Celebration Maple Tree Seeds #642836 - Ask Extension

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Celebration Maple Tree Seeds #642836

Asked May 29, 2020, 8:54 AM EDT

Almost twenty years ago we planted a Celebration Maple.  We choose this one with the understanding that it does not shed those flying seeds that most maple do.  Until 2 years ago, it did not.  Last year that changed and this year there are hundreds of thousands!!  Perhaps you should know that several years ago we had a problem with premature leaf dropping.  After having an expert out, he recommended treatment with manganese.  We have done that yearly and the leaves are very healthy and no longer drop prematurely.  Could this have anything to do with the development of these seeds? Is there anything we can do to stop this? 

Macomb County Michigan

Expert Response

Hello,
Acer x freemanii 'Celebration', is a hybrid between red and silver maples, and is known to be seedless. Sometimes a plant will revert to a  parent. Other times, under stress, a plant will produce seed as a survival technique. Certain combinations of unusual weather conditions are known to stimulate seedless trees to produce seed.  Lastly, and hopefully not the case here, a young tree is mis-labeled at the nursery, is planted into the landscape and upon reaching a certain age ( sometimes can take 10 years or so)produces seeds.
Hopefully your seedless maple will not produce seeds next year. Look closely at the major branches, perhaps using  binoculars to see high up. Do you see seeds actually attached to this tree? Is it only on one or two branches? Reversion to the parent is usually on just one or a few branches and may be able to be pruned out.
Consult a certified arborist to have the seed bearing branches removed correctly. He /she can check for any stresses and provide a care plan. . Find them by zip code here- www.treesaregood.org
If the tree continues to produce seed every year, the only way to prevent seed is to try applying a product that causes flowers to fail. For homeowner’s use on  small trees there is a product, Florel fruit eliminator, used to control fruit( in the maples case, fruit are the seeds) on ornamental trees.Using such a product must be timed correctly or it will not work. It is too late this year for this product. Your certified arborist has access to more chemical controls like this, equipment powerful enough to spray a large tree, and the knowledge of how to correctly time the spray.

Laura Sheffer Replied May 29, 2020, 12:13 PM EDT

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