How to Grow Pine Trees From Seed


Native to the northern hemisphere, pine trees are conifers of many different varieties. These evergreen trees are favored by landscapers who plant them around homes, schools, office complexes and public places, and their wood is used for furniture. Although growing a pine tree from seed requires patience and determination, the result in the form of a beautiful tree is worth the effort. Grow it on your property and enjoy its greenery all year round.

Step 1

Collect fallen pine cones at a local park or public garden between September and November. Look for female pine cones, which are larger than their male counterparts and contain seeds. Depending on the variety of pine tree, a fallen and dried pine cone has up to 10 seeds inside it.

Step 2

Shake the cones upside down to release the seeds. Shake numerous cones to produce plenty of seeds, because not all the seeds will be viable for planting.

Step 3

Immerse all the seeds in a large bowl of water for up to five minutes and watch as some sink while others float. Separate the ones that float and place them on a paper towel to dry; these seeds have the best chance of germinating. Discard the others appropriately.

Step 4

Fill a 3-inch-deep pot with potting soil, and push a single seed vertically into the soil, with the pointed end down. Keep the top of the seed just below the soil level.

Step 5

Water the soil until it is evenly moist and place the pot in a sunny location away from drafts. Watch for germination to occur in a few months.

Step 6

Move the pot around every three days to prevent the sprouted seedling from tilting toward the sun. Pull off the seed coating from the emerging seedling if it fails to fall off on its own.

Step 7

Fill a 1-gallon pot with good quality potting soil and plant the seedling in it when it is 6 inches to 1 foot high. Keep the pot in a sunny location and water the soil frequently to keep it evenly moist.

Step 8

Transplant the young tree to its permanent location outside when it outgrows the pot, usually after two years. Choose a planting site with well-drained soil that receives at least eight hours of sunlight daily.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never prune more than one-third of the tree, as it stunts growth considerably.

Things You'll Need

  • Pine cones
  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Paper towel
  • 3-inch pot
  • Potting soil
  • Watering can
  • 1-gallon pot


  • Gardening Know How: How to Grow a Pine Tree From Seed
Keywords: pine trees, grow pine tree, pine seeds, pine cone

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.