Q: I have seed pods on my laceleaf Japanese maple. How do I harvest and grow them?
A: Unlike, say, bean seed, Japanese maple seed germinate sporadically over a two year period. Also unlike vegetable seed, maple seed require three months in a cool, damp environment before the rootlets emerge. To achieve some measure of success, try two methods. 1) Plant the seed in a sunny spot in holes a half inch deep immediately after gathering. Cover the area with 1 inch mesh chicken wire to deter squirrels and voles. 2) Place 25 seed in a resealable plastic bag. If they seem quite dry, add a few drops of water. Put the bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator and mark your calendar to check on them in 90 days. When roots have begun to emerge, plant those seed outdoors in April, again covering the area with chicken wire.