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Acer (saccharinum)

Gregory Hoss
Nursery Manager
George O. White State Forest Nursery
PO Box 119
Licking, Missouri 65542-0119

Family Scientific Name: Aceraceae
Family Common Name: Maple Family
Scientific Name: Acer saccharinum L.
Common Synonym: Acer barbatum Michx.
Common Name: Silver maple
Species Code: ACESAC
Ecotype: South Central Missouri
General Distribution: Silver maple is found from New Brunswick and southern Quebec, west to southwestern Ontario and northern Michigan south to Minnesota, the eastern edge of the Great Plains states and throughout the eastern United States; from Maine to Florida. Silver maple is a dominant canopy species in northern floodplain forests and wetland forests. It is absent from higher elevations of its range and otherwise, it is found only in streamside communities and lake margins, occasional swamps, gullies and depressions of slow drainage. Our seed sources are from south central Missouri.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Bareroot (field grown)
Stock Type: 1+0
Time To Grow: 8 Months
Target Specifications: Height: 36 in<br> Caliper:0.25 to 0.50 in<br> Root System: Root system must balance top growth.
Propagule Collection: Seeds are purchased from local people who collect within a 50 mile radius of the nursery.
The indehiscent fruit is two fused samaras that mature from April to June.
Propagule Processing: Samaras can be de-winged by rubbing collections over a screen, but are usually planted without de- winging. Empty samaras can be removed from the seed lot using a gravity table.
There are 1,990 to 7,070 seeds per kilogram (900 to 3,200 seeds per pound) (Zasada, Strong 2004).Silver maple seeds are recalcitrant. Seeds can be stored for about one year if seed moisture levels are maintained at about 80%, however, we sow seeds immediately after processing.
Pre-Planting Treatments: We sow seeds in May after processing by hand into prepared field beds.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Soils: Our field soils are silty clay loams.
The spring before planting, we amend the soils with 700 lbs/acre of 1N:3 P205:5K20, grow a soybean cover crop, and fumigate in the fall. We use Roundup Ready soybeans so we can control weeds by using glycosate herbicide without harming the cover crop. During early August, we disk under the cover crop and disk the soils several times during the next 6 weeks to obtain a smooth soil surface. Soils are fumigated in late September.
Field Bed Preparation: We mark out and form beds as needed. Beds are prepared with a rototiller/seedbed former and are typically 4 to 6 inches high and 4 ft wide. Fields are cultivated for weeds as needed throughout the growing season.
Irrigation: We use overhead irrigation with two inch pvc pipe that can be moved from field to field each year. Our principle water source is from 3 on-site wells and is very good quality water.
Establishment Phase: We sow seeds at least .25 inches deep to protect them from deer, rodents and birds. Seeds are covered and irrigated when soils appear to be drying out on warm days. We apply old sawdust and hydromulch after sowing.
Length of Establishment Phase: 1 month
Active Growth Phase: Fertilization: We apply ammonium sulfate 21-0-0-24 with a mechanical spreader. We put on the first application the last week of May and to only those 1+0 seedlings that have been germinated for at least 5 or 6 weeks. We put down our last application during the last week of July. We apply fertilizer at the rate of 125 lbs/acre. Frequency of application depends on the species and how they look that season. We irrigate for at least 45 minutes following all fertilizer applications. This insures that foliage will not burn and incorporates fertilizer into the root zone.
Pruning depth is at least 10 inches for 1+ 0 stock.
Irrigate heavily for 2 to 3 days prior to pruning to saturate the root zone. Set pruning blade to slightly wrench seedlings as they are pruned. Check pruning depth frequently and adjust as needed. Irrigate for a minimum of 2 hours following root pruning to settle soil back around roots. This step is critical to eliminate post root pruning mortality. Irrigate field heavily for 2 to 3 days to further settle the soil.
TOP PRUNING PROCEDURES: We top prune only to keep seedlings from being damaged by the mechanical lifter. Our clients prefer seedlings that have not been severely shoot pruned.
Length of Active Growth Phase: 4 months
Hardening Phase: Hardening begins during August. No fertilizer is applied after August. Irrigation frequency and duration is shortened and applied only when needed.
Length of Hardening Phase: 3 months
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Lifting window is from late November to April, depending on species. We try to obtain a large a root mass as possible. We try to lift when the majority of leaves have dropped. Seedlings are hand lifted after the seedling beds have been undercut at an average depth of 10 or 12 inches using a lifter. Lifted nursery stock is immediately stored in cooler until graded and bundled. The majority of species are graded, bundled and shipped during February.
Length of Storage: 2-3 months
References: Zasada JC, Strong TF. 2004. The genus Acer. In: Woody Plant Seed Manual (on-line version) URL: http://wpsm.net/Acer.pdf


Hoss, Gregory. 2005. Propagation protocol for production of Bareroot (field grown) Acer saccharinum L. plants 1+0; George O. White State Forest Nursery Licking, Missouri. 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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