Seed storage and pretreatment for Acer platanoides

Common name Maple (Norway)
Scientific name Acer platanoides
Storage characteristics Intermediate (?)a
Storage moisture content and temperature 10-15% @ < 0°Ca
Dormancy characteristics Deep
Pretreatment method 16 (12-20) weeks cold (c. 4°C)
See pretreatment of deeply dormant species
Efficacy of pretreatment / remarks Generally effective - although pretreatment durations, and numbers of repeat cycles may vary significantly between seedlots (dry slowly)
Approximate date to initiate artificial pre-treatment (for 1 March sowing) 8 November


Storage characteristics

Intermediate - seeds that can only be partially dried or need very slow, careful drying. They deteriorate more quickly than 'orthodox' seeds but more slowly then 'recalcitrant' seeds.

Orthodox - seeds that can be dried without harm, and once dried can be frozen, stored for years with little deterioration and relatively easily revived.

Recalcitrant - seeds that cannot be dried or frozen and are therefore short-lived.

(?) - indicates storage characteristics are not yet fully understood.

a Maximum advisable storage c. 3years @ c. 10% moisture content & -10°C

Pre-treatment method

Figures in brackets indicate that different seedlots often require different pretreatment durations. There are three potential courses of action:

  • Adhere to the pretreatment duration in bold, with the knowledge that the maximum potential germination of the seedlot may be sacrificed for the sake of simplicity.
  • Inspect the pretreating seed regularly. Sow when c. 10% of seed is chitted, with the hope that this is indicative that the remaining seeds are now close to germination.
  • Inspect the pretreating seed regularly. At suitable intervals, remove chitted seeds (by hand, flotation, and/or sieving). Sow chitted seeds and return balance to pretreatment until no more seeds germinate.

Practice Guide

CoverRaising Trees and Shrubs from Seed (PDF-648K)

Forestry Commission Practice Guide 18.