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I'm sitting at my desk looking out of the window, approximating the number of seed pods on our sycamore tree. There must be thousands, if not tens of thousands. The success rate from our tree must be extremely low, as most if not all will be eaten by the local wildlife, rot/dry out if they don't land on soil, or are removed before they grow to anything substantial.

Which got me thinking. Which species of tree bears the most seeds annually?

Edit: country is the UK. Species is Acer pseudoplatanus

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    That's a really hard question, can you narrow it down to a part of the world or an ecosystem?
    – kevinskio
    Jul 15, 2022 at 15:17
  • Sycamore is not an accurate description. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sycamore
    – Gyrfalcon
    Jul 15, 2022 at 15:19

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There is not a single answer and as @ kevinskio comments, size and location count. In IL silver maples will fill rain gutters and street gutters. And I have seen cottonwood cover my garden to 3 inch depth (looks like snow) with "cotton"" containing seed. In TX , my most common weed is southern pine seedlings after squirrels have stripped pinecones and eaten as many seed as they wanted.

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It depends on how you count: A bigger tree usually bears more seeds than smaller ones. If you look at seeds per occupied land, Betula/birch is my humble suggestion.

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