How to Germinate Maple Tree Seeds


Maple trees are a popular and beautiful hardwood tree that grows abundantly in the central and northeastern regions of North America. Mature maple trees may be as tall as 80 feet and are also prolific seed producers. Maple seeds must have a moist stratification period to germinate successfully. This means that the seeds must have moisture and then exposure to cold temperatures just above freezing for a set period. When a gardener meets these requirements, maple seeds have a high rate of germination.

Step 1

Place the maple seeds into the container and add room-temperature water to the container to cover the seeds. Set the seeds aside where they will not be disturbed for 48 hours.

Step 2

Fill the plastic bag approximately half full with peat moss.

Step 3

Drain the seeds after 48 hours and place them in the plastic bag with the peat moss. Remove excess air from the bag and seal it.

Step 4

Place the sealed bag into the refrigerator. Keep the bag in the refrigerator for approximately three months. You must keep the seeds at temperatures between 34 and 46 degrees during this stratification process.

Step 5

Fill the pots almost to the top with potting soil. You will need one pot for each seed.

Step 6

Remove the seeds from the refrigerator after the three-month period and plant each seed in a pot. Cover the seeds with approximately ½-inch of potting soil and water generously after planting.

Step 7

Place the pots in a location with temperatures approximately 70 degrees. Keep the soil evenly moist. Provide approximately six hours of light for the seedlings after germination.

Step 8

Transplant the seedlings outdoors when they are at least 4 inches tall and all threat of spring frost is over. Choose a site with full sun and ample room for the full-size maple tree to grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Maple seeds
  • Container
  • Water (room temperature)
  • Plastic sealing bag (gallon size)
  • Peat moss
  • Refrigerator
  • Pots (6-inch diameter)
  • Potting soil
  • Trowel


  • Maple Trees
Keywords: maple trees, maple seeds, stratify maple seeds

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator and regular contributor to "Natural News." She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, crocheter, painter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. Hatter's Internet publications specialize in natural health and she plans to continue her formal education in the health field, focusing on nursing.