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Alternating Storage Temperatures Increase the Germination of Yellow-Poplar Seed

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Seed of yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera L.) normally require two years or more for complete germination. We have now found that storage of seed for 24 weeks at specified alternating temperatures results in germination of all viable seed. All viable seed stored alternate weeks at 36° and 54° F. or at 36° and 70° F. germinated either while still in storage or after being placed in flats in a greenhouse. When the temperature cycle was 36° and 70° F., germination began during the 13th week of storage and all viable seed had germinated 10 weeks later. When the temperature cycle was 36° and 54° F., seed did not germinate during storage, but began germinating the fourth week after being placed in a greenhouse, and germination was completed five weeks later. Most viable seed held continuously at 20° F. and alternate weeks at 20° and 36° F. were killed. Even some seed held alternate weeks at 25° and 54° F. were killed by freezing. This means that nurseries that stratify seed can measure potential germination before samaras are sown in April and May. For direct or nursery seeding, germination can be increased by storing yellow-poplar samaras alternate weeks at 36° and 54° F. We have not evaluated this method of storage with a large number of samaras under nursery conditions.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Head, Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Va.

Publication date: 1963-10-01

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