Many trees, such as maple, oak, aspen, pine and various fruit and nut trees can be started from seed. Some species are easy to grow. With others, you'll need little knowledge to give them the attention they require to get started.
Growing Your Tree Seeds
Scarify your seeds. Some seeds, such as redbud, have hard seed coats that must be scarified or physically worn down. Soak the seeds in concentrated sulfuric acid for 30 minutes or submerge them in boiling water for one minute to improve the chances of germination.
Remove the outer husk manually from seeds, such as oak, chestnut or hickory. Remove other seeds with harder shells with a file or nut cracker.
Dry your seeds, if necessary. Seeds from some species of trees, such as aspen or maple, need to dry out before they will germinate. Dry seeds at room temperature.
Break the dormancy of your seeds, if needed, by storing them for a time at cold temperatures to encourage germination.
Sow the seeds directly in the ground in the fall if you live where temperatures drop below 40 degrees F for from 60 to 120 days, depending on the type of tree. Each type of seed has different chill requirements.
Place your seeds approximately 1 inch deep in a container filled with half peat moss and half sand and refrigerate them for 60 to 120 days, depending on the type of tree, if you do not live where the temperature is appropriate for direct sowing or want to plant in spring or indoors.
Plant your seeds in spring or early summer, in 1 or 2 inches of fertile soil and water them in.
Plant your seeds directly in the ground or in individual pots and transplant them later. Ensure that the area where the seeds are planted is receives a good amount of sun each day.
Check the seeds for signs of growth after about two or three weeks. Water regularly, keeping the soil damp, but not wet.
Prune your trees, as they mature, in early spring to encourage new growth. Fertilize twice a year.