Have you been wondering for months what ever became of Dave’s Japanese maple seedlings? I bet you have…er well maybe not but I’ll show you even if you weren’t wondering all winter about my Japanese maple seedlings! In case you are wondering how to grow Japanese maples from seed the big secret is stratification. Stratification is where you expose a seed to cold temperatures in order to break the natural dormancy of the seed. Many plants require a certain amount of cold time in order to trigger germination and Japanese maples are one of them. This is one reason why so many gardeners stores their seeds in the refrigerator. Aside from keeping the seeds fresh the refrigeration also exposes them to cold temperatures so that when the gardener is ready to plant so are the seeds. But enough of my horticultural ramblings, now on for the Japanese maples seedlings!
Nearly all of the Japanese maples that I stored in the garden shed have come alive with new foliage. I was concerned with the winter cold – that it might have been too much for them, but thankfully my fears were unfounded. These little maples all came from the seed dropped by a Japanese maple in my parent’s yard. Germination last year was incredible. Over 140 Japanese maples germinated. Unfortunately the summer took its toll and not all came through to fall but those that did are on their way to becoming some awesome little trees. I’m hoping that this year the seed germination results will be similar since our winter temperatures were comparable to the Winter of 2009-2010.
What variety are they? I’m glad you asked! I’m about 95% positive they are ‘Bloodgood’ seedlings which is a very common Japanese maple and can be easily grown from seed. These trees could one day become landscape plants or even serve as grafting root stock for other varieties of Japanese maple.