Dried Radicals


I checked on my chinquapins in the crisper and found some of them had radicals that started and dried out. Did this hurt my seed?

Thanks, Mark

I would take those out of the group and soak them for at least 3 or 4 hours at room temperature. After that I would plant them in growing media if I was ready to grow or put them back in the fridge.

All of my chestnuts get soaked before they go into the growing media. Many of our fridges can take too much moisture out of the chestnuts or acorns.

I will suggest that at least half of them will sprout. Increasing their moisture right now - increases our chances.

I found the same thing with my dco's a week ago. It prompted me to go ahead and plant in pots. Some of them are almost ready for top growth already.

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I dont have experience with dried radicals, but probably depends to what extent. If shriveled and brown, i would not be optimistic, but then i can be a pessimist far too often.:)
Give them a chance and let us know!
I usually plant them and get good growth. It acts as a root prune. Roots will sprout above the dried out area.
Kind of a similar question here...I just checked my mini fridge and found the top layer of my peat moss was frozen inside the bags. Not sure how long it's been that way. Is the seed ruined?
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Is the seed ruined? Not if it germinates and grows first a radicle and then top growth.

You got to give it a chance to grow to find out What is What.

In regard to a brown radicle - if you have any white radicle next to the nut I cut the brown off and leave the white. As soon as I cut it, it goes into the growing media and under the lights.

Have saved quite a few chestnuts with this approach.

News Flash - they want to live in spite of what we do to them. :)

Good luck.
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I'm gonna let it thaw out a little more before I go messing around more but i did find one of my sawtooths split down the middle.
Soaked and put back into moist media in the fridge. I guess that I will need to pursue getting 18 cell trays a lot harder.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.
My DCO's a couple of weeks ago. They were kept in the fridge but I couldn't keep them from sending out a radical so I stuck them in pots.
They started top growth almost immediately. I'm afraid that such long radicals before planting will mess them up somehow. I guess we will find out.
DCO1.jpg DCO.jpg

I would have clipped the long radicles. I cut radicles to eliminate hooks and curls.

As soon as I cut a radicle, it immediately gets placed in the growing media. First time I read of such a practice was reading some professional papers dealing with the "American Chestnut".

Getting immediate top growth is a good sign for you. I hope they continue to thrive for you.

I hadn't thought of cutting the radical. I would have tried it if I had the knowledge to do it. Thanks for the head's up!
I hadn't thought of cutting the radical. I would have tried it if I had the knowledge to do it. Thanks for the head's up!
Essentially you are root pruning, just with a clippers. I have my DCOs in the bottom of my shop fridge and they might have 1/4" radicals. Rarely open the fridge so I would guess my fridge stays colder.
I copied the photo of Catscratch's radicles on his DCO. I have added 4 red lines where I would certainly cut that radicle because of a hook in the radicle.

Down the road I fear these would hurt the tree and it's uptake of nutrients.

Catscratch Radicals.jpg He has long radicles that would cause an issue in my rootmakers.

Hope this helps.

The color of his radicles are good - white is good and black is bad. The DCO on the lower right has a dark tip that I would cut off also (it is not marked in this photo).

FB discussion on radicle damage

Guy Sternberg One other tip, which might seem to contradict the usual intact-root rule: if you plan to transplant them later, clip the tip of the root off now. Each clipped root will regrow with numerous (~10) branch roots, slowing the taproot problem if they're in a pot and making them easier to dig up and move if they are grown outdoors. But if you do this, clip only the tip -- do not break them off at the acorn!
If you must store them in the fridge all winter, be sure the roots are aimed downward in the bag. Geotropism will direct their growth downward, and if you aim them otherwise they will twist and turn to auto-correct. Poke a few tiny holes in the bag for air exchange, and place some moist sphagnum with them to maintain moisture.
My first choices, and everyone has their own system, would be to plant them outdoors now in thawed soil under a half-inch wire mesh rodent covering topped with deep, porous mulch; or plant them in pots and store the pots barely above freezing until spring. Use bottomless pots placed with an air space below so the roots will air prune as they grow.
Like · Reply · 1 · December 7 at 11:10am

Greg Bruhn
Guy, Good advice. I plant acorns in 5 inch tall bottomless "Treepots" surrounded top and sides with plenty of sharp pea gravel and 1/4 inch wire mesh on top. I once germinated some beans seeds under 1/2 wire mesh and the squirrels were able to access the sprouting beans through the wider mesh with their paws.
Like · Reply · 1 · December 8 at 9:25am

Lucas Machias
"clip only the tip -- do not break them off at the acorn! "

Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 12:22pm

Greg Bruhn
If you break them off at the acorn, there'll probably be not enough stored food to produce a new flush of roots.
Like · Reply · 1 · Yesterday at 12:27pm

Guy Sternberg
Greg Bruhn yes, and sometimes you might even destroy the root primordium and the seed cannot regenerate even if it has enough energy remaining. The cotyledons become separated from the embryo. Just be careful and remember that a germinating acorn is like human infant, to be handled gently.
I use an sharp pair of short scissors to cut any radicle that I cut. They are extremely sharp and give an excellent cut. You could use a scalpel if you had one. You could also use a sharp box cutter if the blade is clean.

I don't break any radicles. ;)

I was sent this sprouted SCO seed in wet potting soil, this week. I bagged them in moss and stored them at 34F. I want to direct plant this spring. A lot have the radicle curled back tight next to the seed. Should I cut that at the bend when I plant?

I noticed the pic above, so likely a yes.?
Yes cut at the point before the big change in direction. Do this right before planting. Plant the nut on it's side. The radicle turns down and it puts a stem upward toward the top of the growing media and the sky.

Gravity gets the radicle to turn downward. After we have top growth above the soil line, we can remove the chestnut or acorn. I do the removal with extremely sharp little scissors.

Hope this explanation helps.