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Anonymous 05-31-2002 12:31 PM

Female Maple Tree???
 
In reading the book 'Gardening for Allergies' the author states that female maple trees are one of the best trees to plant for people sensitive to allergies as opposed to male maple trees.My question is how do you tell if a maple tree is female or male? Or, any plant for that matter that may have separate sexes?</p>

Anonymous 06-04-2002 03:58 PM

Re: Female Maple Tree???
 
Kerry -

Some trees are sold as clones - vegetatively reproduced, so customers know they are getting a 'male' or 'female' tree. One example is the native fremont cottonwood, with named varieties that are guaranteed to be male. This is because the females produce fruits with copious amounts of cotton-like material, and this was deemed too messy. I've seen the wild, fruiting trees, and I thought they were thrilling, cotton and all.

Another example is Ginkgo biloba - the commercial trees are all male for a very good reason - the fruit smells like a sewer! I experienced this at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills, where there are some very old, female Ginkgo trees. The fruit really does smell vile.

As for maples, you could ask a nursery that specializes in maples - there are some that do Japanese maples, and the staff might have answers for you. I haven't heard of our native maples being propagated vegetatively, with the possible exception of vine maple - there being some cultivars with unusual leaves.

Good luck,

Lori Hubbart</p>

Anonymous 06-06-2002 02:44 AM

Re: Female Maple Tree???
 
Thanks Lori. This is fascinating stuff!!!</p>

Anonymous 06-07-2002 07:21 AM

Re: Female Maple Tree???
 
I have two big leaf maples in my front yard, a female and a male. The female produces a bunch of seed clusters each year that hang like x-mass ornaments, and many continue to hang on during the winter after the leaves have dropped. Be prepared for scads of volunteers coming up beneath the tree each spring. They are pretty easy to pull up though. It a great shade tree and I find it to grow pretty fast once established.</p>


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