witches broom seeds

Discussion in 'Maples' started by katsura, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    I am very interested in witches brooms & germinating seeds.
    I would like to ask my forum colleagues to keep an eye out for seeds on
    their witches brooms. I have never seen a seed on any of my witches brooms
    and I have many that are old & big enough to be seemingly sexually mature.
    I have a friend who found and cultivated many of our named brooms who says
    he has seen seeds on brooms but he is alone of my many maple friends in this
    experience. I would think brooms must occasionally produce viable seed for
    propagation? For verification purposes, witches brooms have a signature
    fore-shortened center lobe on their leaves (although not all leaves have this).
    A partial list of witches brooms are: Shaina, Matthew, Daniel, Fjellheim, Sara D,
    Koto Maru, Coonara Pygmy, Skeeters broom, Aratama, Royle, Orion, Carl's
    Corner (same as Mary Katherine), Kandy Kitchen. Baby Lace is the only witches
    broom dissectum I know of and does NOT have that foreshortened center lobe.
    If anyone sees a seed on their verified witches broom I would love to hear.
    If anyone has seed and does not want to germinate it, I would love to do it.
    Thank you.
     
  2. PennyG

    PennyG Active Member

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    I have never heard of this before, very cool.
    Sorry i cant help you out though.,
     
  3. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mike,

    I've checked mines and no seeds. Even my Skeeters Broom which is more than 7 years old, and certainly old enough to have sex!!!, has no seeds.

    Gomero
     
  4. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks, Gomero!
    Looks like maple brooms are celibate but pines sure are not.
     
  5. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mike,

    I just spent an hour checking my plants and thought that the results would be the same as every year with no seeds. My Skeeters Broom is over six feet tall now and my Coonara Pygmy is over ten feet wide but no seeds anywher to be found. I then took a walk to check an new un-named broom that was given to me as a gift this year and found two sets of seeds. It is quite old but has been in a pot at a nursery for many years. This is not your typical WB but has larger leaves even though the plant itself is not that large. The leaf shape is similar to Trompenburg with a slight curl to the leaf and not every leaf has a shortened center lobe. I have attached two pictures taken today. It is getting a little dark so I took a leaf and the seeds inside.

    Ed
     

    Attached Files:

  6. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    Ed,
    Fascinating!
    We know WB's have a spatulate center lobe (except Baby Lace which likely proves the rule), but
    that does not mean that a spatulate/foreshortened center lobe proves that it is a broom.
    The leaf does like like Trompenberg so does the tree look like a broom - globular, compact, dense,
    close & tight internodes are does it look like a Trompenberg/regular maple ie, open, rangy etc.?
    What is the provenance of that specific tree - you say it was a gift and an un-named 'broom'
    but why was it designated a broom (what specific reasons)?
    Thanks, Ed.
    Mike
     
  7. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mike,

    This tree as well as two others was given to me by Nancy Vermuelen of John Vermuelen and Sons nursery. She received the three trees from Hickory Hollow nursery and they are simply tagged as Hickory Hollow WB Green, Hickory Hollow WB Red and Hickory Hollow Dwarf for evaluation. I have them planted with other dwarfs and the HH dwarf looks just like Capersi dwarf in my one year observation. The two witches brooms are small compact plants that have exhibited slow growth but I have only had these about a year and a half. I am told that they have been at John Vermuelen and Sons nursery for quite some time but I have not asked Nancy how long. I will need a few more years to get a true feel for how they compare and perform although the Green WB was a big hit at the spring gathering the last two years. Other than that I have no information about the trees. They are planted in the garden to observe and enjoy. I do not want to propagate or send scion wood on these three trees until I check with the source to see how they wish to proceed with the plants.

    Ed
     
  8. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mike,

    I forgot to mention, If you were heading up to the Maple Society meeting in Portland this week I would be glad to bring them out for you to grow.

    Ed
     
  9. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    How wonderful, Ed.
    I've read your description several times and the growth habit & appearance sounds like a witches
    broom indeed! And Nancy and her father are/were consummate plant experts so the provenance
    sounds excellent. I am very excited at what you have found, Ed. I am sadly not able to go to
    Portland so perhaps I could give you a call tomorrow evening when convenient for you and discuss
    this more thoroughly.
    Thank you.
    Mike
     

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