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Acer (saccharinum)

John M. Englert
USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Aceraceae
Family Common Name: Maple Family
Scientific Name: Acer saccharinum
Common Name: Silver maple
Species Code: ACESAC
Ecotype: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
General Distribution: New Brunswick and Quebec to Minnesota and South Dakota to Florida, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Found in moist or wet soil, especially along river banks.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Plug + (container-field grown hybrids)
Time To Grow: 0
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Bare root seedlings, container sapling. Height: 6-16" for bare root plants; up to 84" for 3 gallon container trees. Root System: Root balls fill containers without being pot-bound or extending through drainage holes.
Propagule Collection: Collected at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, LMU Campus, Cumberland Mt. Research Center by J. Copeland on 4/25/97, 5/12/98, 5/5/99 and 4/19/00.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Not a lot of processing is needed; generally seeds are fairly clean. Bits of stem and other chaff may be hand picked from seed lots.
Seeds/Kg: Approximately 2,800-4,000.
Germination: From 8-21% of seeds planted have survived until harvest.
Purity: Around 90%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: None.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Seeds are germinated upon receipt from National Park Service in the greenhouse on desk blotter paper and under mist.

Seed Propagation Method: Hand.

Container Type and Volume: Ropak multipots, quarts, 1/2 gallon, 1,2,or 3 gallons for specimen and miscellaneous container plants.

Growing Media: Germinated on desk blotter paper, transferred into Sunshine #5 plus 180 day Nutricote SR 18-6-8 at@ 20 oz. per batch or 0.15 lb. per cu. ft. mix. Larger container plants are potted in a woody mix (3.8 cu ft. bale Sunshine #1, 4 cu. ft. of pine bark mulch, 20 oz. of 270 day Nutricote and approximately 20 oz. endo-mycorrhizae).
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: May or June when seeds are collected.

% Emergence and Date: Percent germination of seed has not been trackedsince very large numbers are spread out on several sheets of desk blotter under mist and only the germinated seeds are planted. Germination starts in 3-5 days.

Sowing/Planting Technique: Seeds are spread out on blotter paper under mist in the greenhouse upon arrival from the park. Germinated seedlings can be picked out and planted in containers (Ropak multipots) with just enough media to cover.

In May, 2000, germinated seedlings were planted directly into the woody beds rather than into multipots. These had attained the same growth by harvest as greenhouse-started plugs which were lined out during the summer.

Establishment Phase: Seedlings spend about 2 months in the greenhouse or outdoors in a protected area prior to outplanting into the woody beds. They are fertilized weekly to bi-weekly with a water soluble fertilizer and treated for pests as needed. Slow release fertilizer is important since using water-soluble only has not promoted fast growth required for outplanting in the same season.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Seedlings in multipots are transplanted to the National Plant Materials Center woody beds when they can be pulled from the containers (about 60 days from sowing).
Hardening Phase: Hardening Phase: Seedlings in containers are hardened for about 2 weeks outdoors prior to outplanting.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Total Time to Harvest: 2 years to harvest as bare root seedlings; 3 additional seasons to reach 3 gallon container size.

Harvest Date: Dormant, bareroot plants are harvested in early to mid-December.

Storage Conditions: Bareroot plants are bundled into groups of manageable size, and long roots are trimmed. Bundles areplaced into plastic bins; roots are covered with sawdust. Bins are placed into a cold storage room (40§) and watered as needed during the winter. Gallon size container plants are stored outside. Containers are laid on their side on weed barrier fabric, and covered with 2 layers of a microfoam insulating blanket. The blanket is secured over plants by threading a rope over the blanket between rebar anchors on either side of a block of plants.

Seed storage: Seed is germinated or planted upon arrival at the National Plant Materials Center. If seeds cannot be planted immediately, they are stored up to a couple of days in our seed cooler at 40§F and 35% relative humidity.

Seed dormancy: None.
Length of Storage: <b>Storage Duration:</b> December to March.
References: Brown and Brown. 1992. Woody Plants of Maryland. Port City Press, Inc.

Gleason, H and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd edition. New York Bot. Garden.

USDA NRCS National Plant Materials Center. Woody bed and container plant records. Unpublished data.


Davis, Kathy M.; Kujawski, Jennifer. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Plug + (container-field grown hybrids) Acer saccharinum plants USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2021/05/08). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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