keywords: pine tree seed, germinate pine seed, grow pine tree

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.