Grow your own sugar maple tree
- First, remove the clear top cap from your "mini-greenhouse".
- Next, empty the bag of soil into the minigreenhouse, and gently add water until it is extremely well-saturated.
- Time to sow your tree seeds! Carefully open your little bag of seeds.
- Pour all of the seeds into the center of the mini-greenhouse — push them in slightly to the top of the wet soil. Sowing many seeds gives you a great chance for success!
- Now, open your pouch of white pebbles (perlite).
- Pour the perlite evenly over the seeds & soil, and replace the top cap of your mini-greenhouse.
- Now, you’re ready to play a little trick on your seeds, imitating Nature in a process called “cold stratification.” Place your mini-greenhouse into the fridge, and leave it there for 20 days. Time in the cold, damp, dark environment of the fridge provides a kind of “winter” for your seeds which prepares them for germination. The purpose of this time is for the seeds to "imbibe" as much moisture as possible while their exteriors soften.
- After 20 days, remove the mini-greenhouse from the fridge, and place it near a sunny window or in some other warm place. The rapid transition from cold to warm environment gives the seeds a “change of weather” that breaks their dormancy. Persistent warmth, not light, is the key! To your seeds, warmth & humidity are springtime’s invitation to wake up and grow!
- Now, sit back and enjoy watching the life of your tree begin! Water as needed to keep your seeds moist, and, in 15-30 days, germination will occur. If you are fortunate enough to have multiple sprouts, gently remove the smaller sprouts, transplanting them to small pots. Newly-sprouted trees should be kept in very mild conditions, given plenty of gentle light, and allowed to dry-ou t somewhat between deep waterings. When your tree reaches 1 inches tall, remove the top cap of its mini-greenhouse for ventilation, and monitor its condition frequently.
- Once your tree grows for a week or two more, it’s time to transplant it to a larger container. For best results, use well-draining potting soil, a 1-3 gallon container, and a time-release fertilizer, such as Osmocote™.
- Nurture your tree as it grows! Keep it in a sunny outdoor location, protect it from extreme temperatures, and water it only when the soil looks and feels dry. A happy tree can grow more than 1 foot each year!
- When your tree outgrows its container, it’s ready for a permanent place in the landscape. Select a sunny location, at least 15 feet from buildings, power lines, and other trees. Use fertilizer when transplanting.
Enjoy your tree — a loyal friend for life!