En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - When do bigtooth maples (Acer grandidentatum) seeds mature and fall?

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
1 rating

Friday - December 04, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: When do bigtooth maples (Acer grandidentatum) seeds mature and fall?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, In answer to a previous question, you said that Bigtooth Maple samaras come ripe around August-September. Recently, I went to Lost Maples State Natural Area, and in their display, it says that they start dropping in spring. That was the only reference I have seen to the seeds dropping in spring, are the maples of that area different than others, or was their display inaccurate?

ANSWER:

In all the sources (e.g., U. S. Forest Service, Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of the Southwest by R. A. Vines, Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country, by Jan Wrede) I could find with botanical and ecological information about Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple) the time of seed maturation was given as in the Fall.  Here is a quote from the U.S. Forest Service page:  "Samaras begin to form in May and mature by August or September... Samaras drop from the trees between mid-August and early October."  So, curious about the difference in what you saw in the display at Lost Maples State Natural Area and the information in my sources, I decided to call the park and get the "truth".  I spoke to Bill Bailey, the Lead Ranger, at the Lost Maples State Natural Area who told me that, indeed, the samaras mature and drop in the Fall.  We aren't sure what you saw in the displays that made you think it was in the Spring.  The seeds do germinate in the Spring so, perhaps there was a statement that wasn't completely clear, for instance—"the samaras fall and then germinate in the Spring."

 

More Trees Questions

Rash resulting from cutting trees in NC.
May 08, 2012 - My boyfriend was cutting some trees yesterday. He had thorns in his hands after he was done, and today he has a rash on his legs, a fever and he feels like throwing up. Can you tell me if its symptoms...
view the full question and answer

Identification of native dogwoods in Williamson Co., TX
March 12, 2007 - Hi Mr/Mrs SmartyPlants What are the small-ish wild trees that are blooming so beautifully now? They are practically covered in pretty white blossoms. I've always called them dogwoods but in the vari...
view the full question and answer

Problem with mesquite tree limbs
June 13, 2014 - i keep finding some smaller branches of my mesquite tree in the turf area around the tree. when looking at the cut ends, they appear to have a smooth cut around the circumference of the limb about 1/...
view the full question and answer

Removal of live oaks leaves on lawn in Austin
October 11, 2011 - We have about a half inch or so of mostly live oak leaves still on the ground which I thought was good root protection and also holds in moisture. There is a small group of people in our condo subdi...
view the full question and answer

Recommendations for mature oak for Austin
October 08, 2008 - Mr. smarty pants- We would like to purchase a mature oak tree and have it planted in our yard in Austin. Recommendations, things to be aware of, you know, the general smarty pants treatment. Thank y...
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