Crimson King Maple Tree Seeds

Mar. 29, 2010

If you own maple trees you’re sure to have noticed, even cursed, the “helicopter” seeds. They fall all over threatening to grow a tree every where they land… as if we didn’t have enough to weed.

I’ve walked by our Crimson King Maple Tree thousands of times without ever noticing a hint of seed or seedling. It wasn’t until last year, when I started learning about tree and shrub propagation, that I started looking more closely at our majestic deep red Crimson King.

crimson-king-maple-treeIts a beautiful maple tree, soaring 40 feet in the air, filling the sky with gorgeous crimson leaves. Crimson Kings have been wildly popular in cities because of their tolerance to pollution, so its not hard to find one. Some people in the gardening forums dislike the Crimsons because of their darker color, and because they are full and draw a lot of dense shade, making it difficult to grow anything underneath. I agree, it’s important to plant it in the right spot, usually away from the house… but we have one right in front, and every year its gorgeous.

Last autumn, I went hunting to collect seeds and came up dry and disappointed. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. Maybe this tree doesn’t make many seeds. Maybe they were all eaten up by the squirrels.

crimson-king-maple-tree-seedlingThis week was the third time I went out to the tree, looking for buds, wondering when new growth would come, when I noticed something bright green standing out from the grass. It only took a moment to figure out what it was, and when I looked around, I was delighted to find hundreds of little seedlings sprouting up… ALL over the front yard. I must have mowed these little gems down year after year without even a thought. I love these little surprises and was so pleased with my ‘gift’. No seed collecting or storage. No stratification, germination or any other shuns to mess with. They just grew.

I figure I better grab them before they’re so big I’m leaving craters. So there I am, digging in the middle of the front yard, neighbors questioning. I hadn’t even gotten a quarter of the way around the maple tree before I collected 98 of these little seedlings. They lift pretty easily but its a careful process as the roots are tender.

crimson-king-maple-tree-seedlings2

I found a deep container, drilled some extra drainage holes near the bottom and planted them in 3″ apart. Works for now. If I were to collect them all, I’d have almost 400 new Crimson King Seedlings! Good thing we have a big yard.

I’ve read that Crimson King’s may not always come true from seed, that the leaves might have a muddy reddish green color if not propagated by grafting. Time will tell.



Posts in this series:
Crimson King Maple Tree Seeds Part 2
Crimson King Maple Tree Seeds Part 3



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33 Responses to “Crimson King Maple Tree Seeds”

  1. David says:

    Please give me a response…I am very interested in some seed or seedlings. Where do you live. ?

  2. Trisha says:

    David, Sorry about your comments going all over the place. Some of my code was messing the comments up pretty fierce! I’ll email you now :)

  3. Frank Edwards says:

    are you selling any of these seedling? if so, lease let me know the details. Thanks

  4. Tim says:

    please let me know if your going to sell them and how much please

    • Trisha says:

      Tim, it’s great to see this much interest. As of today, the seedlings are only about 4″ tall and pretty unstable, I couldnt ship them yet. Less than half have developed a nice deep red color, so I’m left with about 40 seedlings. I want to try to get some cuttings to root this season, though Im reading it might be difficult. If it works, I should have a bunch for you.

  5. David says:

    I wish you Good Luck ! :)
    Are all seedlings red ?

    • Trisha says:

      David, Not all the seedlings were red. Of those 400, I picked out 40 that were red, Id say maybe 30 are still alive. Makes you think twice before you buy seeds! You can see photos of the red ones here: http://cultivatorscorner.com/crimson-king-maple-tree-pt2

      I picked up a copy of ‘The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation’ which says I can take cuttings! 3″ long, 2 nodes, Mid-June and Mid-July for best success rate. It also says use bottom heat at 75 degrees (which Im not doing). I’ll be updating this post with the results. If that fails I still have Grafting and Tissue Culture left to try… once I learn how! :D

  6. David says:

    oh… i have thougt that all seedlings were red. so we need many seeds ;)
    If you are interested in some seed that I can collect and send you just say. Should I send you a list ?

  7. Bob says:

    Do you know if the leaves are crimson color in the first year of growth?

    • Trisha says:

      Of all the seedlings that sprouted, Id estimate that 10% of them are that deep crimson color. So far, yes, they’ve held their color throughout the first year of growth. Keeping them alive is another story! Of the 40 that I dug, there are 5 left. They either fried in the sun, or rotted under mist. In the meantime, I’ve read that seeds are hard to grow, so if you try them, try more than a few, or keep them in a maintained environment, or at least protected from the sun and wind for a while.

      Best of Luck!

  8. Roberta G. says:

    Hello!! I love maple trees!
    It reminds me when I travelled to Canada :-) So many good memories!!
    I’d love to have a tree like that in my garden. I live in Brazil. Do you sell seeds?
    How much is it? Would you ship them overseas?
    I bought a pack of 5 seeds but none of them sprout… sad :-(
    I would like to try again :-)

    Thanks :-)
    Roberta

    • Trisha says:

      Roberta,

      Ive decided not to sell the seeds until I’ve tested and have a good method for success. Crimson King Maples are difficult to grow from seed, I wouldnt want the same thing to happen to you again! So Im working on it! I agree with you, its a beautiful tree! Now to figure out the best way to make more!

  9. khalid says:

    Hi,

    I’m trying to buy (online) the seeds for following,

    Crimson King Maple
    Sugar Maple
    Northern Catalpa
    Quaking Aspen
    Red Oak

    Do you recommend any online store for the seeds?

    Thnx.

    • Trisha says:

      khalid,

      to find what youre looking for, try a combination of these:
      http://www.sheffields.com
      http://seedrack.com

      At sheffields, though, their Norway Maples all look green, not Crimson. I havent found a good place that sells Crimson King Seeds, because theyre difficult to grow from seed. Im testing again this year, by fall sowing in a more controlled environment, and if I do well, I’ll have seed to sell next season with full instructions for the highest success rate. Im also trying cuttings in the spring, and if those go well, I’ll have small 1 year trees available.

      I wish you the best of luck on your search!

  10. Paola says:

    Trisha:
    Hi, I´m from Argentina (in Southamerica) and Iam interested in these type of tree. Please, let me know if you sell seeds and if there is anyway to send it overseas.
    The place where I live is cold in winter (between 1 and 4 minnor 0) and warm-hot in summer ¿it is possible to growth here?
    Thanks.

    • Trisha says:

      Paolo, Im sorry to say that this tree probably wouldnt do well in Argentina. The highest zone rated for the Norway Maple is zone 7. It needs a cold dormancy period to grow well. I was only able to find one crimson colored tree that will grow well in your zone. Look up Red Spurge or “Euphorbia cotinifolia” It doesnt grow as large as a Maple, but boy is it gorgeous. Hope that helps!

  11. Dan says:

    Hi David

    I was wondering if you have seeds of this tree you could please sell me, and how much. I live in South Florida. Can these trees grow here?

    I hadnt seen any, as the area seems to be pushing “native florida trees” in public areas, so you only see native to florida trees in the streets

    Please let me know

    Thanks

    • Trisha says:

      Dan, youre just a little too far south for this tree. Its hardy to zone 7, im afraid its a little too hot down there for a Crimson Maple to do well. BUT! You can grow crepe myrtles. Boy am I jealous! Also the japanese maples are very nice as well.

      • Dan says:

        I got Japanese maple fireglow or (something like that) seeds on ebay recently but I dont want to plant them yet. They say you have to boil them before planting them which is kinda weird. Shouldnt I just put them on the ground and take care of them?

        Plz let me know

        Thanks

        BTW It sucks that the crimson cant grow here :/ south florida could use some purples on the summer

        • Trisha says:

          Youre supposed to boil the seeds because they have a very thick coating and its hard for the little guys to actually germinate. In natural conditions, it might take 2 years for the shell to soften enough to germinate. I know its a pain but if they recommend boiling, you’ll have much better success rate. Also, here in the north, were supposed to give them a cold treatment in the fridge for a couple months. That might not be so for south florida, might want to ask if the seller knows anything about growing them in your zone. Also, when they sprout, they’ll need shade. You could build a little temporary 3 foot structure if you want to plant them in their permanent spot. PVC hoops or cheap lumber works well. Cover the structure with snow fencing or a white bedsheet which is what I use. Or plant them in pots so they’re easy to move around.

          Everyone should have some purple plants in their yard!!! I’ve been looking it up and there arent many that grow in warmer zones. I have a purple smoke tree thats probably the most gorgeous thing in my garden right now. Not sure if there are any varieties for warmer zones. Also, I found a plant called ‘Euphorbia cotinifolia’ which would work in your zone. It does only grow from 6 to 12 feet, but people who have it seem to love it. http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/62010/

          • Dan says:

            The pics they have show how a beautiful plant the continfolia is!! :D

            I am thinking on putting the seeds when ready on pots at least for now

            I went in may to Michigan and saw some grey pines that are nonexistant on my area. Really forgeous too. Do you know anything about these guys plz?

            Thanks in advance :D

            • Trisha says:

              I like the cotinifolia also, looks quite striking. Also, I agree that pots are the best way to go for your maples. They’re easiest to protect in pots. If you have very harsh weather you can bring them inside and when they’re strong enough its easy to get them in the ground, especially in a fiber pot.

              I dont know much about the gray pine since they wouldnt survive in my zone, but looks like a great choice for warmer zones. Sounds like an excellent grower as well, 45 feet in 15 years. Its native to California but looks like the right pine for your area. Someone in arkansas grew them from seed and reported they were doing great! http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/63706/

  12. SALLY says:

    Never seen this crimson tree before. Possible to grown it in Malaysia’s climate?

    • Trisha says:

      Sally, What Hardiness Zone are you in? The Norway Maple, Crimson King can be grown successfully in zones 2-7.

  13. Joe says:

    I am interested in seedlings this fall,Do you still have

  14. bamby15 says:

    hey, i’m doing a report for school about the Crimson king maple. I was wondering if you had any helpful facts about these trees. thank you!

  15. Charlie says:

    So pretty! Is this a mutant or something you buy from the nursery?

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