Hurray! I have germination! But need advice.

Discussion in 'Maples' started by kaydye, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi,
    I faithfully followed the suggestions for harvesting acer seeds in October and was routinely looking at my bags in the fridge and saw a tiny sprout from the bag of Bloodgood seeds. Upon further inspection I found and planted 6 sprouts into pots (two seeds to each pot), put them into a baggie, sealed it and put it under my fluorescent lights.

    The advice I need is this:
    Am I doing the right thing so far by potting them up and putting them under lights?

    This got me really excited and I decided to put the other baggies under the lights, too. Since I often kill things when I get excited and do something like that, I need to know if that was a reasonable thing to do, or should I put the other seed back into the fridge and just keep a close watch on them? Bloodgood was the only one that has germinated and I figure, since there are so many bloodgood seedlings out there, that it must be pretty easy. Some of the other seed is: J.p. Osakazuki, verdis, Waterfall, Beni Otaki, Inabe Shidare, and A.shir. aureum. If someone could just let me know the best strategy for the remaining seed, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
    Kay Dye
     
  2. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Just pot up the ones that have sprouted
    One to each small pot
    Put the rest back into the fridge
     
  3. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Since there were a couple of new threads about seedling production, I have to share my excitement about the seedlings that have sprouted. They are so neat! I feel like a new mom. As of now I have about 15 Bloodgoods that have sprouted. I did put the bags back in the fridge as suggested and they do just continue to sprout. I also have 1 seedling of Osakazuki and 4 of Beni Otaki. Some of the Bloodgoods are starting to send out their first true leaves. I have them under lights and will have to keep them there until about mid-May in my area, just to be safe. They don't seem to grow really fast (which was a concern), but that could be because I stupidly planted the sprouted seeds upside down thinking the root was going to be the stem. Duh! Luckily I figured it out, poor things.

    That reminds me of a question about the roots. When I was taking the seeds out of the plastic bags, I accidentally broke off one of the roots. Will the seed sprout another root or is it history?

    Thanks.
    Kay Dye
     
  4. Dale B.

    Dale B. Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Kay,

    Remember that what you have are seedlings from "Bloodgood" not "Bloodgood".

    Be carefull, once you start warming up those seed, they will sprout. You won't be the first to have a house full of seedlings that you can't put outside. Or, you will be spending hours moving them outside on warm sunny days and back in before dark. The plant people on the forum will understand, but your spouse may not.

    After a few years of it, you learn to time your stratification to the date of the last freeze.

    Dale
     
  5. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dale,
    HA! My spouse as been acclimated to fluorescent light fixtures over a period of 30 years. He may not like it, but he doesn't complain anymore. The only thing that changes under the lights is what's growing. It used to be African violets and their relatives, gesneriads, then (and now) hostas I've hybridized, the maples are a new venture. I do know I will not have anything but Bloodgood seedlings and I can already see variations in almost every seedling as far as form and color. I am not worried about how many germinate at this point. I'd like to use some to try as a bonsai forest, and maybe try some grafting. Plus, it will be interesting to see if seedlings might prove hardier than maples that come from warmer areas. This is an experiment they are doing in Lisle, Illinois at the arboretum (around Chicago). THank you so much for your input. It definitely explains why I should leave them in the fridge. It is a lot easier to pot up a couple each weekend. It also makes it fun to take them out each week and see if new ones have sprouted. The thing I'm surprised about is that the seedlings don't grow as fast as I thought they would. It is driving me crazy to look at the each week to see how the leaves have progressed and they are still too tiny to really see the characteristics. I always think of the silver maple and how those seedlings seemed to just rocket out of the ground and turn into pesky trees in (it seemed like) such a short time.
    Kay Dye
     
  6. Dale B.

    Dale B. Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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  7. Dale B.

    Dale B. Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Kay,

    I'm glad that things are going well for you. I use to start my seedlings in a small green house to get a head start, but now I have gotten lazy and just wait until warmer weather. I have sown the seeds in flats and transplanted them after they get a pair or two of real leaves and I have planted the sprouting seeds in segmented trays.

    Both ways work, but you can pick your time if you sow the seeds in flats. It can be difficult to keep up with the sprouting seeds on a daily basis. I'll be curious to hear how the seedlings fair under grow lights. I experienced "leggy" growth if I left them in shady spots after the oak canopy filled in. I found that they needed more light to keep the internodal length right.

    Isn't it a lot of fun to watch what comes up? I use to spend most of my time collecting cultivars. Now I have as much fun watching seedlings, sorting for different characteristics, and watching them change. The real fun starts the second year when the juvenal characteristics start to fade and their true nature starts to come through. Many characteristics don't show for several years.

    Dale
     
  8. webwolf

    webwolf Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Kaydye/
    I grow my seedling the same way than you. But be aware that under grow lights they grow very leggy and one day they have to harden up. So on a suitable day take them all out and show them the real world. Be aware of mice and snails. They love to eat them.
    regards
    Wolfgang
     
  9. kaydye

    kaydye Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dale,
    It really is amazing, especially in the early spring when you are dying to see anything green. They look so fragile and delicate. How old is your oldest seedling? I'm wondering what you eventually do with them, use them for grafting rootstock? I am trying to decide if my maternal instinct would allow me to use some of the Bloodgood seedlings, since I would have to whack them off after growing them for a couple years. I guess I wouldn't have to worry too much about it for maybe five years, but eventually...well, I can see where it could be a problem. Each weekend I can't wait to sit down and check my bag for new sprouts. I have about 10 to plant today. I'm already wondering if this fall collecting seed from the Morton Arboretum in the Chicago area is allowed.

    Kay
     

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