Seeds & Seedlings

Starting with tree seeds, acorns, and seedlings


If you received tree seeds from TreesGreenville at a spring event: It is a red maple (Acer rubrum).  This is an excellent tree for a lawn, park, or street.  It is not tolerant of heavy air pollution.  Red Maples have a beautiful fall color. They can reach heights of 40 t0 60 feet.  At natyrity they can be 25-35 feet wide.  Soil Type: Prefers well drained, slightly acidic, moist conditions.  It can be planted in sun or part shade.  Growth Rate: Medium to Fast.  Zones: 3 to 9.  Stratification Requirement: Seeds mature in early summer and will germinate without pretreatment although stratification for 60 to 75 days at 41 degrees or a cold water soak for 2 to 5 days will help germination.  How to Plant Tree Seeds to learn more about how to grow trees from seeds.


If you received  an acorn from TreesGreenville at a spring event: It is in seed starting mix. Make sure the acorn is still on it’s side.  Plant the whole biodegradable cup in the ground so that the acorn is a total of one inch under the surface.  Give it a little water (so the area is moist, not soaking wet) every 4-7 days, until the fall (depending on rainfall).

Wild Harvest Acorn Planting Instructions: Soak it in water overnight. After the last frost, place the acorn sideways under 1 inch of seed starting mix. The best seed starting mixture is 3 parts Sphagnum Peat Moss, 1 part perlite and 1 part vermiculite. Keep bedding moist – not soaking wet.


If you received a seedling from TreesGreenville at a winter event: The Legacy Tree seedlings available were two year old Eastern Red Cedars (Juniperus virginiana). The seedlings vary from 16 to 24 inches in height.

About the seedlings (tree):

An Eastern Red Cedar will live over 100 years and be around for generations yet to come.  It is an urban hardy and native large evergreen tree.  It will reach 30-50 feet in height, and 8-20 feet in width.  In can be planted in sun or part shade, although it does better in full sun. It prefers well drained soil. (For the avid gardner, it prefers limed soil). It has high drought tolerance, however it still needs to be watered while it establishes itself.  This tree grows well everywhere.

Seedling Planting Instructions *

Select a sunny or mostly sunny location as indicated on the label. Remove all weeds, grass, and duff from a 3’ circle around the site. Dig a saucer-shaped hole 10” across, to allow the roots to spread as the tree grows. Turn the soil and break up any large clods. Remove the tree from the tube and the plastic bag from around the root plug. Place the plug just below the surface of the soil, completely covering the roots. Do not plant the tree too deep; an inch of soil on top of the root plug is plenty. Water the tree and cover the planting circle with 2-3 inches of mulch such as aged wood chips, pine needles, or tree bark. Do not let the mulch touch the tree. Water when dry every week or two during the first year.

Storing Your Tree *

If you are unable to plant your tree outdoors right away, store it for a moderate amount of time in your refrigerator (the crisper bin works well). Check periodically that the root plug is moist. If dry, lightly water the tree in the plastic bag (do not saturate), use a twist tie to re-close the bag, and return the tree to the tube.


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Joelle Teachey
Executive Director
P.O. Box 9232
Greenville, SC 29604
Tel: 864-313-0765

Trees are hope for the future