Maple seeds wont sprout

Discussion in 'Maples' started by weaver7175, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. weaver7175

    weaver7175 Member

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    i picked some japanese maple seed from a relatives tree this fall,and
    they just wont sprout ive tried warm wet paper towels and putting them in the freezer
    well..lol i know they dont sprout in the freezer...but i read that some seeds need
    to be in there before they will sprout any ideas
     
  2. Elmore

    Elmore Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: seeds wont sprout

    Japanese Maple seed is ripe when the tip of the samara is slightly dry, usually indicated by a brown necrotic look. They typically reach this stage sometime in October. Seed can be immediately sown in prepared beds or stored and then stratified for sowing in spring. I usually place mine in large, flat box tops, evenly distributing into one layer. I do this to dry the seed out. This occurs in my garage. When dry I place the seed in bags and keep in the cool, unheated garage until the stratification process begins. Stratification is a pre-germination treatment to break dormancy in seed and to promote rapid, uniform germination. The seeds are exposed to moisture at a temperature just above the freezing point (1-5 deg. C) for a specified time. Some seed require a warm stratification period followed by a cold period. Most simply require a cold stratification. Generally Acer palmatum seed require about 90 days, cold. I usually wait until Dec. 20th or so to begin stratification of my seed so that spring is just around the corner when my seed are ready to plant out.
    When the time comes to stratify, I place the seed in large plastic cups, about 1/3 full. I then fill the cup with hot water, 110 degrees Fahrenheit, no more than 120 degrees. My hot water heater is set at about that temp so I simply run tap water until hot and go from there. After filling the cups with hot water I set them aside and let them cool for 48 hrs. When cool I pour the water off, through a screen so as not to lose the seed. I then take plastic baggies, the ones that seal real well, and I place the seed in the bag, about 1/3 full. I then add an equal amount of a roughly half and half mix of sphagnum peat moss and vermiculite to the bag of seed. Seal the bag and shake it up thoroughly. Once it is thoroughly mixed I add about 1/4 teaspoon of a fungicide, Captan (wear gloves and a dust mask, Captan, bad stuff). Other fungicides may work as well. I then mix it up again, thoroughly blending the contents. I next add just enough water to the bag of seed and mix to moisten, taking care not to make it wet. Just moist. No standing water in the bottom of the baggie. I then seal the bag and place it in the coolest drawer in the fridge. Ideally at about 38 - 41 degrees Fahrenheit. It sits there for about 90 days and I check it on occasion, making sure that it hasn't dried out. Within that 90 day period some of the seed should have pushed out a root radicle (the tip of a newly formed root). When a good proportion of seed have produced "radicles", I place the seed in a large bowl and individually plant each one in a 4" cup, 18 per flat. They are planted in, primarily pine bark fines, shallowly, just covering the nutlet. An ideal flat would have 18 little samaras, held upright, like little flags. Any seed not yet showing germination go back into the bag and back under refrigeration. I sometimes keep a bag refrigerated for two years. After that I sow the seed in a bed. Seed may germinate, sporadically for three years. Acer japonicum seed seems to germinate better in the second year of stratification. You could also, at this point, sow them in bulk in a prepared planting bed but I prefer planting them into flats. I have a friend in TN who produces thousands of seedlings and he basically takes large quantities of moist seed and places them in large black garbage bags in a cooler. There is no "one and only" way but this method works well for me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2006
    Labreapits likes this.
  3. Idacer

    Idacer Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: seeds wont sprout

    Good to hear from you, Elmore. I was beginning to think you had given up maples for gingkos and chainsaws.
     
  4. weaver7175

    weaver7175 Member

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    Re: seeds wont sprout

    thanks for your reply, i now see what i was doing wrong
     
  5. graftedmaplecollector

    graftedmaplecollector Active Member 10 Years

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    Re: seeds wont sprout


    This should be posted at the top. As a sticky.
     
  6. Viro

    Viro Member

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    Maple seeds

    I'm really interested in getting a variety of maple seeds to set up for germination for the winter but it appears that there aren't too many places you can get them from in Canada that I know of.

    I'd really like the laceleaf varieties as well as some of the weeping maples (the japanese maples that is)....like viridis, coral bark, seiryu etc.

    Lots of places to order from the states but very very few I can find via internet in Canada.

    Just hoping someone can lead me in the right direction....

    I love these type of maples and like to get my hands on some different varieties and get them growing for future use!
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Re: Maple seeds

    From seed you will get variable results, some may resemble the parent but others will not. If you could acquire fresh seed locally that would be superior. Plant while still soft, but full-sized. After maple seed hardens and turns brown it is much more reluctant to sprout.
     
  8. Viro

    Viro Member

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    Re: Maple seeds

    I haven't been able to find seed locally....this is the problem...
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Re: Maple seeds

    If there aren't any Japanese maples growing around there in other people's gardens that may not be a good sign.
     
  10. Viro

    Viro Member

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    Re: Maple seeds

    lots of maples growing around including the japanese maple variety....but haven't gotten any seeds

    asked a couple of nurseries here but the don't sell them .... or won't...

    why sell me seeds for a couple of bucks instead of selling me the whole tree for 80 bucks....

    lots of places that sell seeds on the net, just not many in canada...

    The states have some websites with some nice varieties but because of customs I may not get them.
     
  11. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Re: Maple seeds

    Seeds are not generally subject to customs problems (I get lots from all over all the time), only live plants. There are loads of places in the U.S. (if not here - but try Angelgrove Seed Co. in Nfld) to get seeds from.
     
  12. Viro

    Viro Member

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    Re: Maple seeds

    so seeds generally aren't sujected to customs?

    I love getting seeds from seedrack.com (US site) but they won't sell them to Canada...

    I've read something about some sort of maple disease flying around so I understand getting saplings/trees from the states but not sure why seeds would be affected
     
  13. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Maple seeds

    SOD -Sudden Oak Deaf is a scary situation - no known cure. It is carried in host plants like Rhoddies and Big Leaf maples, but luckily not Acer palamtum, japonica or shiras.

    I cannot ship live maples to Canada without a special Ag certificate. Since I am kept pretty busy just shipping the US I have no need so far. Sam
     
  14. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Re: Maple seeds

    Hi Viro,

    I have a medium size Bloodgood that is loaded with seeds. I don't mind gathering some for you and mailing them. I think I need to wait a little longer in the season before I collect them. Does anyone know the best time? Also, I've been told that the seeds need to go through a cold dormant period before they will germinate. So they say refrigerate them for awhile, but I am not sure about this info. Can someone verify this process? Sam
     
  15. jamkh

    jamkh Active Member

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    Re: seeds wont sprout

    weaver,
    First check whether your seeds are viable, cause many hybrids produce just empty seeds (such a case is paper bark maple despite it being a specie). A good way is the flotation test (though not 100% good results all the time), those that sink are viable. A surer way is to break the seed coat and look for the swollen cotyledons. If absent then they are infertile and cannot germinate at all.
    I germinate something like 20 different species at a time, mainly Acer, Cornus and Rosa. To avoid the heavy bulk, I place the seeds in a small plastic bottle 6''X1", packed it with moist perlite to half to 2 thirds of the space. Then place these bottle into Ziplock bag and then subject it to cold stratification in the fridge. Some varieties will germinate even whilst they are in the fridge, some may germinate only in the 2nd year. For dogwood it requires double straitification, warm the seeds again for 3 months and then into the fridge a second time round. Stratified maple seeds can remain viable for a period of 5 years, so be patient and your % of gemination rate goes up.
     
  16. haul0348

    haul0348 Member

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    Re: seeds wont sprout

    I usually wait till they drop on their own but all the sugar maples/hard maples i have sprouted up in my grandparents gutters. When i cleaned out their gutters last year i kept 7 of them and they grew to about nine feet in the first year. I always add 1 cup of dry dog food to the planting hole for good root food. So check the relatives gutters for seeds and seedlings it sounds crazy but they grow very well.
     
  17. jamkh

    jamkh Active Member

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    Re: seeds wont sprout

    Then it looks like your plant produces viable seeds. If the ground at the base of your plant were bare you will also see seeds sprouting. Those that sprouted in the gutters had undergone stratification maybe over 2 or 3 winters and the concitions (water and rotting leaves and moss) are ideal for their germination. Thus you should have no problem getting these seeds to germinate, if not in the first year then definately in later years.
     
  18. haul0348

    haul0348 Member

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    They did pretty good i maintained 5 of 8 and the 5 are 9+ ft tall. Have you tried ebay for seed? I tried ebay last night and got 60+ hits on maple seeds give it a look see.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2006
  19. skatchmo

    skatchmo Member

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    The seeds on my maple are looking about ready to be picked, and I was curious if there is a shelf life to the seeds... Can I let these seeds sit six months, and then go through the stratification process, and expect roughly the same results? If so, how long is the shelf life? Thanks.
     
  20. weaver7175

    weaver7175 Member

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    my maple seeds sat for two years and they still sprouted
     
  21. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Scratchmo,

    Of course one year old seeds are probably the most prolific, but I have seen some results from seeds two years and older. Good luck. Sam
     
  22. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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  23. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    What strength would you suggest for A. palmatum ? Seems like different acer species have different germination requirements.
     
  24. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    I can only specify a product that I have just found on the Internet and I have not used it yet. However GA is the harmony that gets it all started. It took me about a year or more just to find GA in this easy to use formula. I am looking forward to trying it in a side by side comparison this winter on some hosta seeds.

    http://www.megagro.com/seed-germination-products.htm
     
  25. chimera

    chimera Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Ok Richard, Norman C. Deno's book "Seed Germination Theory and Practice " and the book supplements may be helpful when working with seed and GA {could GOOGLE}. He lists some experiments with various maples, not A. palmatum, and some not surviving dry storage. Also, a few hosta species. Your link doesn't seem to work.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2007

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