How to Plant a Tree From Seeds


Just as surely as you can plant flowers or vegetables from seeds, the same can be done with trees. Like flowers and vegetables, planting a tree from seeds requires a bit more effort and time. However, it can be one of the most rewarding gardening experiences, knowing that you planted and nurtured a tree, literally from the ground up. Try one of these three methods for planting a tree from seeds.

Germinate Naturally

Step 1

Plant the seeds in the fall about three times as deep as the seed's diameter in a well-drained medium.

Step 2

Cover the seeds with the soil that was removed. Water the seeds following the initial planting, then allow the seeds to enter their dormant state, which occurs during the winter.

Step 3

Watch for signs of germination during the spring; it may take up to two years for some tree species to break the dormancy cycle.


Step 1

Place the seeds in a glass container and allow them to soak, usually 6 to 24 hours, depending upon the seed type. This process is known as scarcifying, which means to break a seed's skin coat to allow moisture in and begin the germination process.

Step 2

Remove the seeds from the glass container and place them in individual containers or seed trays filled with moist soil within ½ inch from the top. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil equal to the depth of the seed.

Step 3

Water the seeds and place the trays or containers in an area where the seeds will receive plenty of sunlight. Allow the seeds to germinate, which may take a month or two depending upon the variety.


Step 1

Soak a few handfuls of peat moss in water until it becomes moist. Squeeze out as much water as possible. The peat moss will be used to stratify the seeds, or simulate the natural wintering process by creating similar growing conditions.

Step 2

Press half of the peat moss into a plastic sandwich bag. Place the tree seeds on top of the peat moss and then cover the seeds with the remaining peat moss.

Step 3

Close the bag and store it in the refrigerator. Watch for signs of germination, which usually occurs in one to four months.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Glass container
  • Seed trays
  • Soil
  • Peat moss
  • Plastic sandwich bag


  • Germination of Tree Seed
  • Breaking Dormancy
Keywords: tree from seeds, stratify, tree planting

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.