maple tree seeds

15 years ago

Hello I am new to planting, and to this forum. It is spring right now and Maple tree seeds are falling from the ground. Do I have to break the dormancy first before I plant them, if so, how do I do it. Then when they are ready to be sown, does it have to be a certain season? Or could i grow it inside by a window. Also can someone give me a breif procedure about how to sow a seed. Thanks


Comments (32)

  • wgafaw
    15 years ago

    I don't think you have to break dormancy. Recently all the Maple trees behind my house just dropped all their seed and they are sprouting everywhere. It's all I can do to pull them all out. Of course these are the 80-100 foot varieties, so I don't want them growing around my house.


  • morz8
    15 years ago

    Most maple (acer) do need to be stratified (given a moist chill) before they will germinate. The seedlings you are seeing now are likely from last years seeds.

    Do you know which maple?

    Acer in general: sow outdoors in Fall, or soak 48 hours, sow to barely cover seed, moist warm 60 days, moist cold 60 - 90 days, followed by 65- 70F. Depending on the type, germination may take anywhere from 30 - 365 days.

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  • wgafaw
    15 years ago

    I doubt they are from last year as they are appearing in my winter sown containers which just had the tops removed about a month ago.


  • morz8
    15 years ago

    Still, MOST maple do need to be stratified; you may have one of the very few which do not.

    Clothiers - Maple (Acer)
    "Acer buergerianum , Trident Maple ,zone= 6 , sow @ 39ºF for germ. in 6 to 8 weeks
    Acer campestre , Field Maple ,zone= 4 , sow 4 wks @ 70ºF, move to 39ºF for germ. in 3 to 6 months
    Acer capillipes , Red Snake Bark Maple ,zone= see A. pensylvanicum
    Acer carpinifolium , Hornbeam Maple ,zone= 5 , sow 4 wks @ 70ºF, move to 39ºF for germ. in 3 to 6 months
    Acer cissifolium , ,zone= 6 , sow 4 wks @ 70ºF, move to 39ºF for germ. in 3 to 6 months
    Acer crataegifolium , Hawthorn Maple ,zone= 7 , sow 3m @ 39ºF, then remove seed coats and move to 70ºF for germ.
    Acer davidii , Fr.david's Maple ,zone= 5 , see A. pensylvanicum
    Acer ginnala , Amur maple ,zone= 2 , sow @ 39ºF for germ. in 3 to 4 months
    Acer griseum , Paperbark Maple ,zone= 5 , soak, then scarify, sow 3m @ 39ºF, move to 70ºF for germ. (less than 10% viable seeds)
    Acer japonicum , Japanese maple ,zone= ? , sow 3m @ 39ºF, then remove seed coats and move to 70ºF for germ.
    Acer mandschuricum , Manchurian maple ,zone= 4 , see A. griseum
    Acer negundo , Box Elder Maple ,zone= 2 , Scratch and soak, sow 3m @ 39ºF, move to 70ºF for germ.
    Acer nikoense , Nikko Maple ,zone= 5 , see A. griseum
    Acer palmatum , Japanese maple ,zone= 5 , seed should be collected from the tree before it dries, then sown directly outdoors for germ. the following spring.
    Acer pensylvanicum , Striped Maple ,zone= 3 , remove seed coat, sow @ 39ºF for germ. in 4 to 12 weeks
    Acer platanoides , Norway maple ,zone= 3 , sow fresh seed only @ 39ºF for germ. in 3m
    Acer pseudoplatanus , Sycamore maple ,zone= 4 , see A. griseum
    Acer rubrum , Red Maple ,zone= 3 , sow at once upon ripening, or soak, then sow 9w @ 39ºF, move to 70ºF for germ.
    Acer rufinerve , Snake Bark Maple ,zone= 6 , see A. pensylvanicum
    Acer saccharinum , Silver Maple ,zone= 3 , sow fresh seed only @ 70ºF
    Acer saccharum , Sugar Maple ,zone= 3 , sow 3m @ 39ºF, move to 70ºF for germ.
    Acer spicatum , Mountain Maple ,zone= 2 , sow 3m @ 39ºF, move to 70ºF for germ.
    Acer tataricum , Tatarian Maple ,zone= 4 , sow @ 39ºF for germ. in 3 to 6 months
    Acer tegmentosum , Manchustripe Maple ,zone= 5 , see A. pensylvanicum
    Acer triflorum , Three Flowered Maple ,zone= 6 , see A. griseum
    Acer truncatum , Shantung Maple ,zone= 6 , see A. griseum "

  • flowersandthings
    15 years ago

    What kind of maples? I have maples (japanese) seedlings popping up all over the place but the seeds (on the trees) haven't set yet so those "babies" must be (last year's seeds) from last year. I assume they (japanese) need pretreat. I think norway (a weed) maple seeds sprout instantly because I see seedlings as soon as seeds fall to the ground. I have ALOT of japanese maples seedlings. If you'd like some. :)

  • ken1_2006
    15 years ago

    I have two Norway Maples in my front yard. I am considering saving some seeds and planting a few in my backyard since at the moment I have no trees in the back yard (about one acre) except some fruit trees. Will the new trees (Norway Maple) be the same as the parent trees or will the leaves be more green than dark red (actually, I would prefer a lighter color leaves for the backyard)? Also, does anyone know the lifespan of Norway Maples?

  • djlen3
    15 years ago

    A question for morz8 -
    This is the tree I am interested in germinating:
    Acer palmatum , Japanese maple ,zone= 5 , seed should be collected from the tree before it dries, then sown directly outdoors for germ. the following spring.

    There is so much conflicting information about stratification or no stratification, pick and use 'green' or harvest dried seeds that I'm a bit confused about which way to go with this.
    Where did you get the list of trees that the above appears in and how can I access it. I want to learn more about the process before wasting time trying to germinate seeds that don't stand a chance of sprouting.
    I have some green seeds now but don't know whether to use them or nod.


  • Loretta NJ Z6
    15 years ago

    Below is a link to Thomas Clothier's Garden Walk and Talk where he has a germination database.
    Ken1, you should have no problem finding seedlings around for your Norway Maples. They are weeds. The color should be apparent shortly. If you like weeding, then go ahead and plant your Norway maples. I see you are zone 5. Here in zone 6, the Norway maples are dropping their seeds still and they are already germinating by the hundreds. Norway maples will germinate quickly as fresh seeds. Some will stick around and germinate later on or early next spring. They are always germinating, it seems.
    For Japanese Maples, in order to get some germination the following spring, it is recommended to plant the seeds before they dry on the tree. Otherwise, it could take two years or more. This is embellished a little more in The Reference manual of Woody Plant Propagation by Dirr/Heuser.
    In my yard, the japanese maples germinate early spring just as FlowersandThings describes. Personally, I have had problems getting any germination from the more special types of japanese maples.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tom Clothier's Garden Walk and Talk

  • Vamptoo
    15 years ago

    I can tell you that Sugar Maples do NOT need anything done to them to sprout, grow and take over. LOL

    I have 1 Sugar Maple in my back yard, I have pulled up at least 1000 seedlings in the back and front yards. That is just in the flower beds, heaven only knows how many are in the yard that are getting mowed back. There are probably another 500 of them to pull still. They have never been this bad before.

    Anyone want some??? LOL


  • nyssaman
    15 years ago


  • morz8
    15 years ago

    Len, Loretta did provide the right link to the information above. The germination suggestions on the Clothiers site are perfectly reliable, he's a very experienced plantsman.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Clothiers

  • mary_max
    15 years ago

    Nyssaman, I am curious why you said not to plant the norway maple seeds? Thanks

  • morz8
    15 years ago

    Mary, not Nyssaman, but while it has some commercial value Norway maple isn't the best choice for landscape tree depending on your climate. ".....eastern United States, from Maine to Virginia and west to Wisconsin. It is recognized as an invasive plant in many of these states. Norway maple has escaped cultivation and invades forests, fields, and other natural habitats. It forms monotypic stands that create dense shade and it displaces native trees, shrubs and herbs." There are many better native maples of ornamental merit.

  • aliska12000
    15 years ago

    They are this year's seeds. I watched them float and fall everywhere and in no time at all they are sprouting mostly where I had just dig new garden spots. My neighbor who is trying to sell his house doesn't look from my side, and the new gutter on the side of his garage is full of tiny maple trees. These are soft maples, never saw any seed sprout so easily.

  • mary_max
    15 years ago

    Would the Parkway Norway Maple tree be the same as what you are talking about here? I would love to know more as we just purchased four of these trees at $250.00 a tree!!! Now I am reading that the only good they are for is fire wood. Yikes!!!

  • mike01
    13 years ago

    actually i would like to have some if that's o.k. i just got interested in to this and i am pretty excited.
    i wanna sow different types of maple tree.
    so, your sugar maple would be good start i also wanna sow japanese maple.i hope that,s the one that has the scarlet color leaves in fall.
    please let me know if you could mail some for me cindy thank you

  • goldminer1872
    12 years ago

    Hi there folks, new to this site but here is a book that everyone should have if you are interested in growing trees from seeds. SEEDS OF WOODY PLANT IN THE UNITED STATES. Published by the U.S. dept. of Agriculture Forest Service. It covers all Genus from Abies to Ziziphus including Acer (maple). I bought my copy from them about 34 years ago and still use it today. It covers seed collection, growing media, scarification and stratification if it is necessary. It has maps of growing zones, photo's of various acer seed, drawings of seed structure; anything you want to know. It is handbook # 450 and was'nt to expensive back then. You might even find a copy in a good library. I googled the title and found several other sites with similar information in PDF files. Thanks John

  • undercover_owl
    12 years ago

    mary max: I'm sorry to tell you, but you overpaid. Is there any way you can return the trees and get your money back?

    Norway Maples are attractive, and desirable in many ways to many people. But, they are classified as "invasive weed trees" in several U.S. states, and for good reason. They truly are invasive.

    I personally have a love/hate relationship with Norway Maples. I admire their loveliness, their stamina. However, they are also doing their best to reproduce like rabbits!

    I know trees. I have a vast knowledge about tree species, their growing habits, their problems and their benefits, whether the roots tend to grow deep or whether the roots touch the surface, depending on species. I am an expert at growing trees from seed, as I have grown over 2500 trees and shrubs from seed, of every kind of variety.

  • trainbow
    12 years ago

    Norway maples invade woodlands by growing fast and shading out other plants with their big leaves. Because they care more about growing fast than making strong branch unions, down the road they are likely to crack sooner. In most cases, there are better trees to plant for both landscape and street trees.

  • kathleen57
    11 years ago

    I have 2 neighbors on both sides that have Norway Maples. I had a bunch of pots growing plants outside. It literally rained Norway Maple tree seeds 2 weeks ago...into my plants. I got most out but didn't get all of them. Started sprouting today :( Dang things grow on the side of my house like weeds. I must of cut a dozen of them yesterday. Happens every year and they don't die when you snip them...they just branch off.

  • dogbardave
    10 years ago

    I have three maples that are brilliant in color right now (10-31-10), zone 8, the best in several years, it seems. I don't know the type, as they were on sale 12 years ago in 1 gal containers and unlabeled. They grew thin to about 20', and now are spreading out. I have some seeds I've saved from last spring from one, but they're dried out. From what I'm reading, I should get them fresh in the Spring and try to plant them at that time?

  • mccommas
    10 years ago

    I was wondering the same thing as the original question. Do they need to be stratified or not? I still don't know after reading this thread but one thing is for sure. I have plenty of seeds to try it both ways! That is my advice to pwysoc.

    I just put some in the window just now and we shall see what if anything happens. They are from a very nice Red Maple. I hope the offsring has similir leaves.

    If nothing happens I will put them outside and put the rest of the seed in another container out on the deck. I could bring them in after a few months of New England winter and maybe maybeâ¦.

  • jchris1_umbc_edu
    10 years ago


    DO NOT PLANT Norway maples. They are invasive and spread to wooded areas easily. The heavy leaf cover and/or toxins in the leaves and roots prevent the growth of native plants.

    I have two huge ones in my yard, too, and I made the mistake of planting some of their seeds. I even transplanted some of the seedlings before I knew what they were.

    :( Now I'm pulling them up!

    Luckily I also have a red maple, which is beautiful and also has a lot of seeds, so I'm sowing those instead, and planting the red maple babies instead of killing them.

    Red maple is native to the eastern US, and native plants can survive under the canopy of red maple.

    I was wondering why nothing seemed to grow underneath the Norway maple trees, and now I know. I am cutting down some of the smaller ones that spread into the woods in the back of my house, but the ones in the front are too big for me to replace at this point.

    Again, pls don't plant those things, they're bad.



  • zontar41
    10 years ago

    Generally, maple tree seed that ripens and drops in the spring (April/May) do not need stratification and should be planted immediately. Maple seed that drops in the fall needs stratification.

    Sugar maple drops its seeds in late summer/early fall, so those seeds must be stratified before they will germinate. However, red and silver maples produce and drop spring seed, and those seeds will germinate right away.

    The list posted by morz8 shows the info for most maples, so that's a good reference to use.


  • zanderzuk_aol_com
    10 years ago

    maple trees that seed in spring

  • emmitst
    10 years ago

    Fifty years ago silver and norway maples were often recommended because they provided "quick shade" for people with new homes. Now the people who have inherited these homes are having real problems. The problem is that these trees grow quickly, but die just as quickly.
    They have shallow root systems that compete against lower growing plants, even grass has trouble growing under them.
    they have very weak branches that break off in the mildest of storms, causing much damage. and, as others have said, they set seed copiously, becoming a weed exceeded only by the filthy ailanthus for invasiveness. Because of their shallow roots, in high storm winds the whole tree can become uprooted and fall over, damaging houses, cars, and other property. And worse of all, many homeowners can not afford to pay the cost of removing a dangerous tree. It only cost about five dollars to plant those trees in 1960, but it costs several hundred dollars to cut one down now. Save your children a big headache. Don't let these trees get started on your property. ...And get rid of that mother plant, Your neighbors will thank you.

  • guarachera_hotmail_com
    10 years ago

    I am on the tropic, but 2600 mts above sea level, 18�C average, and i am going to plant some canadian maple seeds.
    how often do i have to water them? how deep do i have to sow them?
    thanks in advance!

  • morz8
    10 years ago

    There are more than one maple that grow naturally in Canada, one that is commonly thought of as Canadian maple is acer saccharum (sugar maple)

    Seeds need a period of moist cold of just above freezing for approximately 3 months - sow seeds lightly covered by about 1/4 inch

  • jamichau
    9 years ago

    Hello, The house behind mine has a maple tree that has covered my yard with seeds in the last week. I was thinking of growing some of the seeds until I read about the evils of the Norway maple in this forum. The seeds are a fairly bright red color. Is that any clue as to which maple tree this is? I don't want to proliferate a "bad" tree.

  • plemons-grower
    8 years ago

    i have some dancing peacock seeds does anyone have info on these

  • morz8
    8 years ago

    Acer japonicum Aconitifolium...need 2-3 months cold stratification (moist, 35-40F) before being brought back to warm for germination.

  • sassykat0
    8 years ago

    I planted the whole whirlybird from some maples that were from about 15 ft mature trees nothing in 4 months so I am thinking I really did not know what I was doing :(