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  1. DIRECT SEEDING Establishing A Forest With Seed


  3. WHY DIRECT SEED? • Larger Planting Window, Fall Season • Utilize Local or In-State Seed Resource • More Trees/Acre-Quicker Canopy-Form • Undisturbed Root System/No Transplant • Overwhelm The Critters • More Natural Appearance • Shorter Maintenance Period • Potentially Less Expensive

  4. WHY PLANT SEEDLINGS? • Seed germination is uncertain, seedlings are a known quantity • There are more potentially damaging agents for seed than seedlings • Seed crops and seed availability are uncertain • Seedlings may have a head start the first year, depending on size and quality

  5. SEED COLLECTION Determine your needs Scout potential seed trees Use a Bag-a-Nut Be efficient Float, sort/inspect, store

  6. Tree Planting Plan, an attachment to NRCS Conservation Plan, will prescribe the seed per acre and match species to site. DetermineYour Needs, Match Species to Site

  7. Scout Potential Seed Trees • Be sure of species ID • Locate on a large scale map • Red oak group visible in July, white by August • Obtain permission to collect

  8. Locate Heavy Seed Producers

  9. Mechanized Seed Collection

  10. Using a Bag-a-Nut • Up to 1 bushel (about 50 pounds) per hour of medium-sized acorns • Can pay for itself in less than 8 hours • Works best in mowed grass situation, with some site prep • Match machine to seed size • For more info. see

  11. Rakes Blower/vac Bag-a-Nut Containers soaking pool sorting table onion bags cold storage Be efficient, gear up before you start:

  12. Be prepared: In central Illinois seed begins to drop late-August to mid-September White oak group is usually first, then red, pin drops late Concentrate on trees with a BIG seed drop Collect after windy storms Collect BEFORE leaves fall After leaves fall use blower/vac to remove leaves Be Efficient

  13. Soaking Seed Sorting Seed

  14. Bagging and Storing Seed

  15. Purchasing Seed • Local seed is the best seed • Contact District Forester and/or SWCD • Check • Follow “Seed Care and Handling”

  16. “Float” collected seed, soak ALL seed Immerse 4-8 hours Inspect at least 10 seeds/bushel If its your own seed inspect on the sorting table, before bagging Cut or crack test, look for seed that is: filled, light-colored, bug-free Bag in porous, woven (“onion”) sacks Store in cool, well-ventilated location, protected from predators If delayed more than 2 weeks, place in plastic bags and refrigerate @ 33-40 degrees Seed Care and Handling

  17. Inspect All Tree Seed • Use a hand pruner for acorns, a hammer for walnuts & hickorys • Keep seed that is: • Filled • Bright, uniform color • undamaged • Discard seed that is • Shriveled, shrunken • Dark colored or mottled • Cracked, holed, or otherwise damaged

  18. Use High Quality Seed • Plant only undamaged, mature, viable seed • Cut or crack test at least 10 random seeds per bushel • If non-viable seed is found, increase seeding rate by the same percentage

  19. PLANTING TIME -ASAP, Fall is best -white oaks-must fall plant, especially Quercus alba & chinkapin -if properly stored, plant any time ground is not frozen or dry -very risky between June and September

  20. Row Seeding MINIMUM of 3,000 hard mast seed/acre At 10’ row spacing, about 16” or less between seeds Planting depth about 2X seed diameter, 1-4” depending on species If no light seeded spp. nearby, add 1,000 seed/acre Seeding Rates

  21. Broadcast Seeding MINIMUM of 4,800 hard mast seed/acre Planting depth about 2X seed diameter, 1-4” depending on species If no light seeded spp. nearby, add 1,000 seed/acre Seeding Rates

  22. Till and/or spray a minimum 2-foot radius circle or 4-foot wide band with trees or seed centered in the grass free area. Grass species, esp. sod-forming, are death to trees. Use snap trap survey to estimate potential rodent populations. Site Preparation, Row Planting Mow or till between rows to minimize rodent habitat

  23. Site Preparation, Broadcast • Crop ground • Disk Several Times • Pasture/Brome • Mow grass in August. • Spray 2 quarts of Roundup in September • Plow and Disk

  24. Row Seeding Equipment

  25. Row Seeding Equipment

  26. Modified Corn Planters

  27. Broadcast Seeding

  28. WEED CONTROL FOR DIRECT SEEDING • Competition must be controlled for minimum of two years • Good control of grasses and weeds is critical

  29. WEED CONTROL FOR DIRECT SEEDING 1st Year Pre-emergents Pendulum (Prowl) - 2qts/ac. Goal - 2 to 4 qts/ac. (expensive) Post-emergents Fusilade - grasses 6-10”; 1 pint/ac. plus a non-ionic surfactant OR Envoy - grasses < 12”; 1 pint/ac. Transline or Stinger - broadleaves; 1/2 pint/ac. See: IL Forest Herbicide Manual, IL Direct Seeding Handbook, &

  30. WEED CONTROL FOR DIRECT SEEDING 2nd Year Pre-emergents Pendulum (2 to 3 qts/ac). + Princep (2 to 4 qts/ac.) Post-emergents (weeds no more than 6-12” tall) Fusilade - grasses (1 pint/ac.) Transline or Stinger - broadleaves (1/2 pint/ac.) Oust - grasses and broadleaves (1/2 to 3/4 oz/ac.) See: IL Forest Herbicide Manual, IL Direct Seeding Handbook, &

  31. Maintain weed free area for 2-3 years Replant if survival drops below 500 after 2 years, counting desirable natural regeneration. Plantation Maintenance

  32. A little late-season broadleaf competition is OK... Grass competition is a prescription for failure!

  33. Give these young trees a good start…weed-free



  36. One and Two Year Old Seedlings

  37. One Year Old Seedlings

  38. One Year Old Broadcast Seeding

  39. 6 year old Black Walnut 5 year old SWO

  40. 7 year old broadcast 5 year old broadcast

  41. Use a professional Control weeds Match spp. to site Inspect all seed, carefully store & handle (cool & moist) Survey and manage rodent populations Use lots of seed Use lots of species Plant @ proper depth Keys to Success with Direct Seeding