The Madrone Seedlings!
--by Madronaman, posted Apr 16, 2017
My dream is to live among them, but the real estate prices on the mainland where they grow is astronomical and living on an island cuts you off from your family. So instead I have been studying their very specific growing conditions and learning how to propagate them myself to plant them where I live.
Last year I purchased 150 seedlings from a native plant sale at the community college in Bellingham. About 25 of these trees went to my property, and the rest went to my surrounding community in city parks, isolated beaches near my home, and to my very grateful neighbors! This act and my wanderings in search and study of native stands had made madrones into a catalyst in my life. I have met and continue to meet some very interesting people in the process!
This year things are different. The community college didn’t carry madrones, so I was "forced" to learn how to propagate them from seed. I tried to do this once before but failed completely, so this time I studied the process of preparing the seeds carefully. I wanted to have the problem of too many trees, so I laid up as many seeds as I could, using different techniques in case one failed.
I won't get another chance until next year so it had to work or no trees! I even built a greenhouse out of some lexan that I've had for about 10 years, added solar ventilation and air circulation, and basically anything else I could think of on a very limited budget. Three weeks ago I seeded the cell trays as soon as I got home from work, and prayed that this time I got it right.
About three days ago the first sprouts appeared! It worked!!! I'm back at work now but will continue seeding as many trees as I can, which on my current trajectory could number in the thousands. Some will be sold when appropriate, and many will again go into parks and neighbors yards! I am so thankful for this abundance!