Germination of seeds of trees.:

I am in an effort to germinate seeds of Tree species for assisting forest dept. nurseries and am not able to geminate some like Dolichandrone atrovirens, Melia dubia , Anogeissus latifolia, Mitragyna parviflora etc.
Can I get information on the above about treatments, germination techniques etc. ?
These are some native species of Bangalore. I would be glad to discuss with someone who is doing the above.

The Indian Traditional Healers use herbal extracts and leachate for different purposes including for germination in Traditional Tree Farming. They observe the species growing in forest (and also Mother Nature’s arrangements) and based on the Allelopathic relationship use herbal extracts and leachcate. This knowledge is known as Traditional Allelopathic Knowledge. They have endless knowledge. You can use this knowledge for tree seed germination.

Please search “Traditional Allelopathic Knowledge” in Google for details. The search results from my end are here

I’ve had some success with difficult seeds like Nux Vomica , Mala Veppu [ Melia Dubia?] etc. In the case of Nux after much research I found that new seeds do not sprout well and that they have to be at least 6 months old. This may be the case with some other seeds too.
Also ‘scarification’ and soaking of hard seeds also help.

I have been repeatedly unsuccessful in the case of Delonix Elata [ Vadhanarayanam]. Would you be having any saplings of this?

I live in Bangalore too and would like to help with seed germination if possible.

One cause of failure is attack by ants. Once you sow the seeds, the ants may be attacking them from underneath without anyone noticing it even. Hard seeds may be soaked in water and then germinated in a
basket hung by a wire so that it is not accessible to ants. Use plenty of dried leaf litter along with topsoil and it should germinate without any problem. These though are the experiences of a novice. I do not claim to have any special knowledge.

I am not clear what actually happens with the seeds after sowing. Is it get damaged by predation or infection or still intact in soil without signs of germination?

I like the way Devi ji experimented with seeds of Strychnos nuxvomica and Melia dubia. As she pointed out, most of the tropical seeds do have dormancy (Quiet and inactive , but viable) period. Such seeds need a minimum period to initiate the sprouting .
I will tell you one incident, My friend wanted to raise 1000 seedlings of Garcinia indica as a part of his research. I made fresh seeds available from Karnataka and transported them to Kerala. They had kept it for germination in polythene bags. After about 8 months, out of curiosity, I enquired about the progress of germination. To my surprise he said there is no sign of germination so far and he thought all of them had damaged or predated. I told him to wait for another 4-5 months before discard the same. He let it as such and they got several seedlings after 13 months!
If you refer some silviculture books you may get information about the dormancy of several species.
Another incident, happened long back, we use to preserve fruits in 40% formalin for display in Salim Ali bird Sanctuary Thattekad (Kerala). Once I kept some Vatteria indica seeds in 40% formalin solution. To my surprise after 7 days they started germinate within the solution and I taken out those seedlings and planted them in the nursery. One of that seedlings became a tree and is growing next to the Range office of the sanctuary.
There are several methods to break the dormancy such as chemical treatment, burn (teak) to remove the hard outer cover, soaking in cold or warm water, etc.
Some seeds need to pass through the gut of birds for germination (most of Loranthaceaen seeds).

Very interesting experience of … about Garcinia indica sprouting after 13 months and Vateria indica sprouting in 40% formalin.
Sir, what are the books on silviculture with literature on seeds of forest tree species ?

Some nurserymen in Bangalore soak all kinds of seeds in a solution of cowdung and cowsurine for a week, 2 weeks etc and get wonderful results
But i think it is more appropriate to observe each species individually so that we can establish certain methods for certain seeds so that we can share our results with for eg. people in a group like this,

… taught me to clip a small piece of seedcoat of Cassia fistula with a sharp secateur, soak it in water till it swells to 3 times size and then sow it.
This is by far the best for C.fistula ass we have seen practically.
Sumanas ji hammers out the outer part of Terminalia chebula, soaks in cold water for 3 days and sows in polybags.This really works.

Still wondering on how to sprout some like Dolichandrone atrovirens etc, maybe we neen to look at dormancy period in case someone has studied this particular species.

Let me find out and share it with you all.

Some like Butea monosperma, Gardenia latifolia etc need no treatment and sprout with a rate of more than 90% !

you may please check publications of kfri (Kerala forest research institute) at their site. There is one publication covering germination as well. I do not remember the title. 


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