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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 20, Number 3 (1969) The Use of Pentane to Separate Filled and Empty Sugar Maple Samaras

The Use of Pentane to Separate Filled and Empty Sugar Maple Samaras

Many sugar maple samaras do not contain seeds; the proportion of filled samaras may vary from 20 to 74 percent among seed trees (Carl and Yawney 1966). Because samaras are relatively large, removal of the empty samaras from seed collections would reduce seed handling and storage space considerably. But the greatest benefit of such separations would take place in the nursery. Sowing time would be reduced, and seedling density-an important factor influencing seedling development (Shipman 1964; Stoeckeler 1950, 1967; Sluder 1964) - could be controlled more precisely. For several years our attempts to develop a separation procedure were ineffective. Some separation by wind was achieved, but the results were highly variable. And, separations had proved impossible in all liquids tested because sugar maple samaras are bouyant. McLemore (1965) reported the successful use of npentane for separating full and empty longleaf pine seed. So we tried pentane to test separating sugar maple samaras. Pentane did separate filled and empty samaras: empty samaras floated in the pentane; filled samaras quickly sank. Further study was undertaken to determine the degree of separating efficiency, and to determine if pentane affected the viability of sugar maple seed.

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Author(s): Clayton M. Carl, Jr., Harry W. Yawney

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 20, Number 3 (1969)

Volume: 20

Number: 3