Many varieties of maple are expensive, like Japanese red maple, but growing them from seed will not cost you anything. Planting maple seeds is also an excellent way to add another tree to your yard. Some varieties of maple will germinate automatically; however, many varieties of maple trees need a period of stratification in which to germinate. Stratification keeps the seeds cold and allows them to lie dormant until the warmth of spring awakens them so they may germinate.
Determine what sort of maple seeds you will be planting. Soft-seeded maples seed in the spring and summer, while hard-seeded maples seed in the late summer or fall. Each type requires a different amount of dormancy.
Harvest maple seeds as they fall.
Plant maple seed varieties that do not require stratification immediately, such as silver maple. Plant them in a well-drained container with an equal mixture of sand, peat moss and vermiculite.
Dig a small hole for each seed, about 1 inch deep, and place the maple seeds in the hole, one seed per hole. Cover the holes with sand.
Water the soil until it is moist. Keep the soil moist at all times. Leave the container outside. Maple sprouts should appear in a couple of weeks.
Plant maple seed varieties that do require stratification immediately, such as bigtooth maple. Plant them in a container with an equal mixture of sand, peat and perelite.
Dig small holes for the maple seeds, about 1 inch deep. Place the maple seeds in the holes, one seed per hole. Cover the seeds with moist sand.
Water the soil until it is moist and cover the seed’s pot with a lid. Leave the container outside during all seasons, including winter.
Allow the maple seeds to lie dormant until they sprout. Each variety of maple needs a different amount of stratification, so sprouting time will vary per type.