Maple seed from named cultivars - sources?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by kaspian, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    None of my (modest) collection of JMs have started producing seed yet. I'm interested, just for the fun of it, in trying to grow a few plants from seed, and I've got a couple of seedlings from samaras I collected from an unknown red variety down the road.

    Here's my question. Is there any online source of seeds of named Japanese maple varieties? For instance, does any commercial grower offer a mix of seeds from various trees in the nursery?

    I know there are some vendors of JM seeds online. The best I've found thus far seems to be Mishobonsai, which offers this range of seeds: A.p. 'Atrolineare', 'Atropurpureum', 'Bloodgood', 'Inaba Shidare', 'Matsumurae', 'ornatum' [?], 'Osakazuki', 'Suminagashi' and 'Viridis'', as well as the species A. palmatum. There are also a couple of sources of A. japonicum and griseum and others.

    One would think this would be enough. But I'm especially interested in trying out seedlings from some of the more exotic and colorful varieties, such as A.s. 'Aureum' and the Ghosts and other stuff. I realize that the odds of getting something really worthwhile are probably small, but it seems to me that the possibilities would increase if the range of varieties were as wide as possible.

    I don't know, is this fuzzy thinking? Any suggestions along these lines? Thanks!
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, fuzzy thinking, which is so often what drives progress. It should work - although the majority of the seedlings will be rather anonymous, the odd one may turn out something special and new.
     
  3. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    A number of members here will send you seeds if you're interested. Since they don't come true to the parent, there is little value in buying seeds from a named tree. Once they start to get large, one has more than enough to share! :)
     
  4. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Another non-commercial source might be botanical gardens and arboreta, hopefully there are some in your region. If you visit in autumn and ask the staff they may allow you to collect a small amount of seed. If there are mature specimens of Japanese maples there will be thousands of seeds per tree, more than enough for them to spare a handful.

    You mentioned A.s. 'Aureum' for example, there are often large examples of that cultivar in arboreta over here, hopefully the same in northeastern USA, with plenty of seed. As for the palmatum/amoenum/matsumurae types, you could end up with any pollen/seed combination and potentially intersesting results. I like this one for example, arboretum collected seed, seven years old approx, pictured from below:


    homegrown.jpg

    Maybe not very exciting for some people, but for me it is an interesting one, and that is the joy of growing from seed.
     
  5. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    This is one of my chief sources of pleasure with maples these days. I know a couple of other serious maple fanatics, and this seems to be a common chronology: First, you become obsessed with maples--generally, especially Japanese maples, but sometimes it extends to other maple species. The next step is to begin to collect as many cultivars as possible. Then, after a few years, you realize that you have so many that you can't even appreciate them. If you have lots of property or a decent climate, or both, you can stick some of them in the ground; if, like me, you are in a cold climate, you have to start messing about with plants in pots and constant watering and overwintering via various complex and time-consuming maneuvers. It is possible, I can attest, to have too many maples.

    When your plants begin to produce seed, you have another option--seeing what you can produce on your own. I've done this for a number of years now. I'd say that, on average, fewer than one seedling in a hundred is worth hanging on to--the other ninety-nine I give away. The ones I consider worth keeping are either (a) variegated, or (b) highly dissected. I have about a dozen genetically unique weeping dissectum seedlings.

    Are these unique "cultivars" worth hanging onto, naming, and distributing to other gardeners? In my view, almost certainly not. Even though the "keepers" seem special to me, I simply don't know enough about what's out there already to presume to know what is truly unique and unusual. To really determine what's valuable, I feel as though I'd have to have a truly comprehensive collection, and even though I've had hundreds of palmatum cultivars in my collection, it's far from complete. I think that choosing cultivars is best left to professional nursery people who specialize in palmatums, and can recognize with some confidence, trees that really differ from those that already exist. The Bucholz Ghost series is an example, and the van Gelderens and Vertrees himself introduced some trees that were truly different from anything that existed before, as have a number of other specialist maple nurseries. Given the proliferation of cultivars, I think it's wise to be conservative about this, and only conclude that a tree deserves a name when other maple fanatics agree that it's something special.

    That said--I can say that different cultivars do tend to yield a higher percentage of interesting cultivars. I always like to see what 'Seiryu' seeds produce, and weeping dissectums generally. For several years, I planted seed from different cultivars in separate flats, and from the moment of germination, the flats of seedlings had different looks. The flat of 'Seiryu' seedlings had a very different look than the flat of 'Katsura' seedlings, for example. I never know who the "fathers" are, though; the more extreme your collection of cultivars is, the more likely you are to find something truly unique.

    I have to restrain myself, because I don't have much room. I generally have to decide what to keep as "special" and what to hand out to my friends by the time seedlings are two or three years old. If I could keep them longer, I would probably find a few more treasures.

    It is great fun, though, and the possibility always exists that you will find something fantastically beautiful.

    D.
     
  6. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks for all these thoughts and suggestions. I'm heartened to learn that more experienced maple growers find it interesting and worthwhile to experiment with plants from seed.

    I can envision now my woods filling up with baby trees that probably are nothing special, really, but that I can't bring myself to part with. But what good fun! It's interesting already to see my small collection of JMs growing cheek-by-jowl with the native maples (mostly red and sugar, with a few mountain, silver, pensylvanicum and others) that grow naturally around here.
     
  7. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I'm in this stage too...it is hard to find good seed sources for unusual trees. The common atropurpureums and palmatums are so prolific there is plenty of seed to keep you busy. The dissectums and some of the dwarfs seem too stingy to produce enough seed for my liking (Although I have managed to accumulate 100 or so rubrum and atropurpureum dissectums. Nevertheless if you are truly into it you will find some sources somewhere...sometimes I ride around nice neighborhoods looking for maples with seed...just be sure to ask before you go wandering through people's gardens :D.
     
  8. Daniel Otis

    Daniel Otis Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    http://www.sheffields.com/seed_genus_species_common/acer/_

    Sheffields has some palmatum seed collected by cultivar, as well as some other species maple seed. My experience has been that it's important to follow the "Vertrees" approach with seed from any commercial source that might have been stored for a while. I throw the seed in a bowl, fill it with hot water from the tap, and then let it cool. After 12-24 hours, I drain the seed and stratify as usual.

    D.
     
  9. tomckey

    tomckey Member

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    I have only recently become addicted to, oops, I mean recently fallen in love with the JPM. I enjoy them all, but my favorites are the weeping varieties. I would love to try to grow some from seeds and plan to purchase from the links mentioned here. The number of weeping varieties that these companies have seed from is very limited. If any members had any seed that they could part with, I would be interested in it. Thank you.
    Tom
     
  10. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    Unfortunately none of my dissectum trees produced much seed this year, last year was a bumper crop though. I will keep you in mind if I see some in the near future though.
     
  11. prairiestyle

    prairiestyle Active Member Maple Society

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    Also, Diana at Topiary Gardens has a seed section of her store. She picks the seeds in the fall, and has tons of different cultivars, so it might be worth asking her if she'd pick some for you this fall. She's very friendly, knowledgeable, and obliging to requests.
     
    Labreapits likes this.
  12. castawaykev

    castawaykev Active Member

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    I too am looking for JM seeds to experiment with. I am growing all kinds fo tree seedlings in my greenhouse and back yard seedling setup. I have a 7 acre forest woodlot with a cleared area to plant test varieties once they get to large for my backyard. I love trying different types of trees.
    Kevin
    Summerside PEI
     
  13. CuriousCultivar

    CuriousCultivar New Member

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    This thread needs to be revived. "Purple Ghost" was a seedling. The seed came from a 'Kasagi yama' with an unknown pollinator. I am going to buy a 'Kasagi yama' and try to find a couple other vary cool colored JM's to pollinate. I figure this highly increases my chances of getting some crazy cool new off-spring. I look at it like this. If an Asian woman and an Asian man have a baby, chances are high the baby they make will have lots of Asian traits/characteristics. However, let's say an Asian woman has a baby with a Black man. In this case only God knows what blend/mix of traits/characteristics this baby might have. That is the beauty of genetics. I know about Maple seed genetics reverting back. Still, the more unique the two parents; the better the chance of a unique individualistic seedling.... No? Well, I am convinced of this regardless. Plus, I can read all I want about Maple genetics reverting back, but the proof is in the pudding. I just picked a year-old seedling from under the canopy of a 'Red Dragon', and the seedling might not have all the color of it's mother, but it sure does have the same lace-like leaf structure. I hate to think I have to have a famous well known tree nursery to be respected enough to introduce a cultivar. I guess I just need to immerse myself in Japanese Maple knowledge so I know all about all the different unique traits and characteristics out there. Everyone has to start somewhere. It all started for Talon Buchholz just by reading a the most famous book about JMaples. Here is a quote from his blog. "But in 1979 I tumbled through the rabbit hole, so to speak, and discovered Japanese Maples by J.D. Vertrees. I bought a copy and paged through it a thousand (?) times, and my life was forever changed. Later Vertrees, also an Oregonian, autographed it for me, and I remember that he executed his signature upon the dryer machine in his garage." - I want to tumble down the same rabbit hole. Maybe someday I will move to Oregon, open a nursery, and get Talon to sign a copy of his book using the dryer in his garage as the surface to sign on. LOL....
     
  14. AlainK

    AlainK Well-Known Member Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Difficult to read when there's no break line ;-)

    But I spotted this in your text:

    I don't know about trees, and I'll never learn enough about :the human species, but in genetics, there are dominant and recessive genes. Depending on the parents, and grandparents on both sides, the chances to have specific characteristics can be statistically evaluated.

    I remember counting the number of grains of a specific colour on corn (maize) ears in science class, making statistics and deducing how genes worked and which colours were from a dominant or recessive gene.

    http://paintcutpaste.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/DSC_0961.jpg

    I have blue eyes, like my father, but my mother has green-brown eyes:

    http://pregnancy.familyeducation.com/ovulation-and-conception/slideshow/66569.html

    Beware of anthropomorhism! "Comparison is not reason" (Comparaison n'est pas raison, French proverb) I believe in Science, not in god - though I don't mind if you do.

    Science can explain, or sometilmes predict, much better than legends, but more has been done on the human genome than on the maples genome so far.

    More info on Afro-Asians here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afro-Asian
     
  15. CuriousCultivar

    CuriousCultivar New Member

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    I hope you were not offended. I meant no disrespect. I was attempting to make an analogy. I hope their are enough line breaks in this post for you. I was excited and got carried away typing in my excitement. I was not wearing my editorial editing cap to filter out anything questionable. I was not worried about grammar, punctuation, line breaks, or human race issues, not in the least. I was shooting from the hip, so to speak. I guess need to be more careful when I get carried away and start blabbering on about genetics, human genetics, etc. It obviously struck a chord I did not intend. My apologies.

    Also, I am a Buddhist, so I do not believe in "God" per say. That was a frame of speech.

    God and Science/Nature might as well be the same thing. It is all about perspective(how any given person chooses, or has learned to interpret the world around them). People see what they want to see, and believe what they want to believe. You read my post and saw what you wanted to see. Seems like you ignored the rest and took it all a bit out of context.

    Look at my post. It has 2 sentences abut human babies. Then look at your response to what I wrote.

    This was a post about TREES. Trees. T-R-E-E-S. Get it. ???

    Believe in God, god, or not; most (native English speakers) people know the frame of speech. Now granted, you being from France, might not be familiar with my "frame of speech". None the less, I was trying to make a comparison. I had to make a mark on the wall, a starting point to make my point from.

    I know about dominant and recessive traits in humans. That was not my point. My point is that if two Black folks have a baby, chances are the baby will be black, not white. Now someone could have had a white, Asian, Latino - grandparent in their genetic makeup, so the shade of "black" might have some difference in skin tone, but that is getting off track from my point. So is all this.

    Green maples in New England, USA are most likely gonna sprout out boring little old green maple seedling, trees that look just like their parents.

    I am not trying to get caught up in some discussion about race, or human genetics.

    This is a forum about tree's. I am trying to talk about trees.

    I just used the human race thing as an example because it was the most readily available comparison. I could have just as easily said if a white person and black person have a baby, only SCIENCE knows what type of traits the baby might have.

    Maybe this would not have prompted such a response from you. Read what I wrote in context and you might notice that I was not trying to start a discussion on Afro-Asians. However thanks for the information. I have Afro-Asian friends... I know what my friends looks like. I know what their Mother's and Father's looks like.

    Again, I embrace diversity; I meant no offense or disrespect to anyone, anyone's genetic make-up or family heritage. This a thread about maple tree seed genetics. Something I know next to nothing about.

    That is why I tried to revive this post. Not to waste my time writing this silly response.
     
  16. CuriousCultivar

    CuriousCultivar New Member

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    "Anthropomorphism" - Describing a river as "angry" - or - Depicting a deity in human form. - or - Mickey Mouse is an example of "Anthropomorphism" -

    I am not sure what I said in my post is the same thing.

    I think you may have been looking for a different word to say that God is not responsible for genetics or the genetic characteristics/traits of interracial babies.

    You want genetics to be responsible, Not God, that is fine by me. I am not to worried about it. I have faith in Nature.

    Use, usage, or misuse of the word Anthropomorphism aside, I get your point.

    Who says God is not responsible for creating genetics. ??? Hmm??? You would never win that battle against a true God-fearing Christian of faith. People believe what they want to believe. They would just tell you that God created genes, God created DNA and the human genome. I am not sure how you could SCIENTIFICALLY refute that.

    All of this analysis from a life loving Buddhist who is infatuated with trees. My post was about trees.

    Trees, were talking about trees. not humans, trees. trees. not humans. trees.
     
  17. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    CuriousCultivar, I am sure Alain meant no disrespect also. We are all here to talk about trees and we are all aware of why other people are here for similar reasons.

    Anyway, let us try to keep this thread on the subject of "Maple seed from named cultivars - sources?" Any more off topic content (posted by anyone, I am not pointing fingers) runs the risk of being deleted.
     
  18. CuriousCultivar

    CuriousCultivar New Member

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    Delete away.

    I was trying to revive an old post to bring it to the top of the list so that I might get a discussion started about cool seedlings from cultivars or something like that. I am so interested in this right now I wanted people to talk about it. I myself did not want to get so far off topic. Anyhow, I guess I will try to bump this thread again, with another new post.

    I just planted 5 one-year-old seedlings. They are F1 hybrid of Bloodgood and Red Dragon parents. I am wondering how long these seedlings might take to show their true leaf shape/form. ? They all only have 2 leaves at this point, I do not know enough to know if these first 2 leaves will be representative of all the leaves that will grow on this tree in the future.
    I also have a two-year-old. The single two-year-old of the same exact parent trees, does not really have a leaf shape that looks anything like the 5 one-year seedlings.

    The two-year-old has leaf shape very similar to Beni Fushigi, but it has a color very similar to a Bloodgood. None of the other 5 seedlings seem to have straight edge leaves at this point, not like the 2-year-old. They are not dissectum leaves, but they have ruffled edges on the leaves. I do not know if this is due to their young age, or just how they are all going to look because of the Red Dragon dissectum influence. I would prefer either dissectum leaves or straight edge leaves, I am not to happy with that full size leaf structure with ruffled edges, but maybe it will grow on me.

    How long do I have to wait to see what these other 5 seedlings TRUE leaf shape might shape into? Another year? Or am I already seeing it?

    One of the 5 seedlings had a more purple-ish color. I am afraid it might not make it because the leaves have become dried and crispy. The only one of the 5 to cause me concern. I was upset to see it so crispy because I was really fond of the purple hint of color.

    I also have a baby seedling I just grabbed out from under the canopy of a Red Dragon. I am not sure the other parent. The seedling has great dissectum leaf structure, and red/green varigated color. (maybe the other parent was a New England green maple, so many of them around) I was really excited to see that great leaf shape since this particular Red Dragon is kind of isolated in the front yard. Since I don't know what pollinated it I would not have expected to see that distinct dissectum leaf shape. Especially since the F1 hybrids that were half Red Dragon were nothing close to have dissectum leaves.
     
  19. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    My experience is that the leaves on young seedlings are pretty much the same shape as they will be when older. The size may vary for obvious reasons, but the number of lobes and the amount of dissection on the leaf edges remains similar.

    I am interested to hear what method you used to create F1 crosses, did you hand pollinate?

    Also, not sure what a "New England green maple" is, but if one of the maple species native to the east coast of America it is not a close enough relative to Acer palmatum to breed with it.

    Edit: Just wanted to add that the very first set of leaves above the cotyledons are often not the same shape as the adult leaves, but they have enough in common to give an indication as to what the final form will be.
     
  20. CuriousCultivar

    CuriousCultivar New Member

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    I am sorry. I know so little about all this. I am trying my best to learn. I might have incorrectly used the term F1 hybrid. The person giving me the seedlings said they were 'Red Dragon' x 'Bloodgood' hybrid. - I now do not think they are F1.

    All that I am sure I know about the seedlings I have, is that they are from the cross mentioned. Would F1 mean that I need to grow these seedlings out and then inbreed them with each other? Or would I need to take a cutting from the tree I have so I am sure I have 2 trees with same exact genetic make-up and then cross breed those to stabilize?

    This stuff at first glance seems like common sense. Then as I look closer I find it to actually be quite a bit confusing.

    I will have to ask the person who crossed the 'Red Dragon' with the 'Bloodgood' exactly what method they used. Once I hear back I will post their methods. I do not think they did a whole lot. I think the trees are in such close proximity, 20ft from each other and they cross-pollinated. Is that a plausible scenario, or just a bunch of talk to get me to give them 10$ for some seedlings???



    Great to know one of the native green maples to the area were not the ones pollinating the Acer Palmatum. I suppose only Nature knows what the other parent of this cool dissectum seedling I have is.

    I was not talking about the cotyledons, thanks for clarifying.
     
  21. CuriousCultivar

    CuriousCultivar New Member

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    Could ""open-pollinated"" be the correct term for my believed to be hybrid-culitvar seedlings??
     
  22. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    F1 just means filial 1 or the first generation growout of a cross.

    I guess the person who grew the seedlings suspects that they are from that cross but it would be difficult to prove which tree pollinated the flowers or if they were pollinated by their own pollen.

    The one from the isolated plant in the front yard probably pollinated itself, which is why it is growing as a dissectum.
     
  23. CuriousCultivar

    CuriousCultivar New Member

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    "first generation grow out of a cross" - could you please dumb that down for me a bit so I am sure it is clear what you are saying.

    "suspects" - most likely, yes. I suspect that they suspect at this point. I will have to inquire with them at to if they are SURE or UNSURE as to which tree pollinated the flowers that produced these seeds.

    Question: If I had been watching the self-pollinating seedling's grow from each of these two cultivars for a few years. So I have a 4 year-old seedling from each self-pollinated cultivar, a 3 & 2 year-old from each. In short I am watching the tendencies of the seedlings that grow from each self-pollinated cultivar, and I generally know what they look like.

    Then... The next year, the seeds that I grow out from under the 'Red Dragon' do not look the same as the other self pollinated 'Red Dragon' leaves. They are not dissectum, they are broader leafs with jagged edges and variegated color.

    I suppose what you are saying is even at this point it is difficult to prove which specific tree pollinated the mother of the seeds. Being that this tree is planted in someone's yard. What if this was all in a closed environment. Could I then prove that these seeds are not "herm-" (is that the right term, i cant spell it correctly - hermaphradite

    This whole self-pollination thing opens up a whole new worm-hole.

    I am going to need a closed environment to do what I really want to do with JM trees. This stuff is so intriguing. I want to cross cultivars and be sure I crossed them.

    Is that what you were saying about hand pollination? Could I put them both in pots so the canopy of both tree were inter-weaved and then put a net over them, or something like that. I feel like I saw something like that once somewhere...

    My uncle is a Botanist. I am going to have to talk to him more about this.
     
  24. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    F1 literally means the direct offspring of a cross. If you cross plant A x plant B and grow the resulting seeds then this generation will be F1. If you then self the F1 and grow this out the generation would be F2, then F3 and so on. If at any time a new cross occurs then the resultant seeds would be a new F1.

    Yes, many Japanese maples will produce relatively uniform seedlings if isolated from other types. For example one year I grew several seedlings from an isolated 'Inaba shidare', a red dissectum, and they were all red dissectums. Some of them differed in vigour, and the shade of red varied somewhat, but they were all recognisable as red dissectums. So when growing seeds from this tree in the future, I would be able to tell straight away if it is pollinated by a different type.

    Other JM's may not grow uniform seedlings even if self pollinated. This will be because they are themselves a cross of differing types and their offspring will segregate for combinations of the traits they inherited from their parents. With seeds from this type of plant it would be more difficult to tell if it was cross pollinated.

    Yes, and it depends what other Japanese maples are planted nearby. If the seedlings are different to selfed 'Bloodgood' and selfed 'Red Dragon', and those two were the only ones that flowered in that garden that year, then it would be reasonable to assume they were a hybrid between the two.

    You sounded so sure of the parents I wondered what method you had used to make the cross. I hand pollinate other plants to make crosses but have never tried it with maples and do not know how practical it would be to achieve.

    Yes something like this would be possible, but planting the two in an isolated location would be better. I believe that maple flowers are pollinated by small insects so a net that prevents insects bringing pollen in from outside may also prevent insects getting in to cross pollinate your two candidates.

    I hope that answers some of your questions. I would be interested to hear what your botanist uncle has to say on the subject.
     
  25. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Jeepers Maf, you are a mine of information :)
     

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