Question: I have a wild red maple tree and I would like to start other trees from this one. What is the best method and when do the seeds appear on the tree?
Answer: Since seedlings will show variation from the parent plant, the best way to propagate your maple would be by tip cuttings. Take 6 to 8 inch lengths in mid summer and use a rooting hormone, then allow the cuttings to stay in their pots until the following spring when you can plant them out. If you want to try some seeds, plant them fresh in the fall (you will see the samaras dangling -- these are the "helicopters" we knew in childhood) and they should germinate next spring, otherwise save them, soak them in water for a day or two, then cold stratify them for a few months, then plant. To cold stratify you can place them in barely damp medium, place that in a plastic bag and put it in the refrigerator. Good luck with your project!
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