It has been a very good year for Wollemi pine seed production and we have collected seeds by helicopters from the wild populations in Mount Tomah, Blue Mountains.
The seed production is a great news since our scientists have been waiting for many years to get good numbers of this species for seed banking in Plant Bank and to continue our study of the seed biology. Previously drought and fire resulted in lack of helicopters available for our scientists from collecting the seeds at the right time.
Secondly, we have received many enquiries from gardeners wanting to grow their own Wollemi pine. The seeds are now available from XXX (nursery in ABG? Any in RBG?), so if you decide to grow your own, here are three simple steps from our Wollemi Pine experts on how to germinate your very own Wollemi Pine:
Step one: Determine which seeds are viable. The majority of seeds that fall out of the cone are not viable - they don't have an embryo. Hint: Look for the ones that are plump and dark.
Step two: Sow them on top of seed raising mix in a pot and water them. Once the water has drained though the mix - pop the pot in a plastic bag and keep in the fridge for two weeks.
Step three: Remove the pot from the fridge, remove the plastic bag and leave them somewhere warm but not very sunny until they germinate (remembering to keep them moist but not wet).
Wollemi pine could take several months to germinate so remember that patience is a virtue!
If you want to learn more about the ‘Dinosaur tree’ or Wollemi Pine, you may be interested in our Wollemi Pine Conservation Program.