Samaras: what to do?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by AlainK, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    My Acer p. 'O-sakazuki' has a few samaras that seem about to be ripe.

    On the first photo, there'one that is exposed to a good amount of sun, the wings are brown and so is the seed itself. In the background, you can see one which is still green.

    On the second photo, samaras under leaves, in the shade, the "seeds are still green but are beginning to show brown spots.

    I've read here and there that the best time to collect seeds is when the wings are brown but the seeds still greenish, so my question is:

    Should I collect them now?

    When I do, I let them dry for a week or so (which shouldn't be a problem now considering the weather for the week to come), then put them in a paper bag in the fridge until I stratify them for 3-4 months.

    I would be tempted to harvest them now, but isn't that too early?

    At the same time, I'm afraid that the seeds will dry out and be sterile if I leave them on the tree. I collected Acer monspessulanum samaras in early August in "Ardèche", and the rate of germination was surprisingly good, so I wonder....

    acerp-o-sakazuki_sam_160724a.jpg acerp-o-sakazuki_sam_160724b.jpg
     
  2. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I don't collect samaras until about October ... nature sows these seeds at that time of year (or even November) when they fall off the tree, and I am a firm believer that nature knows best :) I then place them in a plastic bag in the bottom of the fridge and I have an amazingly good germination rate. A few years ago I collected seed early, and it just didn't wortk for me that way.
     
  3. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for your reply. You must be right, I'll collect them in Autumn then.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Though seed maturity might be quite a lot earlier in warm, sunny Orleans, than it is in cool, damp Northern Ireland ;-)
     
  5. Onra

    Onra Member

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    Sure!

    I usually collect the seeds end of September, beginning of October. As whis4ey, I think that the good time is when the samaras begin to fall.

    Do not dry them, it will decrease the germination rate.
    Put them directly in the fridge after collecting the seeds. I use a plastic box, with wet potting soil (not too much).
     
  6. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    I also wonder if the drying out of the wings helps dispersal.A papery wing should go further than a moist heavy one..I think nature knows best :)
     
  7. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    What does Mother Nature do in warm sunny Orleans then Michael??
    AND .... who on earth ever told you that Northern Ireland was cool and damp? LOL
     
  8. patdero1

    patdero1 Active Member Maple Society

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    It's July! Leave them be
     
  9. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    End of Sept is also the earliest I collect seed, though I think some like buergerianum might be better to collect earlier.

    Hope you're having a good summer Alain, and didn't burn up in the recent heat wave. BTW my Sequoia is alive and growing like mad! Rumors of it's death, etc.

    -E
     
  10. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    So are mine. I put them in slightly bigger pots and they've more than doubled their size this year.

    Back to samaras:

    I won't comment upon the weather in Ireland, but it's much warmer and drier here in Loiret than it is in Isère ;°)

    If there were more on the tree, I would collect half of them niow, the rest later and see which batch has the best rate of germination...
     
  11. Onra

    Onra Member

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    Definitely not! Isère is huge and has different climates: with oceanic influence, alpine, continental and mediterranean.
    Where I live, I can hear some cicadas sometimes during summer... and the best plant which is growing well in my dry & alkaline soil is the Cistus.

    Acer campestre, Acer pseudoplatanus and Japanese maples are growing well in my draining soil.
     

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