En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 23, 2007

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Seed pods on Acer grandidentatum
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, we have three young Big Tooth Maples that are doing very well in our pasture. We bought them already established and small. However, we would like to start some. Do they produce a seed?? What would you suggest. We have noticed some green pods with brown leaves on each of them recently hanging on the trees. Are these seedlings and if so, what would be the best way to start them. Thank you..

ANSWER:

The green pods with brown leaves on your Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple) are the seeds called samaras. Here are more pictures from the USDA Plants Database.

Jill Nokes in How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest has a thorough treatment of propagation from seeds of Acer species, in general, and A. grandidentatum, in particular. It would be well worth your while to read it. You might check your local library for a copy or you can buy your own copy in most book stores. She points out that germination is tricky in the maples because the seed dormancy needs to be broken.

She recommends collecting the seeds from the tree (rather than using ones that have fallen to the ground) when "the seeds inside are firm, filled out, and dark brown." The seeds for bigtooth maple should be ready to collect in August or September, but you should continue to check their maturity. To break the dormancy, they should be cold stratified at 41° F in moist media, such as sphagnum moss or pearlite for approximately 90 days. When the seeds start to sprout, they should be planted in small containers. They can be transferred outdoors after danger of frost is past.

Both Jill Nokes and Utah State University have instructions for planting the seeds directly outdoors in the fall without stratification in prepared beds containing loose organic matter. The soil in beds needs to be moist but not wet.

The US Forest Service has more information about germinating bigtooth maple seeds.

 


 

More Propagation Questions

Propagating Texas Mountain Laurel by seed from Tucson AZ
May 20, 2010 - Propagation of Texas Mountain Laurel from seed
view the full question and answer

Resprouting of native prairie plants after snowstorm
April 07, 2007 - Will my prairie plants that have broken dormancy be harmed by a spring snowstorm? Temperatures have fallen down into the twenties and forecast to stay sub-freezing for five or six days. We have abou...
view the full question and answer

Save and store pigeonberry seeds from Austin
July 20, 2009 - What is the best way to save and store pigeonberry seeds?
view the full question and answer

How to propagate milkweed from root cuttings
June 08, 2009 - I am interested in propagating Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed). Your info page for this species says it can be propagated via root cuttings. Does this mean I can lop off a chunk of the root/tuber ...
view the full question and answer

Source of Berlandiera pumila seeds from Coral Gables FL
June 07, 2012 - Where can I buy plants or seeds of Berlandiera pumila?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center