You received a bag of pine seeds at Heureka’s Wild Wild Wood exhibition. Follow these instructions to grow them into fine trees that will absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Choosing a good spot
Pine is Finland’s most common tree. It grows everywhere from the south coast to northern Lapland. Clearly, pine is not picky: it can grow in dry moors as well as wetlands. It will grow faster in more fertile soil.
Barren areas yield good-quality pine logs. Rich soil and former fields result in less desirable timber. Pine trees will grow fewer branches if their first decades are spent growing in sufficiently dense sapling stands.
Planting the seeds
Clear an area at least the size of your palm by removing ground vegetation and organic material. Sprinkle the seeds on the ground. Your seeds will grow best if you cover them with a thin layer (3–5 mm) of soil.
Plant the seeds in the spring after the snow has melted, but no later than midsummer. The seeds will sprout and grow roots in a few weeks. You can also plant the seeds in the autumn just before snowfall.
If you plant the seeds in the spring or in early summer, you can water the seeds when they germinate and grow small saplings. The seeds dislike standing water. Avoid planting in deep holes and excessive watering. You can weed the other plants around the saplings during the first year.
Store the seeds in a cool and dry place before planting. If kept at room temperature, the seeds should be planted within a year. Frozen seeds may keep for decades.
Pine seeds are produced in seed orchards. Good tree specimens found in nature are selected to cross-pollinate in the orchards. The seeds from seed orchards will have a better than average growth rate and quality of wood compared to native seeds.
The seed orchards collect their pine cones in late autumn. The seeds are gently stripped of their wings and sorted. The seeds may be X-rayed to assist the sorting – this shows if the seed is healthy or empty.