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Examples: Broom, gorse, false-acacia, laburnum, tree lupin

Tropical legume trees – Acacia species, Leucaena leucocephala


All these seeds possess a thick, impermeable seed-coat which prevents or significantly retards germination. Pretreatment consists of removing, puncturing, abrading, splitting, burning or softening the hard seed-coat – without damaging the embryo within. These are the only tree seeds which do not need to be moist to respond to pretreatment.

Pretreatment methods before sowing


Image of seed germination pre-treatment by chipping.Hold seed down with an eraser. Use sharp knife / scalpel to chip away small section of seed coat without cutting embryo. Wear safety spectacles.

Boiling / hot water

Image of seed germination pre-treatment by  boiling.

Pour 3 to 10 volumes of boiling / hot water on 1 volume of seeds. Allow seeds and water to cool for 18-24 hours.


Image of seed germination pre-treatment by abrasion.

Use abrasive paper to remove a small section of the seed-coat.


Image of seed germination pre-treatment by burning.

Make a small hole in the seed coat with a soldering iron or a hot instrument taken from a fire.

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