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Seeds

Sambucus nigra

Elder

Storage characteristics

Orthodox 

Storage moisture content and temperature

c. 10% @ < 4°C

Dormancy characteristics

Deep

Pre-treatment method

10 (8-12) weeks warm (c. 15°C) plus

12 (12-16) weeks cold (c. 4°C)

See pretreatment of deeply dormant species

Efficacy of pretreatment / remarks

Only partially effective even with the longest pretreatment durations and/or several pretreatment cycles

Approximate date to initiate artificial pre-treatment (for 1 March sowing) 27 September

Storage characteristics

Orthodox – seeds that can be dried without harm, and once dried can be frozen, stored for years with little deterioration and relatively easily revived.

Pre-treatment method

Figures in brackets indicate that different seedlots often require different pretreatment durations. There are three potential courses of action:

  • Adhere to the pretreatment duration in bold, with the knowledge that the maximum potential germination of the seedlot may be sacrificed for the sake of simplicity.
  • Inspect the pretreating seed regularly. Sow when c. 10% of seed is chitted, with the hope that this is indicative that the remaining seeds are now close to germination.
  • Inspect the pretreating seed regularly. At suitable intervals, remove chitted seeds (by hand, flotation, and/or sieving). Sow chitted seeds and return balance to pretreatment until no more seeds germinate.

Practice Guide

Raising Trees and Shrubs from Seed (PDF-648K)

Forestry Commission Practice Guide 18.

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