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Germination and Seedling Growth of Northern Red Oak: Effects of Stratification and Pericarp Removal

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Northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seeds exhibit dormancy that may be broken by stratification and modified by pericarp removal. Germination and seedling growth of northern red oak acorns with pericarps removed or intact were measured after various periods of stratification (5°C). Pericarp removal increased germination of freshly harvested acorns fivefold (from 10 to 55 percent). Dormancy deepened during the first 4 weeks of stratification. Stratification for 6 to 8 weeks significantly increased germination percentage and rate. Seedlings grew taller and faster from acorns that had been stratified 8 to 12 weeks than from acorns with 0 to 4 weeks of stratification. Stratification's effect on root and shoot weights and lengths, and root/shoot ratios were evident as early as 14 days after germination. Pericarp removal had no significant effect on seedling growth. Forest Sci. 31:31-39.

Keywords: Quercus rubra; dormancy; etiolation

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Professor of Crop Physiology, Department of Agronomy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Publication date: March 1, 1985

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