How to Grow Japanese Red Maple Trees From Seed


Japanese red maple trees have one of the most eye-catching fall displays of any yard tree. When temperatures dip, the seeds of the Japanese red maple begin to ripen. Once dry, they will fall to the ground, propelled by a small wing that is attached to the base of the seed. Japanese red maples can be expensive to purchase, but starting them from seed requires very little cost or effort.

Step 1

Gather the Japanese red maple seeds from the ground or directly from the tree. Gently remove the wing from each seed.

Step 2

Place the seeds into a container that is able to withstand heat. Pour hot tap water over the seeds and allow them to remain submerged for 24 hours.

Step 3

Mix a combination of equal parts peat moss and sand and pour into a plastic bag. Place the seeds into the mixture and moisten lightly. Poke several holes in the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 100 days.

Step 4

Prepare a planting location by removing all grass and rocks. Use a garden fork to loosen the soil to a depth of 5 inches. Sow the seeds and cover with 3/8 inch of soil. Water until the soil is thoroughly moistened, but not soggy.

Step 5

Suspend a piece of snow fence 30 inches above the bed once the seedlings begin to emerge to protect them from harsh sunlight. Water the seedlings whenever the soil feels completely dry to the touch.

Step 6

Transplant the young trees to their permanent growing locations after one to two growing seasons. Do not move the trees during the growing season; wait until winter when the trees are dormant.

Things You'll Need

  • Heat-proof container
  • Plastic bag
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Garden fork
  • Snow fence


  • Iowa State University: Germination of Tree Seed
  • Plant Propagation: How to Grow Japanese Red Maple Trees from Seed
  • Purdue University: Growing Trees from Seed
Keywords: Japanese red maple, red maple tree, maple tree seed, plant tree seeds, propagate red maple

About this Author

Annita Lawson has been working as a freelance writer since 2004. Her work has been published in various web and print outlets, including The Dabbling Mum, A Virtuous Woman, and Pediatrics for Parents. Lawson is pursuing an Associate of Arts degree at Southeast Kentucky Community College. She enjoys sharing all that she has learned about parenting, healthy eating and living a frugal lifestyle.