germinating maple seeds

madrone(VancIsl BC)December 1, 2009

Do maple seeds need to undergo any kind of treatment before they will germinate? When is the best time to harvest the seed? Is it best to plant them outside or in the greenhouse on heat? I'd love to get some started and would appreciate any comments from those of you who have successfully started them from seed. Thanks!

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

You don't say which maple. Japanese maple will often do best if the seeds are harvested from the tree before they have dried and are then sown immediately (late summer to early Fall), pots placed outdoors. The seeds are exposed to a period of warm moist conditions, followed by cold moist, and will germinate in Spring when temps begin to warm again. You can duplicate those conditions with several weeks @ 68-70F, followed by 3-4 months @ 40F.

Others will germinate without the initial warm moist period, but just about all need an extended period of moist cold (3-4 months) before they will germinate.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 3:30AM
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Generally, maples that produce ripe seed in late spring (Silver maple, Red maple, etc.) do not require any stratification period and can be soaked in water and planted immediately. They should germinate within 2 to 3 weeks.

Maples that produce seed in late summer or early fall (Sugar maple, Norway maple, Amur maple, etc.) typically require some form of cold stratification before the seeds will germinate.


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 7:51PM
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madrone(VancIsl BC)

Thank-you to both of you for your responses. My Acer palmatum is covered in seeds at the moment. I will pick some and plant them outside in pots. I do get some natural germination every year, but digging them up successfully and potting them up is never 100% successful. Thanks for the input!

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 10:11PM
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I am able to get the seed to germinate, but they (JM) will dampen off easly.In other words low sucess rate.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2009 at 12:36AM
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