Japanese Maple Seed Pods

Q: I have a mature Japanese maple that has generated lots of seed pods. How do I store and germinate the seeds into seedlings.

A: Although maple seeds nominally require three months of moist, cold conditions, I’d plant a dozen seeds in a pot filled with potting soil now and put it in a shady spot to see if any germinate quickly. Keep the rest in a dry, cool place indoors. In Oct, plant the seeds an inch apart and a half-inch deep in a shady area and cover with chicken wire to keep squirrels at bay. Lots of seedlings will appear in spring. Transplant the strongest ones twelve inches apart in a place that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. In October, choose the best looking ones tomove to a permanent home.