Japanese Maple seed

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

I have been collecting Japanese Maple seeds from several trees in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, none of the homeowners know the variety. Is there a database I can go to that will show pictures of the leaf, seed, tree, etc. so I can start to identify the parent tree? I am sure several of them are Bloodgood, but others are certainly not.

I did this for the first time last year and ended up with hundreds of sprouted seedlings. It was very exciting and I am going for round two this year by collecting even more seeds. It looks like I better start in the business or someone is going to commit me to the local institution if I don't come up with a plan. We have a vacant acre lot we plan to build on, but we certainly don't need that many JM even if they are beautiful. Since they are seedlings, I know they may not come true to the parent, but how long does it take to know if they will be as red as the parent? Many of them look very red now, but it is fall I know and they may not stay that way during the summer. Anyway, at best, I may try my hand at grafting when they get old enough.

I wasn't really planning to sell any of them this year, but took a few to a farmer's market at work and sold 62 of them for $10 each. I was shocked that so many people would buy such a small tree, but my bank account was smiling.

Thumbnail by billgrubbs
Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

that is a lot of little jm's!

i think you should take pictures of all the parent trees and either buy a couple books on jm's or surf some web sites. i know with the bakers dozen of little guys i have only two are exactly alike - the others all have some differences - that may change as they get older - they came from three different type trees so it is not hard to know who the parents where.

good luck

how did you get them to spout - refrigerate and just pot them up?

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

I followed the procedure taught by Mike McGroaty on Free Plants.com. He has a little video and I just followed his suggestions step by step and it worked. I had more sprouting seedlings than I knew what to do with and you can't just kill them can you? After they started to sprout in the peat filled zip lock bags in the frig I transfered them to small flats to grow until they had their second leaves, then transferred the healthy ones to individual small plastic cups. I used white ones, but have since learned that clear plastic is better because you can see how the roots are growing. I then transplanted them later in the summer to 1 gal pots you see in the picture. It may have been better to transplant to something in between, but that is more work when you have that many. They seemed to be doing ok jumping to the 1 gal.

I did try wintersowing some outside, but had trouble with raccoons digging them up and eating them. I have no more affection for raccoons. You can see the deer fence in the picture. That is because deer wander around the property all year and will eat anything. I am not fond of bambi either.

It has taken a year to get the JM to the point yo see in the picture and that is a lot of TLC, but I have enjoyed the journey.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

i can tell you enjoyed it - will have to check out that site, i've been collecting some seeds as well.

Danville, IN

You certainly have a green thumb with Japanese maples. Such fun! In the opinion of many, THE book on JMs is Japanese Maples by the late J.D. Vertrees through Timber Press (or Amazon.com), 3rd edition 2001. However, when they get large enough, you can decide which ones to keep and try to identify them at that time. Sometimes the leaves change as the trees get more mature. In the meantime, I would certainly "stay in business" and sell off your duplicates, triplicates, etc. Good luck! And, keep us posted.

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the note on the book. I am going to check it out of the library to see if it is helpful first, then decide if I buy it or not for reference. There is something about these trees that really intrigues me. They remind me of how the dogwoods look in the South. I am from the South and always loved seeing the dogwoods in full bloom in the wooded areas. I guess it is the open look and the horizontal look of the limbs. Anyway, I will probably be dead and gone before any of these get big.

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

For what it's worth, I have the book and I love it. Not only is it helpful, it is also really interesting to those of us that love our JMs, it's got hundreds of great pictures, and is a great reference. The only downside is that the price might be too steep for the casual JM fan.

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

I will have to hint to my wife that it would be a very nice Christmas present if I can wait that long.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

billg - there are two books both by J.D. Vertrees - a quick guide and the full blown more complete hard cover - do not waste your time at the library - go to amazon - order the quick guide - there is a new full blown hardcover due out in April - pre-order that at the same time. you will not be sorry!!

i have the quick guide and have read it cover to cover - with many flipped pages - and one reason i ordered over 35 jm's this year - the new edition hard cover has been delayed, it was supposed to be out in august - i can't wait to get it.

Kaysville, UT(Zone 5a)

What a salesman. You talked me into it. I just ordered it.

Pepperell, MA(Zone 6a)

i am in sales:) maybe i should start selling jm books!

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