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Hemlock propagation from seed

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After collecting hemlock cones from around the area, I brought the lot of them inside and allowed them to open fully in the warmth of my home.  Next, I separated the seed, floated it over night, and planted it in a mix of about 4 sand: 2 perlite: 1 rich top soil.  I have the pot under a wide spectrum plant and aquarium florescent light in my kitchen and keep the light on around 15 hours per day.

Except while I'm cooking, the kitchen stays rather cool--low 60s F.  After repeated mist/spray watering, some of the seeds are above the surface and some are still just below.  The medium stays moist, so even the seeds on the surface shouldn't dry out.  How long until I can expect to see some germination?  ???

Bill Johnson:
I'm going to try and shed some light on your question however, I must admit that I'm a little out of the hemlock range so I can only relate what I've read.
Hemlock apparently is one to those trees that traditionally have a very low germination rate something in the neighbourhood of 20-30%. This can sometimes be increased by stratification of the seed, which to my mind is a fancy way of saying it should be frozen for a couple of weeks.
Hemlock seedlings that germinate like to grow in shaded (but not dark), cool, moist areas, and on a seedbed of well decomposed litter, rotted wood and mineral soil. This is probably similar to good mixture of compost, vermiculite, and potting soil.
Seeding growth apparently is quite slow during the first year, typically 1 to 1.5 inches.
Most of this information is about natural regeneration of hemlock, so some results for growing the controlled environments maybe different than I've described.
Also I'm sure that if anything I've said here is grossly wrong someone else on the forum will be quick to give you the proper advice.
Good luck be patient and don't be discouraged if you only get a few sprouts.

Silvics of North America said basically the same thing, but the one thing I haven't read anywhere yet is how many weeks until the stratified seed actually starts to germinate.  I read that bit about their very low viability, so I put the seeds from around 30-35 cones into the soil of a single 8" diameter pot.  With saturation seeding like this I'd certainly hope that SOMETHING starts growing.  I guess that leaves me maintaining my vigil for the next few weeks.  :P

My Pawlonia are still not doin nathyn!

Don P:
I would like to know how this works out. We have Carolina Hemlock with very open petals on the cone, and Canadian Hemlock with a normal upswept looking cone.
We are down to 2 of the carolinas and I wouldn't mind starting a few more here and there. When does one gather the cones?


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