Japanese Maple Seedlings

After starting the Trident experiment, I decided I wanted to try my hand at a Japanese Maple “FrankenMaple.”  I had tried growing from maple seeds before, but had terrible results even after reading up on the whole stratification process.

I chose to try again, and ordered acer palmatum seeds from eBay (seller was fix1break2).  I got a late start, and started stratifying in late July 2011.  These particular maples seeds arrived without the full samara (wings were already gone), and were very small.  I placed a pie dish with warm water on a seed heating mat with the seeds, covered with a towel, and let marinade for about one full day.  Then I removed them and spread them out on damp (wringed) paper towels.  Placed each folded paper towel in its own Ziploc bac, placed those in a Tupperware-type container, and popped it into the fridge.

I checked periodically, and began having root sprouts within a month or so, and then en masse after about 2 months.  Every week I’d pull the sprouted ones, and plant them so the root was in the soil, and the top of the seed was sticking out.  After all was said & done, I had nearly all of them sprout.  I was amazed, no doubt.

Here they are as of the other day (Dec. 6, 2011); I guess I’ll have to see how they deal with the shorter, cooler days here in Southern California:

It’ll be interesting to see when they drop their leaves given their late start.  We’ll see!

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