Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cleaning out the fridge

From top, Shellbark Hickory nut, typical Shagbark Hickory nut, US quarter for size reference.
Mrs ERJ is happy.  She has her refrigerator back.  It is now cold enough in the pantry for me to move my seeds out of the fridge.

Many seeds require pretreatment to convince them it is safe to sprout.  I subscribe to the 24 hour soak with multiple changes of water, then store below 50F for three months school of thought.  That seems to break down the dormancy of most seeds.  A few seeds are oddballs, like Black Locust.  Black Locust is a pioneer species that is activated by fires.  It has a seedcoat that is virtually waterproof.  I kid you not, the way to activate Black Locust seeds is to pitch them into boiling water and stir them for 30 seconds, then add tap water until it is tepid.

Saginaw county shown in red. 
My brother-in-law who lives in Saginaw County, Michigan gifted me with 30 Shellbark Hickory nuts from the tree in his back yard.  According to the range maps, Shellbark hickory is only found in the southernmost tier of Michigan counties.  Consequently, he is well outside the tree's native range.  I don't know if his tree was planted by an enthusiast or if it is an over-achiever that got there on its own.  One thing is for sure, those nuts are monsters.

I suggested that he start selling them on eBay.  Sellers are asking a dollar a nut.  He is considering the idea.

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