In one aspect, the present invention provides methods of producing a synchronized population of conifer somatic embryo germinants in preparation for transplantation. The methods of the invention comprise the steps of: (a) culturing conifer somatic embryos on sterile germination medium for a sufficient period of time to produce germinants comprising a visible, well-defined epicotyl stem of a desired length; (b) selecting a plurality of germinants having an epicotyl stem of the desired length; (c) storing the selected germinants having an epicotyl stem of the desired length produced in step (a) while still on the sterile germination medium from step (a) in a cold environment in which the temperature is in the range of 0.5° C. to 10° C. for a time period up to six months; and (d) transferring the germinants stored according to step (c) from the germination medium into water for a time of up to about four weeks at a temperature of about 0.5° C. to about 5° C. prior to planting the selected germinants into growth medium.
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