Scarification is the process of purposely applying scars on the outer shell of seeds.
The scarification process mimics the natural way in which a tree seed may be processed by the digestive system of an animal or the damage inflicted by weather and surrounding elements. The external source scars the surface of the seed, creating a thinner surface that improves the absorption of moist, which is necessary for the germination of the seed.
There are several different methods to scar seeds. Some seeds have a harder outer shell than others and will therefor need to be treated with more rigorous methods than others. A few examples of scarification methods are:
- The needle method: holding the seed between your fingers tightly, using a sowing needle, scratch one side of the outer shell of the seed in a cross pattern.
- The sanding paper method: place the sanding paper on a flat service and make sure it stays in place. Hold the seed between your fingers and rub it across the sanding paper.
- The nail clipper method: holding the seed between your fingers tightly, using a nail clipper, clip the top of the seed as superficial as possible.