The Many Advantages Of Planting Tree Seedlings
Seedlings - Young plants from seeds are called seedlings. Seedlings have two to three components: the radicle (root), the hypocotyl (stem) and the cotyledons (leaves). The number and shape of cotyledons vary by the species and some seedlings, referred to as "acotyledons," lack them entirely.
A small green leaf gently unfurling on a tiny stem as a seed germinates and pokes through soil is a classic image for gardeners, and it's no surprise that new gardeners would be eager to see that scene play out in their yards. However, if you're a new gardener and want to plant new trees, a seedling offers a faster way to reach your garden goals.
Less Waiting Time On Some Seedlings
No doubt you've chosen your trees for their shade capacity or ability to produce delicious fruit. But if you plant using a seed, you'll have to wait anywhere from 3 to 8 years for the tree to grow, strengthen and mature enough to produce the desired effects. A seedling, though, has already been started for you, and it won't need very long to start producing fruit.
Seedlings are usually combined trees. They contain a rootstock species plus grafted branches. The rootstock is chosen for its ability to grow well in your local climate while resisting pests and disease, but it might not produce the exact cultivar of fruit you want. Plant breeders graft a fruit-producing branch from the desired cultivar onto the rootstock. By the time you buy the tree, the graft has healed, and the tree will produce the healthy cultivar you wanted.
True to Cultivar - Tree Seedlings
If you plant a seed from a piece of fruit, the tree that grows will produce fruit that is not the same. It will be a hybrid of the parent trees of the fruit. Chances are the fruit you bought was originally a hybrid of different cultivars with branches repeatedly grafted and regrown to keep the cultivar in production. So the seed of that fruit will produce fruit that's slightly different and possibly weaker than the fruit you were hoping for. A seedling, though, has been grafted and healed, and it's ready for planting and producing the fruit you want.
Tree nurseries have very good selections of seedlings that have been selected and grafted to help the tree survive in your climate. Start looking now for excellent cultivars that will enhance your garden.