Stratifying & Germinating Maple Seeds indoors.

Anhosustali

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I have just collected some Jap. M seedlings and would like to germinate them as quickly as possible, but the success rate is the highest priority. Online, people say stratification can take 14 -120 days. Some say to boil and others say to not. My state gets warm around late March. My current plan is to start stratification today, keeping them frozen for around a month, following up with a week of alternating thaw and freezing temperatures, finally sowing them indoors under a grow lab, eventually transitioning them outside when weather permits. This means I'd start germinating them around mid-January. Does anyone see problems? I am embarrassed to even ask this question because I feel like it could be found online, but I've honestly haven't found conclusive info.
 

John P.

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I had great success cutting off the samara, soaking them in hot (from the tap) water, leaving overnight, placing flat in damp (wetted and wrung-out) paper towels, placed in ziplocks, put in the refrigerator, and monitored weekly until they sprouted. Nearly total germination.

If the seeds are viable, this will be enough. No need to overthink.
 

Shibui

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I have never had any problem germinating fresh JM seed - with or without treatment.
Seed sown in flats outdoors late in spring well after frost germinated as well as if it had been sown early and experienced winter cold. My take is that treatment is not necessary for fresh seed. Older stored seed is another matter entirely.

I know it sounds like you may be getting a head start germinating early indoors but there are many problems that can occur indoors. Unless you have very good indoor growing conditions there is a high likelihood you will experience one or more peoblems and the seedlings could be worse than those sown to germinate outdoors at the correct time of year. Frankly I don't think the marginal difference, if any, is worth all the extra work.

BTW you won't find any conclusive info because everybody has a different method and they are all convinced that theirs is the only way - even though they have mostly not tested any other methods. The myriad of different opinions just proves JM seed will germinate under a whole range of conditions.
 

leatherback

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What works well for me is to just plant the seeds in my regular substrate, maybe 1 inch deep. Put a bunch of bricks on top of the substrate to discourage mice etc to find the seeds and then place the whole thing outside protected from sun and wind. I move it to the sun once spring is showing (buds pushing), and place a gitter over the pots to stop curious spring-feeders eating the young plants.

Just late nature do its thing. You will get germination when nature intended, when weather is cool, and light intensity matches resulting in compact growth. (Especially the first inches of growth you should aim to have compact, with many nodes close to eachother, fast is NOT better!)
 
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penumbra

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I know it sounds like you may be getting a head start germinating early indoors but there are many problems that can occur indoors. Unless you have very good indoor growing conditions there is a high likelihood you will experience one or more peoblems and the seedlings could be worse than those sown to germinate outdoors at the correct time of year. Frankly I don't think the marginal difference, if any, is worth all the extra work.
This says it...................listen
Just late nature do its thing. You will get germination when nature intended, when weather is cool, and light intensity matches resulting in compact growth. (Especially the first inches of growth you should aim to have compact, with many nodes close to eachother, fast is NOT better!)
This is what I do now. Too much work and space to do it inside, for me at least.
 

atlarsenal

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What @John P. said. I spray my paper towel with hydrogen peroxide water and check/change the paper towel every 3 weeks for mold. Just leave them in the fridge until you see them sprouting. Should probably be around March-April.
474C4304-CBCE-4AED-9DA4-705A840BBAF3.jpeg

718743D8-6013-4EF4-BE3E-5EF275EAF3E8.jpeg
 

The Warm Canuck

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What works well for me is to just plant the seeds in my regular substrate, maybe 1 inch deep. Put a bunch of bricks on top of the substrate to discourage mice etc to find the seeds and then place the whole thing outside protected from sun and wind. I move it to the sun once spring is showing (buds pushing), and place a gitter over the pots to stop curious spring-feeders eating the young plants.

Just late nature do its thing. You will get germination when nature intended, when weather is cool, and light intensity matches resulting in compact growth. (Especially the first inches of growth you should aim to have compact, with many nodes close to eachother, fast is NOT better!)
This seems sensible to me.

I just bought some Hedge Maple and Trident Maple seeds. and just a few questions: Does you method work for older seeds? Can I put them out at this time of year? and do you water the substrate?

Thanks,
 

SeanS

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I had fresh JM seeds germinating in the fridge after 60 days. Kept them in ziplocks with moist perlite.

I also had fresh crabapple seeds germinate after 3 weeks. I plucked some dried up apples from a large crabapple in mid spring and stuck them in some seedling mix. Seemed the winter cold while still hanging from the tree was enough 😂
 

Robertji

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This seems sensible to me.

I just bought some Hedge Maple and Trident Maple seeds. and just a few questions: Does you method work for older seeds? Can I put them out at this time of year? and do you water the substrate?

Thanks,
Hey there Belleville, I’m just north of Cobourg! I have had lots of success with the John P method. I start checking weekly after they are in the fridge about 60 days and plant the ones up that have sprouted, the remainder at around 90 days. I have tried outdoors with no luck, tridents are iffy for us depending on winter.
 

Shibui

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I just bought some Hedge Maple and Trident Maple seeds. and just a few questions: Does you method work for older seeds? Can I put them out at this time of year? and do you water the substrate?
Sowing outdoors in zone 6 should be as good as fridge stratification. Just check your daily winter temps for a comparison.

If maple seed has entered deep dormancy it may take more than a few freeze/thaw cycles to get most of them to germinate.

Some keys to germination of maple seed:
1. collect your own fresh seed - no need for any fancy treatment.
2. stratify any older or suspect seed.
3. Advanced germination techniques include gibberellic acid treatment as well as cold/ warm and wet/dry cycles but that's way above most home gardeners so revert to 1 or 2 above.
 

BrierPatch

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What works well for me is to just plant the seeds in my regular substrate, maybe 1 inch deep. Put a bunch of bricks on top of the substrate to discourage mice etc to find the seeds and then place the whole thing outside protected from sun and wind. I move it to the sun once spring is showing (buds pushing), and place a gitter over the pots to stop curious spring-feeders eating the young plants.

Just late nature do its thing. You will get germination when nature intended, when weather is cool, and light intensity matches resulting in compact growth. (Especially the first inches of growth you should aim to have compact, with many nodes close to eachother, fast is NOT better!)

This is what I have done pretty much (- brick) with all my JM seeds. Sowed a few 100 this year from about 10 different (JM, Vine, and Paper Bark) trees in flats and covered with plastic sheets for protection. Also did the same with a ton of collected pine seeds.
 

HorseloverFat

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What @John P. said. I spray my paper towel with hydrogen peroxide water and check/change the paper towel every 3 weeks for mold. Just leave them in the fridge until you see them sprouting. Should probably be around March-April.
View attachment 409874

View attachment 409875
Yup!
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Also.. in late spring.. Acers, at least around here) drop a ton of greenseed.. over half may not germinate (most aren’t fully mature).. but the ones that DO often present interesting characteristics and are more prone, in my opinion, to dwarves, glossy-leaved and short-intermodes. This is ALSO where alot of cross-polls exist.

You can collect these Weird lil’ windfall greenseeds by rhe armload.
 

HorseloverFat

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What works well for me is to just plant the seeds in my regular substrate, maybe 1 inch deep. Put a bunch of bricks on top of the substrate to discourage mice etc to find the seeds and then place the whole thing outside protected from sun and wind. I move it to the sun once spring is showing (buds pushing), and place a gitter over the pots to stop curious spring-feeders eating the young plants.

Just late nature do its thing. You will get germination when nature intended, when weather is cool, and light intensity matches resulting in compact growth. (Especially the first inches of growth you should aim to have compact, with many nodes close to eachother, fast is NOT better!)
This is the true best way. And if your a LITTLE warmer than I, it makes a little more sense..

I’m still getting freezes in April.. so my timeline is a little off...

I DO time it so they will NEVER have to live under lamps or through glass.. cause Acer’s “reach for the sky” as a certain cloth Toy-Sherrif would say.

Or do you think, @leatherback that the Acer seedlings would just blow through those few freezes.. without modifying it’s hormone distribution.,,
 

leatherback

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Or do you think, @leatherback that the Acer seedlings would just blow through those few freezes.. without modifying it’s hormone distribution.,,
I planted a tray of A palmatum seeds, collected from A.p. ' Arakawa' in december 2020. We then had a few frost periods, one in the low teens for 1-2 weeks. And a late one in april. Th seedlings are now a foot tall. 🤷‍♂️.

I believe plants have evolved to deal with the spurs of nature. If your climate is not drastically colder than the mountain ranges of Japan I would not worry too much about it. But that is me of course.

I do not think that staying at a constant 5 degrees in a veggie crisper is optimal.
 

HorseloverFat

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. If your climate is not drastically colder than the mountain ranges of Japan...

Did you know, Jelle.. that Weatherspark can do comparison charts for analysis..

Here’s me compared to the epicenter of the Japanese alps, Honcho..

 

HorseloverFat

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