To Maple Or Not To Maple, That Is The Question

Maples love my yard. They grow like weeds here. The wind blows seeds in from somewhere and they grow. I’ve collected a few seeds along the road when I walk and they grow.

So far, I’ve collected these kinds:

  • Manitoba Maple aka Box Elder – Acer negundo – fast-growing, tough, medium-sized, climbable, loves -40C winters, and gives weak maple syrup,
  • Amur Maple – Acer tataricum ssp ginnala – fast-growing, smallish, tough, fragrant and colourful (bright red in fall) – TLW loves them!

TLW has planted a few relatives of Amur maple on her berms but I seek some larger specimen trees. A couple I’m going to try:

  • Red Maple – Acer rubrum – fast-growing, tough, and red in fall (has red features all year long), larger and gives maple syrup.
  • Sugar Maple – Acer saccharum – large, best for maple syrup, a bit fragile for here…

These two are not as tough as the Manitoba or Amur maples but they are so beautiful I will have to try. If I plant enough seeds, I might find a hardy example. There are container-grown seedlings at nurseries around Winnipeg but I prefer to grow my own to be sure of survival. Some of the container-grown plants in nurseries are sheltered babies force-fed fertilizer and kept out of the wind… I can buy thousands of maple seeds for the price of one such tree (~$50). I’m planning to grow Norway Spruce and Easter Red Cedar on the windward side of these trees so they will have a bit of shelter.

So, another tree-planting cycle starts. Along with these beautiful maples, I plan to set up a windbreak with the Red Cedars on one side and a screen of chokecherries, Nanking cherries and dogwoods on the other. Also, I’m going to plant a few acorns this year. The local oaks produced no seed but a supplier in Trump-land can supply acorns of suitable species (Quercus macrocarpa (the local kind), Quercus macrocarpa X gambelli or other vigorous hybrid, and Quercus alba). Slowly but surely, a forest will appear…

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
This entry was posted in horticulture, weather and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.