Not So Seedy (Part 2)

Authored by Sheldon Falk - Owner
Sept 29th, 2021
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Almost every variety of Poplar introduced in the last 20 years is a male. We carry Siouxland and Skyfest Cottonwood, Okanese, Sundance, and Prairie Sky Poplar. Siouxland and Okanese are big and broad, the other three are tall, upright and narrow.

There is a Manitoba Maple that claims to be seedless as well called “Baron”. We have noticed seed but are unsure yet if it is sterile or if it got mixed up in the industry. There is more research being done on a Manitoba Maple that has red fall colour and is seedless as well. Up-and-coming also is a seedless Amur maple. It will be a few years before they are thoroughly tested, reproduced and released.

Although requiring cozy sites there are many new varieties of silver/red maple crosses that are seedless. We have been selling Autumn Blaze and Regal Celebration. Our testing with Autumn Fantasy and Firefall, indicate similar hardiness requirements. In the red maple family, Red Rocket seems to have similar or better hardiness and we are still testing Prairie Rouge and Bowhall but unfortunately both are susceptible to alkalinity.

We have been selling a burgundy red fall coloured elm called Northern Empress. All indications are that it is also seedless or produces very little seed. Our most popular tree is the Lace Weeping Willow. It is also a male with no seed so it produces no fluff, but there are multiple reasons that this tree is popular. It holds its leaves from early May till the end of October. It grows quickly, it grows in wet spots, it is cold tolerant, and it has exotic weeping beauty. Northern Acclaim Honeylocust is a newcomer and a popular tree in North Dakota and Minnesota. It will gain popularity here as well as it is drought tolerant and hardy in slightly sheltered dry sites.

Snowdance Japanese Tree Lilacs also produce very few seeds. It is a new and uncommon tree that we only have a few to sell.

Medora Juniper is also completely seedless.

Silver Cloud is also a seedless selection of silver maple. Let’s also keep in mind that some trees are worth growing regardless of the seed and others produce seed that is not easily germinated.

Spruce, Pine, Alders, Birch, Sugar Maple, Junipers and some Hydrangeas are only a few examples of plants that do produce seed but don’t germinate well.

Ninebarks and the purple leaf Flowering Crabapples produce some seed but have no alternatives in good cold hardy burgundy leaf colours. Hot Wings Maple is growing because of its seeds. They turn bright red and look like flowers during the months of July and August. So we grow mini trees regardless of seed just for the beauty.

My only recommendation is to choose wisely for your site and feel free to ask us for help. Don’t plant a fruiting flowering crab on top of wood chips though because they will germinate there. After all, even Siberian Elm and Maples who are prolific seed producers, make good shelterbelts and are useful in their places when not dumping seed in a garden. You should consider them in field shelterbelts or where there is only grass nearby. They are vigorous, soil and cold tolerant.

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