Our mystery “seeds” from last week were from a red maple, Acer rubrum.
The word “seeds” is in quotes because the winged maple keys are technically samaras. The seed itself is within the oval thickened part.
Red maples are common deciduous trees found throughout eastern North America. The leaves often turn brilliant red in the fall.
The leaves of the red maple vary, with three-to-five lobed varieties.
(Public domain photograph of three-lobed red maple leaves from Wikimedia.)
(Public domain photograph of five-lobed red maple leaf from Wikimedia).
The five-lobed red maple varieties closely resemble sugar maple leaves. The best way to distinguish them is that the the red maple leaves have V-shaped notch between the lobes, whereas the sugar maple leaves have rounded or U-shaped notches (see a photo of leaves of the two species side-by-side at Maine Nature News.)
Red maple seeds do grow from seeds, but may require scarification (scratching) to germinate.
Have you ever seen a red maple tree? Did it have three- or five-lobed leaves?
Had some of these fly into the yard last week. I planted them and they’re growing already. And idea how long it will be before we have trees?
Depends a bit on where you live, but probably roughly 10 years.