Why Direct Seed? Larger Planting Window, Fall Season Use 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
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
Seed Collection Determine your needs Scout potential seed trees Use a Bag-a-Nut Be efficient Float, sort/inspect, store
Determine Your Needs, Match Species to Site Tree Planting Plan- - an attachment to NRCS Conservation Plan, prescribes the seed per acre and matches species to site.
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
Using a Bag-a-Nut Up to 1 bushel (about 50 pounds) per hour of medium-sized acorns Pays for itself in less than 8 hours Works best in mowed grass situation, with some site prep Match machine to seed size For more information see www.directseeding.org
Be efficient, gear up before you start! Rakes Blower/vac Bag-a-Nut Containers Soaking pool Sorting table Onion bags Cold storage
Be Efficient 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
Purchasing Seed Local seed is the best seed Contact NRCS, District Forester and/or SWCD Check www.directseeding.org Follow “Seed Care and Handling”
Seed Care and Handling “Float” collected seed, soak ALL seed Immerse 4-8 hours Inspect at least 10 seeds/bushel If it’s your own seed, inspect on sorting table, before bagging Cut or crack test, look for seed that is: filled, light-colored, bug- free
Seed Care and Handling 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
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
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
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
Seeding Rates--Row Seeding MINIMUM of 3,000 hard mast seed/acre At 10’ row spacing, leave 16” or less between seeds Planting depth = 2X seed diameter, 1-4”, depending on species If no light seeded spp. nearby, add 1,000 seed/acre
Seeding Rates-- Broadcast Seeding MINIMUM of 4,800 hard mast seed/acre Planting depth = 2X seed diameter, 1-4”, depending on species If no light seeded spp. nearby, add 1,000 seed/acre
Site Preparation--Row Planting Till and/or spray a minimum 2’ radius circle or 4’ wide band with trees or seed centered in grass-free area. Grass species, esp. sod-forming, are DEATH to trees. Use snap trap survey to estimate potential rodent populations. Mow or till between rows to minimize rodent habitat
Site Preparation-- Broadcast Crop ground –Disk Several Times Pasture/Brom e –Mow grass in August. –Spray 2 quarts of Roundup in September –Plow and Disk
Weed Control for Direct Seeding Competition must be controlled for minimum of two years Good control of grasses and weeds is critical
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, & www.directseeding.org.
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, & www.directseeding.org.
Plantation Maintenance Maintain weed free area for 2-3 years Replant if survival drops below 500 after 2 years, counting desirable natural regeneration.
A little late-season broadleaf competition is OK... Grass competition is a prescription for failure! But...
Give these young trees a good start… weed-free!
Keys to Success with Direct Seeding 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
Keep on Growing! USDA NRCS is an equal opportunity provider and employer