Germinating Tiny Samaras

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Poetry to Burn, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Are tiny samaras just as viable as others? I recall NJACER mentioning that 'Lima Gold' has small samaras that germinate just fine. These are quite small and freshly harvested. I am curious about what traits they might produce as the only other nearby palmatum is another 'Matsugae'. Opinions and suggestions requested.

    It is the first time it's produced seed. My plan is to place these outdoors in small pots for overwintering and natural stratification.
     

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  2. Galt

    Galt Active Member

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    the size of the samara is usually simply a characteristic of the plant or the variety that has produced it. As long as the seed is fertile and intact it should germinate characteristically for species. There are some cases where I have seen stress, or seasonal conditions, as well as nutrient availability affect samara size, but it is not the most common situation. If samaras or small or dwarf in size because their development was truncated or altered due to some environmental or physiological factor then they will likely fail to germinate.
    Where palmatum usually germinated post-stratification in the first season, it is not uncommon to give them two years just so be sure if they are desirable. Of then rot or decomposition in many soil types will prevent palmatum-type seeds from surviving two winters. For this reason, long-term monitoring and stratification in cold storage in a porous germination mix allows better durability and germination.

    Best regards.
     
  3. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Thanks for reply Galt,

    So you suggest that I place these samaras into a porous mix and stratify them in a refrigerator? I would be concerned that they will germinate just as winter sets in here in Philly. That would be a problem.

    I was thinking that outdoors might be better because of the progressively colder days. What does everyone else do with fresh samaras harvested in late summer?
     
  4. Acer palmatum 'Crazy'

    Acer palmatum 'Crazy' Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    After going thru the refridge route for many years, i have now just started leaving them outside like you mentioned. Maybe i dont get as much of a percenatge germination, but i makes it alot easier to keep up with.
    Basically i just fill several pots with some nice soil and dumb alot into each pot.
    I then keep them safe from rodents, sounds like you had some squirrels issues awhile back. Once they start germinating, i either let them all just stay in the pot all summer or if i am bored i will repot them soon after germiniation.

    I have 10 pots this year , full of propably 20-30 seedlings each. I will repot this fall or spring.

    It makes it easier just to keep up with them.

    Mike
     
  5. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Mike,

    If I were to place them in a pot right now is there a worry about germinating say n a month or so? This is the earliest that I've ever harvested them, so I'm confused.
     
  6. Acer palmatum 'Crazy'

    Acer palmatum 'Crazy' Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    No, They dont seem to respond til they have had some cold stratification. In fact some may wait til the following year. Often i keep my seed pots soil and just add more seeds each year, keeping the soil with the previous years ungerminated seeds.

    Mike
     
  7. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Good idea appreciate your advice.

    Gil
     
  8. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    Gil,
    Shishigashara has a very tiny seed but if easy to germinate so size seems irrelevant.
    I have germinated for 4 years quite seriously - I do cold stratify because I don't get cold
    enough often enough in the Bay Area to do it naturally and the % germination increases
    with cold strat. I start picking and planting October 1st and plant every day in October so I
    was a little surprised you are planting palmatum seeds mid Sept. I picked 12 pseudoplatanus
    'Leopoldii' 9/16 to soak overnite in SuperThrive for planting 9/17 but palmatums I do not touch
    til 10/01 cuz of embryo viability. I have serious germinating friends who do not pick til November
    but I can't wait that long cuz of refrigerator space for cold strat. I love doing this but after
    germinating abour 4500 seedlings this Spring I had a very disappointing survival this year becuz
    of my own fault - I planted too many seeds too close together and they came up leggy and caught
    mildew which can kill new germinants and also I did not realize that you want to be VERY careful
    when you lift the tiny seedling out of the peat I germinate in because I denuded the roots and
    they do not like to be soil less. This year I plant to lift the whole cell with 2-3 seedlings and with-
    out bothering the individual seedlings put the whole cell content intact in a 4" pot for onward
    growth. If anyone finds some extra witches brooms seeds I would love to get some please.
    Have fun and good luck. New genetics is thrilling and our future.
    Mike aka 'katsura'
     
  9. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Good info Mike. Thank you.

    I picked these samaras because they were going to fall and they would be hard to locate in the grass. The stem that holds the samaras was getting a dead spot in the center and they were barely hanging on. I thought if I waited a little longer they would be lost. This tree is at a house i share with my sisters at the beach in NJ. I'm not there so often so i grabbed them on Tuesday.

    I'm excited to see if they deliver anything exciting. It's always fun going with natures initiative.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The large seeds are good, the small ones (e.g. one in each of the two samaras just right of the coin) are empty and not worth planting.
     

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