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ACER saccharum

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Sugar Maple

Common name: Purple Sugar Maple

Family: Aceraceae

Characteristics: Deciduous tree to 12-15 m

Seeds per packets: 10

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Sugar maples are most easily recognized by their familiar five-pointed leaf. This is the same leaf you can see on the Canadian flag.

The steam is stout with greyish bark that is vertically fluted. The leaves are deep green above, with a silvery underside, and are deeply divided into 5 lobes with serrate margins. The flowers are greenish yellow.

Sugar maples are also widely known for their delicious maple syrup, sugar is acquired in large quantities from the sap. A tree of average size usually produces from 80 to 180 litres of sap in a season.

Prefers a light, rich soils in a protected, shady position when young, but full sun when mature. It is frost resistant but drought tender.

Although seed can be sown most of the year in Australia seed is generally best sown in spring or autumn, avoid the coldest and hottest months of the year. The optimum germination temperature for germination is around 18-22°C

Cold stratification is recommended.
Cold treatment may not be critical for germination to occur in colder regions but should give increased germination rates.

This can be replicated by cold stratification in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks. Alternatively over wintering in the garden in cold climates will assist germination.

  1. Soak in water overnight.
  2. Sow seed the depth of the seed width.
  3. Water with fine mist spray to avoid disturbance of the seed.
  4. Ensure the mix is moist but not water logged.
  5. Place the container in plastic bag.
  6. Place the bagged container in the refrigerator for 6-8 weeks.
  7. Germination generally occurs in 14-28 days when moved to warmer temperatures after the period of cold treatment.

General note: Seeds of many natives are dormant and require specific conditions or pre-treatment for germination.
Do not be too hasty to discard seed that does not germinate, seeds will often lay dormant until the conditions are similar to their natural requirements for germination to occur. Containers put to one side will often surprise long after they were discarded.


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