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Excess maple seeds this year... Need some?

 
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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.
 
Jordan Holland
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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.
 
Jay Angler
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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.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Oh. My....
The trees are throwing massive amounts again. The ground is covered. There are drifts.
The purple fabric in the front is doing well, REALLY glad it is, as I had to plant some stuff out before I wanted to. I loosened it over the growing plants, and they are fine and happy.
The white and blue in the back is not faring as well. We got that late April snow that trashed so many people's crops, few of my plants are in, so that was ok, but the inch of heavy wet snow ripped the cloth, and it slid down to the ground around the poles, and there is a lot of damage to it. I left it where it was, in case of what happened happening...
The maples are amok, the cloth on the ground is at least stopping a bunch of it. The cloth that is still up is sagging HARD due to the weight, and anyplace I had a crack of overlap that I had clothespinned shut is leaking down. So it's still at least channeling them to a place where it's easier to remove them. I'm still pulling last year's maples this spring. The more I remove before they sprout, the happier I'm going to be.

So, the analysis of this is "better than zero, would have been even better had the snow not fallen."

Anyone want any maple seeds?
Pretty high odds they'll sprout well!! Need some maples trees? :D
Unfortunately, I can't tell the difference this year between seeds of my neighbor's maple that turns SO RED i the fall, and these rowdy just green ones.
I'm trying to gather myself some red ones, but I'm not sure exactly of what I'm getting. Last year there were a bunch of wings that looked red, this year, either they aren't red, or they came down earlier and the color has faded.

ARGH!!!
Bad placement of the garden areas at this rental, but there are no better ones. I'm using the best.
 
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If it's actually possible to gift me some for planting, then yes, I'd really appreciate it. I live in Tacoma, need to tree property in northern Nevada.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Yup, it totally is easy to send you seeds. I have all the stuff for my Seeds Want to go Places! shipping sitting right here. Check your PM's :D

 
Jay Angler
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Pearl Sutton wrote:

The trees are Thorin massive amounts again. The ground is covered. There are drifts.

Does anyone near you make biochar? Seems to me they'be be great for that, although you might need to mix them with sawdust. Alas, I'm too far away to do it for you and at this point I only do it in the winter. I'm sure your new property would love some biochar.
 
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Maybe your tree seeds are robust or your soils more fertile, or both, maple seeds don't cause me trouble. I guess I have one volunteer tree out of one million seeds. I have plenty of eastern redbud seedlings though.
 
Pearl Sutton
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May: I don't know what it is. Last year I removed all the seeds I could before they sprouted, I still pulled around 1000 baby trees that did sprout.
This year I'm trying to remove more before they can sprout, I don't have energy for pulling. Part of it is probably that I have a lot of edges the mower can't reach and I HATE trimming, so I just neglect it. They LOVE my edges, the edge is where it's at...



And the edge is where the maple trees like to be.
I do try to keep the soil good. This is only a rental, not my home, but I still put a lot of effort into improving it. The moles help me, they keep it loose a lot of places (much to the horror of the neighbors.)
 
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Howdy!
I know there are maples that are considered to be native to my area, although what trees remain are oaks and pines, with a sprinkling of other trees mixed in to keep things interesting.
I would happily try a few, see if they could get going here. I haven't yet had any luck with native mesquite, but maybe it just needs something *Not Live Oak* or some other Ilex offshoot to compete against?
Either way, I'll happily pay postage for a few maples. I miss them, and the Sweet Gum, and the Sassafras trees that are understory in the East Texas Piney Woods.
 
Pearl Sutton
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Kristine: check your PMs :D
 
Pearl Sutton
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I think they are finally mostly done coming down. The fabric worked best when it was laying on the ground.
Where there was a crack things like this happened:

Maple seeds through a crack


Looks like tomorrow is seed clean up day. Hopefully not too much more will fall.

:D
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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My poor baby maples have never received so many malevolent glares as they have this year. They thank you Pearl, ever so much.
 
Pearl Sutton
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And the Color Spiders have attacked my garden again! This year I have white, pink, blue and two shades of purple spiders, netting my whole garden up with stuff to keep the maple seeds off.
And a bonus, the beds match the carp kites!  https://permies.com/t/211072/Carp-Kites-Spring#1775546

I'd claim I meant to do that, but I'd be lying :D

And a tip o' the sunhat to Kristine Keeney, who named the Color Spiders!



Color-spiders_1696-sm.jpg
Color Spiders have attacked my garden!
Color Spiders have attacked my garden!
Color-spiders_1697-sm.jpg
Color Spiders have attacked my garden!
Color Spiders have attacked my garden!
Color-spiders_1698-sm.jpg
Color Spiders have attacked my garden!
Color Spiders have attacked my garden!
 
Jay Angler
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So when are you going to build a bio-digester and turn this copious resource into biodiesel for your tractor? That ought to be right up your alley. You built the solar house heater, so one of those might be a source of heat to keep the reactor warm enough to work? Or do those sorts of reactors make methane instead of diesel.... I would think the seeds would have a high fat content, but I suppose I need to research that. I've heard of pellet stoves that run on corn seeds. Could one run on maple seeds if you had a simple crusher that removed the twirly part of them?

If nothing else, collect them and mix them into your biochar pit.
 
Pearl Sutton
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I could!
When? Oooh, they have a bad tendency to come down when I'm trying to get the garden planted!
Maybe one of these years, won't be this one, I am way behind, never got my beds tweaked in fall, s oI'm trying to jump start them now.
But one of these days there may be something terrible done to them :D
 
Jay Angler
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Pearl Sutton wrote: Oooh, they have a bad tendency to come down when I'm trying to get the garden planted!

Most seeds keep a really long time. Since your beds are covered with fabric, I was thinking you could just fold the fabric from the edges in, then download all the seeds into cardboard boxes until you want to use them for whatever nefarious thing you want to try.

I collect up the Doug fir cones - most of the seeds will be gone into squirrels, but people use them as fire starters as is. I layer them in with sawdust in the pans I use in the wood stove to make biochar. Sawdust tends to be too dense, so it may not char evenly. The layers of cones trap a bit of air and break up the space and the bin seems to char quite well. That's what got me thinking, along with you mentioning on permies recently that a neighbor gave you a large downed branch to "burn in dirt"! It sounds as if your maple seed problem is much greater than the fir cones that land on my path to my garden and are annoying to walk over.
 
Pearl Sutton
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The problem with the maple seeds is they have an amazing germination rate, probably over 80%. Thousands and thousands of baby trees. As is, even with covering as much as I can, I still pull hundreds. The mower will kill any in the places I mow, but I try to only mow what I must to placate my neighbors. All of my garden areas are non-mow, as are some other areas I can get away with. And they all sprout hundreds of baby trees, not all at once, so you can just pull them once, but staggered, both all year long, and some show up the next year. After they fall, the wings brown and break off quickly and you can't even find them to remove them.

I'm not a fan of them, or didja guess that?  :D  
 
May Lotito
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There are lots of trees around my yard that self seed very easily: maple, red cedar, mulberry, redbud etc. Sometimes I missed a few in my flower bed and they get too hard to pull. Then I use a chisel and stab into the soil to cut the main roots. Without the crown the underground part won't grow back anymore.
 
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