Maple seedling varieties

grizzlywon

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This spring I have been having a blast planting and growing maple seedlings from 4 varieties. regular Green Japanese, Trident, Amur and Bloodgood.

Out of the hundreds that came up, there are a few that are very unique. I have read about seeds producing different varieties, but these are just plain cool.

I wanted to get advice from you guys on the possible future of these oddballs.

From what I have read, they don't have a good chance of growing up and being trees someday. Is this correct?

I was thinking from what I have read, that they need to be grafted unto green Japaneses maple stock in order to have a future. Should this be done this next early Spring, or can I wait till they are larger. (i guess part of the answer to this will be what you say to my first question.)

The first two photos are from Trident seeds. This second one is about .5" tall and has about 15-20 leaves!

The last one is from a bloodgood seed. It has a very variegated lace leaf look to it.
 

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Ang3lfir3

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Not sure about the trident varieties but I can tell you that Acer P. (Japanese maple) is a very unstable tree.... their seeds throw hundreds of varients all the time. If these seedlings are growing on their own there is probably no need to graft them tho they may be very very slow growing. Acer P. root stock is used when propgating by grafting, this is because it is the only way to guarantee the exact same characteristics as the donor plant.

Many of them might die on their own but many of them might live. I wouldn't bother trying to graft anything off of them until they a few more years old.
 

Dav4

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Another thing to consider is that the leaves you are seeing now are not necessarily the leaves you will be seeing on these trees in a few years. In many instances, the leaves on mature trees differs noticeably from those present when it was a seedling. Still, looks like a fun project you have undertaken. Good luck,

Dave
 

mapleman77

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Those seedlings look amazing! I am a maple lover (username!) and am very jealous. Especially of the second picture--treasure that one and take good care of it! The Bloodgood seedling having laceleaf characteristics is probably because the pollen parent was a laceleaf and that particular seed took those traits, which is fairly rare. Keep all of them safe!

As for grafting, the myth that maples need to be grafted in order to survive is wrong--they will do just fine on their own roots, given the adequate care and soil/nutrients that they need. Not wanting to beat a dead horse, but the reason grafting is so popular is because it is cheap, easy, QUICK, and economical. And it usually yields good results. Just keep these little ones in good health and i think you will find you have some very interesting maples one day. The second in particular looks very promising for bonsai and I would love to grow that one some day.

Where did you get your seed stock???
 

grizzlywon

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Thanks David. I just went around and got permission to collect. The Amur seeds I have about 2 lbs of that I was allowed to collect at the Fresno Japanese Gardens, the Red and green from Neighbors that I just asked and the Trident from a tree near one of our colleges. All free! I have paid for the Trident seed and they are expensive and don't seem to germinate. Just as the Dirr book warns.
 

rockm

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"From what I have read, they don't have a good chance of growing up and being trees someday. Is this correct?

I was thinking from what I have read, that they need to be grafted unto green Japaneses maple stock in order to have a future. Should this be done this next early Spring, or can I wait till they are larger. (i guess part of the answer to this will be what you say to my first question.)"

This is completely backward. The trees have as much chance of "growing up" as any other seedling. They will become trees.

They certainly don't need to be grafted to have a future. They can survive perfectly well on their own...

Japanese maples are grafted onto other root stock for exactly the reason you're observing--they don't breed true. Using seeds to propagate a specific KIND of Japanese Maple is extremely unreliable. Specific cultivars, like Arakawa, Osakazuki, sangu kaku and others (there are over 1,000 cultivars) are never propagated through seed. They are reproduced through cloning (cuttings), bud graft and other means because their seeds will not produce the same characteristics as the parent plant.

You can wind up with tons of differences in offspring--as you see here. What you have are the genetic parts that the breeders of those specific cultivars used to produce a specific plant.
 

mapleman77

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rockm is completely right. I just couldn't put all of that into words. :)

And I should have known that you collected. If you had so much seed, you must have gotten fresh! What are your plans for these interesting ones? I really am interested in the future of that short and stubby one--it would make a great mame!
 

AlainK

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The first two photos are from Trident seeds.
Are you sure the first one is Acer buergerianum?...

If the leaves in the background look like trident maple, the ones you are showing with your hand look more like leaves from a variety of Crataegus (hawthorn) to me... Mybe a seed carried by a bird germinated where you planted maple seeds.

Even the way the leaves are placed on the branch make me doubt: although it is a bit hard to see clearly, they seem to be alternate, whereas in all maples, they are opposite.
 
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Kirk

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I had the same result with germinating Trifoliate orange 'Flying Dragon' seeds. About 5% have dwarf characteristics with the very, very short internodes. It looks as though the leaves are piled on top of one another. Otherwise they are very green, happy and healthy. Looking forward to seeing what happens.

Kirk
 
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