Acer germination

Lenh(teesside,uk)February 14, 2004


Does any one know of a quicker way to germinate Acer seeds?

Stratification seems so slow and time consuming

Any suggestions would be appreciated



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justmossy(z8 coastalBC CA)

I picked 2 species in the fall, and stuck them in the ground right away minus the wings. They are just now coming up. I am in Zone 8.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2004 at 10:53PM
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Hi justmossy
Thank you for your response,i have tried the same way as you more by accident ,I had left seed trays out over the winter that had not germinated and that did the trick but it is very slow I am hoping to find a quicker method'
I was wondering if any one had tried giberic acid or some similar chemical particularly on Acers.i found the links on the acid but it does not mention Acer's in particular
I have read that orange juice mentioned or am I having my leg pulled?

    Bookmark   February 17, 2004 at 3:40AM
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wasabi_(Z6a WesternNC)

I've got seedlings galore...probably six hundred or more. I spent maybe fifteen minutes picking them off the tree November 1st...stripped the wings off (I know that is controversial) while I watched the news, soaked them overnite in a coffee cup of hot tap water, mixed them with damp (not wet) peat, sand and perlite in a ziplock, marked the date with a ballpoint and threw them in the lower back shelf of the fridge. I checked them in late Feb (about ninety days later)...noticed they were starting to sprout and put them in sand/peat/perlite flats under sixteen hour florescents. They are now an inch and a half high with true leaves. Easy as effort at all


    Bookmark   February 18, 2004 at 8:59PM
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Thanks sabi
I appreciate winter sowing does the trick but it is now February I dont want to wait until next winter. I am trying the aluminium foil in fridge method, said to shorten the time considerably
But still looking for a quicker method, who knows there may be a genius out there

    Bookmark   February 20, 2004 at 4:41AM
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Soeur(z6b TN)

As far as I know there isn't a workaround to Acer's need for a cold moist period before germination. The seed has a built-in germination inhibitor that is overcome by the chemical reactions within the seed that take place in cold stratification. Although you can probably shorten the time to 6-8 weeks with typical hardy species, you can't trick the seed out of this need.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2004 at 2:07PM
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wasabi_(Z6a WesternNC)


I don't know that you will have to wait til next winter. I do know that after about ninety days in our fridge my seeds just "woke up". With only occasional light, reasonably constant temperature and no other disturbances, the seeds had no way to know what time of year it was, so I assume they have an internal clock that tells them when they have been cold enough for the right length of time...then they simply sprout. Let us know how your experiments work...but I don't think you will find more of a genius than mother nature!


    Bookmark   February 24, 2004 at 5:27PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Hi Len, I too am curious if anyone knows a way to shorten the time. I stratified my seeds at room temperature for 10 days and now will keep them in the fridge for a few months.

By the way, what is the aluminum foil in the fridge trick? Is it basically just storing them in foil instead of plastic or something? Curious as I've never heard of this.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2004 at 2:35PM
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Hi Glen
Apparently if the acer seed is wrapped in damp kitchen roll,I would imagine compost would be the same and then put in an aluminium foil ,the foil stops oxygen or at least hinders it and this decreases the amount of time in the fridge and brings about a 95% germination much quicker
I am would imagine that the germinated seedlings could not do with out oxygen for too long and would be need to be checked on a weekly basis.
I have am just trying this method,I started on 18th Feb,
There was an artical on the subject by an American forestry comission, when I find the source I will post it here

    Bookmark   February 26, 2004 at 3:43AM
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Hi Glen
After a struggle I found that reference to the aluminium foil for acer stratification.
It is from the 'RNGR: reforestation,nurseries,and genetic resources' pdf.
Briefly it says,Quote. When seeds were stratified in aluminium foil pockets ,95% germination within 18 days after the onset of germination; with current methods ,germination took 46 days to reach 95% unquote

In the similar artical by Carol A Janerette it says quote soaking sugar maple seeds in water at low temperatures for 14 days before they were stratified signifcantly reduced the time required to surpass 90% germination unquote
Maple seeds are acers so it should work with them.
This later statement goes against the conventional method of soaking in hot water. Perhaps both would; hot and cold stratification
I would have emailed the artical to you but I do not know your email or snail mail address.
Come back to me if you have problems if you cannot get the site.
We both seem to be going along the same research track, please let me know if you find any suitable results.
You can find me under members as Lenh

    Bookmark   February 27, 2004 at 6:02AM
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muligus(z5 Cent. MICH)

Regarding Plant Hormones at

Gibberellins stimulate cell division and elongation, break seed dormancy, and speed germination. The seeds of some species are difficult to germinate; you can soak them in a GA solution to get them started.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Hormones

    Bookmark   February 28, 2004 at 7:17PM
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Thanks muligus
An interesting link which deserves some study
Best wishes

    Bookmark   February 29, 2004 at 3:22AM
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