maple tree seeds

Maple Tree Seeds: All You Need to Know

Oliwia Urban 

The return of spring is a delightful change from the winter season. As the snow melts, the warmer temperatures and colorful nature is a welcome sight. Late spring and early summer is the maple tree seed explosion period, which can cause homeowners many headaches and create yard work. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about maple tree seeds.

What do Maple Tree Seeds Look Like?

Maple tree seeds are known as “helicopters” or “whirlers.” These winged seeds consist of two conjoined wings that each surround a seed. Each winged section is called a samara. Other trees like ash and elm trees produce samaras with one wing, while maple trees produce true helicopter seeds.

Are there Different Types of Maple Seedlings?

There are 14 different types of maple trees in North America, with three of the most common found in lawns. The Japanese maple seedlings are bright red, with fern-like leaves, while the Red Maple Tree Seedlings have red flowers, red fruit, and red twigs. The Sugar Maple Seedlings have bright green leaves with five lobes and no jagged edges.

Why are there So Many Maple Tree Seeds?

Maple trees are good at reproducing themselves. The helicopter seeds can fly a fair distance and are scattered by the wind. Many seeds lose their potency or become food for hungry animals. However, those that survive until winter have ideal conditions for germination. With each helicopter carrying two seeds, the chances of survival and finding a place to grow are much better.

Where Should I Look for Maple Seedlings?

Clearing away fallen maple tree seeds is essential to keep your lawn and surroundings tidy. Maple tree roots can damage cement work, and trees close to buildings can peel off paint, siding, or roof shingles. Use a rake to clean up helicopter seeds off your lawn and flower beds, and regularly examine your home’s foundations to ensure no trees are sprouting nearby.

How Do I Remove Maple Seedlings Growing in My Lawn?

If you find a maple seedling growing in an inappropriate place, it’s best to remove it as soon as possible while its root system is immature and the soil is damp. Later on, it will be more challenging to remove. You can pull the seedlings yourself using some tips.


In conclusion, maple tree seeds may be a headache to clean up, but they are essential to maintaining the ecosystem. By removing them from your lawn and surroundings, you prevent them from causing any damage. With this guide, you now know everything about maple tree seeds, their types, and how to remove them.