Seeding and Propagation/Red Sunset seeds

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Question
Tom,
My wife and I moved into a lovely neighborhood lined with Red Sunset Maple trees.  This summer I noticed many seedlings in our much bed and one sapling 3 feet tall. I transplanted the seedlings to the woods behind our house and moved the 3 footer to a spot assuming it was a Red Sunset Maple. One forum told me that all the seedlings from any red maple cultivar would show characteristics of a native red maple? Is this true. If so I need to move the 3 footer to the woods. It would get to big for the spot I moved it to. Thanks Joseph

Answer
Hi Joseph,
Thanx for your question.  Red Sunset Maple trees are cultivars (hybrids), so, plants grown from seed will not come true to the parents.  This is due to the instability of genetics in hybrids.  You will get some plants that may look somewhat similar to the parents but lack some of the qualities originally arrived at in hybridization.  Yes, I agree that most likely, the seedlings will resemble original parentage of the red maple because those would be the dominant genes.  Commercial nurseries use tissue culture and grafting to multiply their hybrid stock.  Both tissue culture and grafting are clones in actuality as they take biological parts and grow a new plant from the biological matter.  Much different than sexual reproduction where a tree's pollen fertilizes another tree's seed taking the genetic data from both and throwing it all together to result in who-knows-what.  I hope this helps.
Tom

Seeding and Propagation

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Tom Alonzo

Expertise

I have been growing plants from seeds for at least 20 years. I have grown literally hundreds of different kinds of vegetables, trees, shrubs, annuals, perennials, tropicals, some cacti, water plants, iris, rose, lilies, cannas, etc. I enjoy starting from seed.

Experience

I've been growing my own seeds for 20 years with indoor propagation equipment I built myself. I am also an Allexperts volunteer on the perennial forum. I have completed the Master Gardener course through the Kansas State University Extension. I have experience with a wide variety of seeds and I have also read through Norm Deno's books on seed germination.

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