May 2006
Tree Seeds
It all started here, courtesy of Bruce.


Today's Basement Special: Lego Soup

Mugshot of a Ginkgo Murderer

Baby Ginkgo By the Back Door

Coffeetree Sequel

Coffeetree Murdered in a Cat Fight

Look Bruce — I Did It — I'm a Tree Grower!

The Ginkgo Project: Learning to Grow Trees From Seed



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A Tree Grower's Diary
Ginkgo Biloba and Kentucky Coffeetree

Growing Trees From Seed: A Journal

Photographs and text by Julie Walton Shaver


A NEW PROJECT.. May 18, 2006. I have never grown trees from seed before, so a reader, Bruce, sent me seeds of Ginkgo Biloba and Kentucky Coffeetree so that I could learn, and you could learn with me as I go. I am using Bruce's advice, plus the treasure trove of information found on Cor Kwant's Ginkgo Pages to get me started. PHASE 1: Today I prepared the seeds. Ginkgo seeds were scored and are soaking in lukewarm water; Coffeetree seeds were cracked and planted about a half-inch deep in potting soil and put in a light, warm place in the garage. Check back for updates!


May 21, PHASE 3: The gingko seeds, after soaking in the bleach, were rinsed twice, then wrapped in a wet paper towel, which I put into a plastic bag. The tree factory, as Bradley and Gregory call it, is now parked in the garage. I'll check the gingko seeds every day to make sure mold isn't growing on the paper towel. If I see mold, I'll put them in a fresh one. (The coffeetree seeds are in the cups in the back; that was done as "Phase 1," but not photographed.)


I thought it ironic that Gregory's dinosaur was sitting on the tree house where I set up my seed packs for their portraits. I think that dino was hungry!


May 20, PHASE 2: After soaking the gingko seeds for 24 hours (ok, I actually soaked them for about 32 hours because I went out to dinner), I rinsed them in 9 parts water, 1 part bleach for about 10 minutes.


June 4: I prepared three Ginkgo seeds. All three sprouted! Bruce, you are the ginkgo king! You sent me some good seeds, dude!


June 11: I planted the three ginkgoes in pots today. Per Bruce's instructions, I left the seed pods on. I did not, however, get a cage to keep the squirrels at bay yet. Hayley suggested I sprinkle some cayenne pepper on. So that's what I'll do until I get a cage.
Say a prayer!


July 30: Imagine that. All three gingkoes are doing well!


June 4: I planted two Kentucky Coffeetree seeds. One sprouted!

Oh no, update: June 11: I left the seedling out in the pouring rain and it broke off at the base. I'm SO stupid. Starting over. My neighbor, Hayley, and I planted another of Bruce's seeds today. I'll keep you posted...


July 30: The new Coffeetree Hayley and I planted has grown well, despite the fact that I've left that one out in the rain too. It's being eaten by something though.


April 14, 2007: The baby ginkgoes are gone, flowerpots and all. Click the picture for the full story.

From Julie's Notebook

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