How do you know which maple tree is the male or the female? Do you need both to produce beautiful maple trees?

Should I plant one of each in my sister's yard? She only wants one, but I think two would be better, one of each (male & female) although I don't know which is which.

There are many babies under each, do those come from just one of the trees?

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  • Hi and welcome to the site! Since the comment you wrote was part of the question, I added it in. Our site's a bit different from some others, so I invite you to take our tour and have a look around the pages of our help center. Let us know if you need help with anything about how it works. This is a good question and I think there are people here who will be able to help you! Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 19:46

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No, one tree on its own is fine. Generally, Acers are capable of fertilizing their own flowers without any other Acer tree nearby, if its lots of fertile seeds you're looking for. Some Acer flowers actually change between male, female and hermaphrodite (and possibly back again) over time, but there's certainly no need to worry whether you have a male or female tree for either reproductive or appearance purposes.

Acer rubrum is considered to be divided between male and female trees, but the flowers are either unisexual or bisexual on both, so for reproductive purposes, its not an issue - more reading about that here if you're curious https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acer_rubrum#Description


Sorry, I didn't realise you'd commented - missed it altogether, didn't know it had been added into the question either, just happened to notice editor's comment above. In answer to that, the 'many babies' could be the progeny of one or both the trees, there's no way of knowing - most likely from both.

  • Bamboo, I found a major chink in my noggin with this question. Are all maples monoecious or are just a few species like Red Maple? Oh my goodness, I've never even thought about genders for Maples, the question or facts just never came up! And then the ability to change sexes when necessary...where the hell have I been?
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 23:38
  • @stormy well your knowledge chink is probably because its largely irrelevent, what sex an Acer is, or what sex its flowers are, no point remembering stuff that doesn't really matter is there. Acer rubrum as a tree is actually polygamodioecious, whereas its flowers can be unisexual, bisexual or monoecious, according to the Wiki link in the answer I gave. Info on Acer palmatum varieties includes the fact the flowers can change between sexes, but that's the flowers. Not important really, effectively, they're self fertile most of the time
    – Bamboo
    Commented Nov 26, 2016 at 23:50
  • Oh I got that it doesn't matter. Maples don't make big edible fruits that make a cash crop. But to never come across this in all my learning was amazing. I like seeing the big picture. You've done double entry bookkeeping, yes? When you do a reconciliation and come up with a penny off we know that that doesn't mean we are ONLY ONE PENNY OFF just that there is a problem...could be thousands of dollars off. I love filling in those chinks. Lots of times I need to be able to make decisions without references. Shoot, you know what I mean. Maybe I've just forgotten this acer thing. scarier!
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 0:01
  • @stormy - I frequently thank the universe for the internet - the trouble with knowledge is, if you don't use it regularly, it gets archived, so I might have a vague idea, a faint ghost of something ringing in the archive, and I use the internet to refresh the memory. With the caveat, now, that not all information on the net is accurate. Even young people lose it if they don't use it regularly... so no biggie!
    – Bamboo
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 0:25
  • Our knowledge does not get diluted or crusty it just needs to have fresh tabs and a better way to pull the info and experience (arhhhhgggghhh) back into the frontal lobes when necessary. I am not on here to 'help people', 'save plants' I am on this site so I can get that filing system updated and lubricated. Wonderful to help others, educate others at the same time. Major grins. It is like a faint ghost isn't it! Have you ever tried getting horizontal when you are trying to remember something when you were vertical? Or viseversa? it WORKS, about 50 % of the time!!!
    – stormy
    Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 3:10

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