Purple ghost Acer seed germination

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Purple ghost Acer seed germination

Post  marc74 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:27 pm

Just received some purple ghost Acer seeds here in UK

What is the best method for germination?
Stratify in fridge till November or wait and stratify etc or pot up in sheltered area in garden and see if germinate next spring?

Thanks

marc74
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Purple ghost Acer seed germination

Post  AlainK on Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:04 pm

Firstly, Acer palmatum cultivars are usually propagated by grafting: seeds are often sterile or almost never fully match the parent's characteristics.

But some can sometimes, and you can even have unusual interesting seedlings, especially if the parent tree is grown near other cultivars  Wink

I suppose it's not from a recognised professional supplier, but from a friend's tree or from E-Bay?

Secondly, it's very early to collect seeds: they're probably from last year. Unless they've been kept in a dry refrigerated environment, they might have lost a lot of their germination potential.

Finally, Acer palmatum seeds are usually stratified for 3-4 months before planting in a frost-free environment. That is if you place them in a ziplock bag with 75% sand, 25% peat moss and a spoonful of active charcoal in early October, you have a good chance of seeing them germinating in March.

So I would just keep them in a paper bag in the fridge until October, and then stratify them.

PS: good reference, must read:
http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/forums/showthread.php?t=4344&highlight=purple+ghost

AlainK
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Purple ghost Acer seed germination

Post  marc74 on Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:12 pm

Great info thanks

Yes I buy the odd random seeds on ebay. Odd thing has taken.

marc74
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Purple ghost Acer seed germination

Post  Leo Schordje on Thu Jul 30, 2015 10:47 pm

A little additional information.

The name 'Purple Ghost' is a cultivar name, cultivar means from a single seed, roughly the same as clone, the name only applies to the parent, cuttings from the parent or trees grafted with scion wood from the original 'Purple Ghost'. They are all genetically identical. The seedlings can not be called 'Purple Ghost' because they are not genetically identical to the parent tree. The seedlings will be just Acer palmatum seedlings. They might be good and attractive seedlings, but they can not legally be called 'Purple Ghost'. The name is trademarked by Buchholtz Nursery in Oregon. Only material that traces back to cuttings or scion wood from Buchholz can be called 'Purple Ghost'. Its a name thing. Not a big deal in bonsai.

However, I have a grafted 'Purple Ghost' and love it. Right now it is a landscape tree, growing out until the trunk is thick enough for bonsai. I also hope to root cuttings from it as its leaf colors are stunning. The leaves are large, and does not seem to ramify its branch structure as finely as cultivars like 'Koto Hime'. Likely best for bonsai 24 inches tall and larger. But it is a beautiful cultivar. Hopefully the seedlings being half 'Purple Ghost' will have some good colors.

Maple seeds are not the easiest of seeds to sprout. If the seed is harvested fresh, and planted immediately without drying out, usually 25% to 75% will germinate immediately. That's the easy part. If the seed had been allowed to dry out, which sounds like your case, a "double dormancy" is required. It needs at least 2, but more likely 3 months warm stratification followed by 3 months cold stratification. To do this first soak the dry seed 24 to 48 hours in a glass of water. Viable seed should soak up water and sink to the bottom of the glass. Then drain the seeds off the water. The floaters are probably too dry to ever germinate, but keep them just in case. I use a damp sphagnum moss, place the seed in the middle of a wad of moist but not dripping wet moss, then put that in a plastic bag. Leave sit on your desk or somewhere where temperatures are above 60 F for the warm stratification period. Seed should swell, plump up, but otherwise not sprout. Check occasionally and remove any that do sprout and pot them up. (maybe a few will, but most won't) Then place them in the refrigerator for the 3 month cold stratification. After danger of frost is past, plant out in a pot or seedling tray outside.

If danger of frost has not passed and the seeds have past their 3 months in the refrigerator, don't worry, you can hold them there until the right time of year for planting out. You can hold them in the 'fridge' up to about 6 months without a problem. If while in the refrigerator it looks like they are sprouting, don't panic, in the cold they will grow a little, then sit dormant until the warmth of spring comes. Leave them in the refrigerator until its time to plant out.

As an aside, Oaks send out a long tap root while in cold storage, but no leaves, if you take acorns out early, they won't grow even though there is a tap root formed. Oaks do not require double dormancy, just a single cold stratification length of which is species dependant. Bur oak need a good, cold 4 months.

Leo Schordje
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: Purple ghost Acer seed germination

Post  Sponsored content Today at 4:37 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum