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Excess maple seeds this year?

 
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Anyone in the Midwest: Are your maple trees seeding like crazy things this year? We had a bad storm the other night, and the ground looks like it snowed green with maple seeds, and there are still a LOT on those trees. I don't recall them being SO THICK before. I assume it's because of the flooding last year giving them good rowdy growth. Anyone else noticing this? Curious if it's just my imagination. Good LORD there's a lot! I'm headed out with a leafblower to try to find my garden bed before they take root.

PS: anyone need maple seeds? Probably silver maple, there's a pretty red one next door that probably blew a bunch in, but not sure which are it's seeds.
 
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Yes, but then again I always have plenty. Between the sugar maples and the swamp maples around the house, the swamp maples are the heaviest producers. It's amazing how they get in every nook and cranny. They have already sprouted here. I just wish they were edible...😒
 
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I gift thee with new knowledge! Eat up!

https://northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/maples-other-delicacy
 
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I wonder if it's the equivalent of a maple "mast year". We had so much pollen raining down a couple of weeks ago that anything left out was covered in pollen in about 1/2 an hour. It's a bit early to collect the seeds from our local maples, but I'll keep my eye on them!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I gift thee with new knowledge! Eat up!

https://northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/maples-other-delicacy


Joylynn: my mom, who is the one who would be shelling them says "We aren't that hungry yet! :D"
I'll remember that though, thank you! Figured they had to be good for something. I'm gonna go grab one to try.
Edit: hmm... Would need to leech those. Peeled easy though. Told mom that, she said "feel free!"

I got about a 33 gallon trash can's worth off an about 30 foot by 50 foot bed. I'm gonna end up pulling 80,000 baby maple trees, don't need to pull 45,000,000 of the things.
 
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Joylynn Hardesty wrote:I gift thee with new knowledge! Eat up!

https://northernwoodlands.org/outside_story/article/maples-other-delicacy



Thank you Joylynn, but I tried both the sprouts and the seeds and they are both TERRIBLE! I'm with Pearl's mom on this one!
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

My mom told me to give you an apple, "Great minds think alike!"

 
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I tried the peeled seeds from a box elder, and they were delicious!
Funny thing is, baby box elders are all over my neighborhood, but this one,  on my property is the first one I've seen set seed.
I actually don't mind them any more or less than other "weeds".
 
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I'v got them growing in every corner.  I put a bunch in 1 quart pots and am giving them away to my customers that buy maple syrup from us.  We have sugar and silver in our back yard.
 
Jay Angler
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One of the characteristics of "wild fruit and nuts" is that some will taste horrible, and a different plant in the same genus may taste average, and a different one again may taste great. I've definitely been told that about Salmon berries that grow in my area.

So I don't question anyone's opinion that the seed they tasted tasted terrible, but it doesn't mean that you should never taste one again. We're surrounded by Big Leaf Maple, and I've been led to believe that their seeds, when still green, taste fairly good, but that the sap is not nearly as nice as Sugar Maple. "Not as nice" hasn't stopped backyard maple tapping!
 
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Could be the tree is reacting to some type of stress experienced in the previous year. Excess seeds on Maple
 
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Second the theory  of a 'mast year'. if many other trees do it, why wouldn't maple? It's more likely in my opinion that less attention is paid to trees that don't (traditionally) produce for human consumption.

On tapping and syrup, Cornell did a study where they tapped a few different trees and none were as sugary as the sugar maple, but if i recall correctly, one was suggested for a marinade for it's fruity flavor and one just didn't taste good.

after looking, I found reference to birch syrup on Cornell's website, but the page seems broken. anyway, what i was going for was going to say: test away! If you have the equipment anyway, there is really no reason not to test trees for syrup, is there? I would take note of when you did it as well because some are probably similar to maple in that it's only good in certain conditions, but without testing you have no way of knowing when that is.

Heres a wiki link for birch, looks like it works best as a savory syrup/glaze : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch_syrup
 
Pearl Sutton
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You can definitely tap any of the maples, slightly less rich syrup results. Can also tap walnuts, and probably any other nut trees in that family.

The trees are probably amok due to last year's flooding, lots of water at the roots, and lots of runoff bringing them good nutrients. I'd say they are not stressed, they are ecstatic, you hear about how flooding kills off some things and lets others boom, these are booming.

It's making me think about how we tend to try to make our crop trees boom every year, and what it would take to make them this kind of happy.

:D
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:You can definitely tap any of the maples, slightly less rich syrup results. Can also tap walnuts, and probably any other nut trees in that family.




22 trees you can tap for syrup.
 
C. Letellier
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I am interested in maple seeds but the varieties I want are all fall seeders rather than spring.  Sugar and black maple still trying to get them to grow in this soil and want to try seed.  Transplants haven't worked.  Beyond that boxelder expecting to kill so no wanting to invest much but hoping for both wood and syrup possibly.   Finally the other one to try that has conflicting sources that some say will handle my soil is Canyon maple/big tooth maple (Acer grandidentatum)  So if I am wrong and one of these is a spring seeder anyone got these?  And if I am right and they are fall seeders anyone likely to have seed in the fall?
 
Jay Angler
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C. Letellier wrote:

Finally the other one to try that has conflicting sources that some say will handle my soil is Canyon maple/big tooth maple (Acer grandidentatum)

I remember reading years ago that maples rely on microbes in the soil, and if a seed is started in an area without those microbes, the tree will fail. Do you have any maples in your region that are growing successfully? If so, is there any way you could get a bucket of leaf mold/soil from beneath one or several in the hopes of getting the microbes that are needed? Were the trees you transplanted from actual soil, or nursery stock which may have been started from seed in sterile soil?

The Canyon maple has very fat seeds compared to our local Big Leaf maple - and it seems to have red fall colouring which our don't either, so I can't help with seed, but ours are definitely fall seeders and they pop up everywhere including our eavestroughs and in the tree duff that collected by the windshield of Hubby's old car! I hope you can get some seeds and are successful at starting them. There tends to be a lot of focus on traditional "food" trees, but the biomass of maple leaves are a genuine asset to any farm or homestead!
 
Pearl Sutton
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I've taken to drowning the seeds in my anaerobic compost bins. They are HEAVY, you wouldn't expect a bucket of them to weigh as much as they do.
I'm predicting this will be a heavy acorn year too, as well as other nuts in this area.
Possible error is some of the maples are now leafing out VERY slow, and the neighbors had showed me the bark was doing something weird a month or so ago  Maple illness?
I can't decide if this is a boom year or the last gasp of dying trees. if it's a boom year from the flooding last year, I expect all the other trees to boom too. Be prepared for a heavy nut crop, might be one.
 
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I've certainly read about some trees doing a last ditch effort to produce as many seeds as possible before dying - and I suppose that's what bamboo does when it flowers and dies  (but it's a grass). I've also read about how some trees that survive a sever storm, die within the next year or two from the stress. (My friend in Nova Scotia observed this following one of their rare hurricanes.) So, yes, Pearl, I'd watch how local trees are doing, and if some are worth saving, I'd consider babying them a little if it's a stressful weather year in the hopes they will heal and recover. If it looks as if they won't, I'd think about what baby trees you'd like to plant to replace them!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Jay Angler wrote: If it looks as if they won't, I'd think about what baby trees you'd like to plant to replace them!


They are at the rental. Hopefully I won't care what replaces them. :D
 
Jay Angler
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Jay Angler wrote: If it looks as if they won't, I'd think about what baby trees you'd like to plant to replace them!


They are at the rental. Hopefully I won't care what replaces them. :D

You may care because it's your planet! Seeds are cheap - seeds from fruit or nuts from the harvest this year - trees make rain and shade and most of the time, look after themselves!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Jay Angler wrote:You may care because it's your planet! Seeds are cheap - seeds from fruit or nuts from the harvest this year - trees make rain and shade and most of the time, look after themselves!


Damn good point. I DO care, but hopefully I won't be the one dealing with the rental at that point. if it were on my property, I'd be thinking harder about it. I have trees ready to go in there that are waiting for chaos to stop before being planted (house construction is on hold till the world calms down and I know what is going on.)  
 
Jay Angler
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

Damn good point. I DO care, but hopefully I won't be the one dealing with the rental at that point.

I was thinking after I posted it that I was sounding a little bossy, but if more of us cared more about the future than about something helping us immediately, or being "our responsibility", we might get at least our small corners of the planet safer and greener. Considering how much you've helped neighbors grow stuff this year, you've done a lot! I know you care!
 
Pearl Sutton
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I have come up with a great use for maple seeds! they make excellent dustpans for picking up worms on concrete to put them elsewhere, without hurting them. it's easy to pick up worms from dirt carefully, but hard off concrete. Yay, worms getting put where I want them (which is not dead in the garage.)
 
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Morgwino Stur wrote:Second the theory  of a 'mast year'. if many other trees do it, why wouldn't maple? It's more likely in my opinion that less attention is paid to trees that don't (traditionally) produce for human consumption.

On tapping and syrup, Cornell did a study where they tapped a few different trees and none were as sugary as the sugar maple, but if i recall correctly, one was suggested for a marinade for it's fruity flavor and one just didn't taste good.

after looking, I found reference to birch syrup on Cornell's website, but the page seems broken. anyway, what i was going for was going to say: test away! If you have the equipment anyway, there is really no reason not to test trees for syrup, is there? I would take note of when you did it as well because some are probably similar to maple in that it's only good in certain conditions, but without testing you have no way of knowing when that is.

Heres a wiki link for birch, looks like it works best as a savory syrup/glaze : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birch_syrup



We made Birch Beer this past spring using only Birch sap and yeast, no sugar, water or anything else added. My girlfriend thought my experiment was silly and thought it would taste awful. The end result is that I don't care for it and she loves it. The "boiling" process is tedious because you shouldn't (apparently) exceed 200degF, so it's really just simmering. It took about 50-60 liters of sap to get one gallon of finished beer with an alcohol content of about 6%.  
 
Pearl Sutton
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Alright. After last year's serious PITA with maple seeds, this year I got stubborn. I bought huge bolts of cheap tulle in white, turquoise, and purple, and they'll mostly be used to cover against bugs, but for now, I ran it over the entire garden beds. All three gardens here at the rental....
So for your entertainment....

The sunroot bed


Main garden bed, visible from the kitchen window


Main garden bed, over farther


Front yard bed


Out out damn maple seeds!!! I really pulled WAY too many baby maple trees last year, and raked too many, and tried to compost too many....
Memo: Garden beds under maple trees is not a good idea :D

If anyone else wants cheap tulle, I got it off ebay: Gifts International Inc  a bolt of 108 inches wide by 50 yards long is $28.00. I am hoping it'll stop squash beetles and cabbage moths.

And, incidentally, the T posts all over in the main garden bed will be holding cattle panel arches up! Small rebar posts are support for peas, then tomatoes.
 
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