Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)
2 grams (approx 34 seeds) £1.35
5 grams (approx 85 seeds) £1.95
10 grams (approx 170 seeds) £3.65
25 grams (approx 425 seeds) £7.50
50 grams (approx 850 seeds) £12.50
100 grams (approx 1700 seeds £23.00
Please note that these seeds require a minimum of 12 weeks stratification before they will germinate. For a March 1st sowing this should begin around December 7th -further information detailed below
Use the drop down button below to select the seed quantity
Sugar maple is most abundant in the north eastern part of North America. Under optimal growing conditions it can attain heights in excess of 30 m (100 feet). Trees grown in the open have trunks that branch near the ground, forming crowns that spread 18-25 m (60-80) feet. In contrast, those found in shaded forest conditions normally develop clear, straight boles and narrow crowns.
Sugar maple trees average about 30 cm (1 foot) of height growth annually for the first 30 to 40 years. Hence a 30-year-old tree might be 15-20 cm (6 to 8 inches) in diameter and 9-11 m (30-35 feet) in height. After about 140 to 150 years, height growth ceases and radial growth slows greatly. Although rare, old-growth sugar maple stands can average 300 to 400 years in age.
Sugar maple can survive in a wide variety of soil types, but for maximum tree growth and sap production, soils should be deep, moist, and well drained. Areas generally not favorable to sugar maple establishment include swamps, dry sandy ridges, and thin rocky soils. The pH of soils supporting sugar maple ranges from 3.7 (strongly acidic) to 7.3 (slightly alkaline), but is most commonly found on soils with a pH of 5.5 to 7.3.
The bark on young trees is dark grey, but as the tree ages the bark develops rough vertical grooves and ridges (fissures) and may appear dark brown. On mature trees, the bark typically appears to have long plates that peel along the side edge.
The flowers of sugar maple are greenish yellow with long stalks appearing in drooping clusters and are pollinated by bees. Fruits that result from flower pollination usually mature in about 10 to 12 weeks and become ripe in September or October.
A sugar maple stand managed for the production of maple sap is commonly referred to as a sugar bush or sugar grove. The ideal tree in such a stand has special genetically and environmentally controlled characteristics that provide for a large amount of sweet sap to be produced annually. Most important of these characteristics is a large crown in which many leaves are exposed to direct sunlight. Sap flow is also enhanced by large stem diameters, which develop from wide, deep crowns. Hence open-grown trees with wide crowns favor high sap production rates.
Sugar maple has long been valued as a hardwood timber species because of the wood's hardness and resistance to shock. In early America, the wood was used for a variety of household items, including rolling pins, scoops, apple grinders, and cheese presses. Today its uses include lumber for general construction, flooring, furniture, cabinet work, and wooden ware. The high density of sugar maple wood makes it a popular fuel for home heating.
Sugar maple is a popular ornamental tree because of its tolerance to shade, spreading form, and brilliant autumn foliage.
Germination, Sowing and After Care Information for
Sugar Maple (acer saccharum)
First prepare a free draining substrate into which the seeds are to be mixed, this can be a 50/50 mixture of compost and sharp sand, or perlite, vermiculite. The chosen substrate needs to be moist (but not wet), if you can squeeze water out of it with your hand it is too wet and your seeds may drown and die.
Mix the seeds into the substrate, making sure that their is enough volume of material to keep the seeds separated. Place the seed mixture into a clear plastic bag (freezer bags, especially zip-lock bags are very useful for this -provided a little gap is left in the seal for air exchange) If it is not a zip-lock type bag it needs to be loosely tied.
Write the date on the bag so that you know when the pre-treatment was started.
Next the seeds are required to undergo a cold period to break the dormancy, this is easily achieved by placing the bag of seeds and compost in the fridge at (4 Celsius or 39F) for around 12 weeks. It is quite possible for the seeds to germinate in the bag at these temperatures when they are ready to do so, if they do, just remove them from the bag and carefully plant them up.
When the period of pre-treatment has finished the seed should be ready to be planted. Small quantities can be sown in pots or seed trays filled with a good quality compost and cover them with a thin layer of compost no more than 1 cm deep. For larger quantities it is easiest to sow the seeds in a well prepared seedbed outdoors once the warm and cold pre-treatments have finished and wait for the seedlings to appear.
It has also been found that fluctuating pretreatment temperatures can give the best germination results and I have myself had excellent results by keeping the mixed seeds in a cold shed through the winter for the cold stage of their pretreatment and allowing the temperature to fluctuate naturally.
Do not expose newly sown seeds to high temperatures (above 25 Celsius). Keep the seedlings well watered and weed free.
Growth in the first year is usually between 10 and 40 cm depending on the time of germination and cultural techniques and developing seedlings are usually trouble free. Allow them to grow for 1 or 2 years before planting them in a permanent position.