(I'm not sure which island he may be referring to?)
> Now some of the varieties have the harden cones that I believe need
> heat/fire to open them. Question is how much and how.
Of the pines listed, jack pine is the only one for which fire (heat)
will aid cone drying and opening, but even for that species "some
cones open every year [without fire]." (from USDA Ag. Handbook
271). I would venture a guess that an hour in an oven at about 200
degrees F would open 'em.
> Then instead of just scattering the seeds, I want to have a concentrated
> area of pots to germinate and grow the seedlings, then transplant. Also
> the potting soil content, I believe should be on the acidic side but how
The pines you've listed should all do well with a pH in the range of
4.5 - 6.5 and well-drained soil.
Hope this helps and I let me know if I can help further!
Mark Hubbard, PhD
Department of Agriculture
College of the Ozarks
Pt. Lookout, MO 65726
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