When purchasing tree and shrub seeds there are few regulations which ensure the same degree of certainty in production that can be attributed to vegetable and flower seeds. Virtually no guarantees are available because the seedsmen themselves have often collected the seeds from the wild and they may be incorrectly labelled. Occasionally seed is collected which is void and so contains no embryo, even though the seed and fruit is perfectly formed when viewed externally.
Seed collectors and wholesalers usually process seeds by drying them. This has two distinct disadvantages. Firstly, the drying processes enhance the maturation of the seed and so produce deeper dormancy effects. Secondly, for those seeds that store their food reserves as oils or fats, the drying degenerates the food reserves and so produces a loss of viability. The extent to which viability is lost will depend on how much food is stored as oils or fats. Most nut seeds fall into this category.
Despite these drawbacks, there are many seeds offered by seedsmen which are entirely
I and shrubs.
reliable and which are capable of surviving the drying processes without any detriment to their condition. The gardener can only learn by experience how drying affects different seeds. In many cases seedsmen do not even bother to offer seeds where there is doubt about their ability to survive the drying process.
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