New batch of Sugar Maple Seedlings are ready for pick up

This is one of the mature trees that the seedlings came from showing it’s fall colors.

Good news…If you missed out on getting your FREE Sugar Maple seedling(s) during last weekend’s Danada Fall Festival, you can get some THIS weekend.

Just click the Contact Us button (upper right corner) to let me know:

  • what day you will come and approx the time, so i can be sure to have enough
  • how many you want (no limit, just promise to plant whatever you take)
  • the zip code where you will plant 
  • if you want any sugar maple seeds

Hey, Mom and Dad…need a science project for your child?

Here’s a great one, which will cost you zip and is fun and easy to do.

Sugar Maple Seed Germination Experiment

  1. Have your child decide what  to experiment with. It could be any of the following or even something else that your child thinks of:
    • SOIL TYPE:
      For example, you might choose some of these types of soil to see how they affect the germination rate: sand, loam, clay, gravel, hard wood chips, pine bark nuggets, pine needles, or even Styrofoam peanuts or shredded newspaper. You can try anything and see how it goes.
      For example, you might test different amounts of moisture to find fake oakleys the best one for germination: dry, slightly moist, moist, very moist, submerged constantly.
      You might test different temperatures to see how that affects germination rates. For example, 32° in the freezer, 45° in the fridge, 70° at room temperature, 100° on a furnace vent.
    • LIGHT:
      Here are some things related to light that you could test: full darkness, dim light, normal daylight, 24 hours or light.
      You might want to test the germination with no added fertilizer and also with various types of fertilizers from the store.
  2. Have your child run their idea by their teacher. This way you will be sure the experiment fits in with the school program so your child will get credit for it.
  3. Have your child estimate the number of seeds they will need. Once you know what will be tested, then you can easily estimate the number of seeds needed. Not all seeds will germinate under even the best conditions, so plan on using a large number (10, 20, or even 30) for each test case and the same for the control case (which will not be altered). 20161011_120846-2
  4. Have your child contact us for some free sugar maple seeds.  They can just send us a note (below) and we’ll give them as many as they want for FREE. We’d love to hear about the experiment, too!
    Seeds in Fall from a Sugar Maple Tree

    Seeds in Fall from a Sugar Maple Tree

  5. Help your child do some research before starting.
    It’s a good idea to do help your child do a little research beforehand, but don’t worry, now-a-days that’s easy with the Internet. Just Google Sugar Maples and Cold Stratification in a browser.  Cold Stratification is a well-known technique to get the sugar maples seeds to germinate. Here is a brief overview:

    • The seeds of the sugar maple, Acer saccharum, require a period of cold to break the physiological dormancy of the seeds so that they will germinate. This occurs naturally if the seed falls outdoors in its native range. It experiences the winter cold and germinates in the warm spring.
    • If your seeds have not been through a winter yet (which will be true if you use this fall’s seeds), you will need to use cold stratification. This will increase their germination success significantly.
    • To do this, simply leave the seeds outside during the upcoming winter months or simulate the winter cold like this:
      1. Soak the seeds 24 to 48 hours in room temperature water.
      2. Cold stratify the seeds for approximately 3 months at 1° to 8 °C (~34° to ~46° F)—the optimum temperature for germination appears to be 1° C (34° F).
  6. Have your child set up the pots according to the test plan labeling each one with that will be tested.
  7. Have your child plan a schedule for watering.
  8. Have your child devise a way to record the results.
  9. Have your child run the experiment and see what happens!
  10. When done, have your child turn in the results to the teacher and post the result here, too!

Thanks and good luck! 🙂


Another 1,000 Trees Given Away at the 2016 Danada Fall Festival!

The leaves of the Sugar Maples are just starting to turn colors.
Here is what roughly 1,000 Sugar Maple seedlings looks like when they are all potted up and ready to go to new homes.

Well, we made it to the 2016 Danada Fall Festival which was hosted by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County yesterday. It was held at the Danada Equestrian Center and the weather was beautiful! We gave away about 1,000 sugar maple seedlings  and this time some seeds as well.

Special thanks to Wayne Zaininger, Manager of Site Operations, Danada Equestrian Center & St. James Farm and Katie Michel who supported our idea and helped get us on-board!

This was the 12th year of the Fall Festival and it was really well run. There were all kinds of fun activities and lots of room to accommodate the 12,000+ people that they were expecting. And our booth was under the shade of some lovely maples that had just started turning colors.

This is Sandy!

We were thrilled to have so many people come to our booth to get a sugar maple seedling! So many, in fact, that even though we brought about 1,000 trees, we ran out before the end of the Festival!

Don’t worry, though, if you did not get sugar maple seedling (or if you would like another). We are setting up another pickup site now.

The last 4 seedlings, waiting for their new owners to come back and pick them up.

Here are the last 4 little seedlings, waiting for their new owners to come back and pick them up. Don’t worry,  though, they were not left behind! Every last one was taken to a new home to be planted hopefully right away! 🙂

Please click the Contact Us button (upper right corner) to let us know how many you would like, so we don’t run short again.

Let us know too if you would like some actual Sugar Maple seeds. They are great for school science projects for kids and

teachers alike or just to scatter

along shade-less roads or park ways!

Thanks to everyone who took a seedling to plant! Each tree makes huge difference!

And last but by no means least, a very special thank  you to Marie Schnaitman for all her support and for helping  in the booth and Steve Tiwald of the Green Earth Institute for his ideas, encouragement, and for loaning some much needed equipment!

Just some of the brilliant colors of maple trees in Autumn.






Fall Festival at Danada Equestrian Center

dfp-logoIt’s finally confirmed…we’re going to the 2016 Fall Festival at Danada Equestrian Center to give away Sugar Maple trees.

Danada Fall Festival
Sunday • Oct. 9, 2016 • 11 a.m. –  5 p.m.
Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton, IL

Join this annual family-friendly celebration of the horse at one of DuPage County’s most beautiful fall destinations!

  • Free Admission*
  • Horse Show
  • Parade of Breeds
  • Mid West Renegades Equestrian Drill Team
  • Northern Illinois Outlaws Cowboy Mounted Shooting
  • Danada Musical Drill Team
  • Plus Other Performers
  • Hayrides Hobbyhorse Craft
  • Pony Rides Stable Tours
  • Food
  • Pumpkin & Face Painting
  • Horse-Care Demos
  • Nature Art & Photo Show
  • and of course….FREE Sugar Maples seedlings! Stop by our table right across from the main riding ring and get one for your home!

Hope to see you there! 🙂

For more information, call (630) 668-6012.
*Fees for some activities (pony rides $5; hayrides $5).


1,000 Trees at VeggieFest!

VeggieFest-2016We made it to VeggieFest 2016 and we gave away about 1,000 sugar maple seedlings to people from all across North America!

Volunteer Mary Fitzpatrick greeted people and helped them chose a free seedling. She also answered many questions and collected zip codes of where the seedlings will be planted so we can plot their locations on a Google map.

It was wonderful to meet so many people who were tree lovers! Many reminisced about a favorite maple tree they grew up with or autumn colors. Sadly, many had recently lost a tree, usually an ash.

Thank you all for taking a sugar maple tree to plant! Because of you, we will all breathe a little easier and the Earth will be a little nicer place to live.

We look forward to hearing from you soon and seeing pix of your new tree!

Father & Daughter
This wonderful dad took a free tree to plant for his daughter. He let her pick out her favorite.
Eagle Scout Ty Jensen greeted people, answered questions, and kept the table filled with potted trees as quickly as they were taken.
We gave our first seedling away to the people in the booth next door before the show. Many booth owners took a tree to adorn their booth during the show, then plant afterward.
Special thanks to the wonderful people at the organic vegetable farm in south Naperville called the Green Earth Institute who sponsored us for this event.  We highly recommend joining their CSA for healthy and delicious veggies from Spring through Fall! There’s just nothing better than fresh off the farm food!




Volunteer Rob McMillian reached out to many people and explained what we were doing and how to plant a sugar maple for best results. This photo was taken late Sunday afternoon when we were almost out of trees. Thanks, Rob, great job!
Volunteer Tom Skahill (not in photo, but this is the area he dug up and potted seedlings from) worked behind the scenes to transport potted seedlings to Veggie Fest Sat morning before the event started. He even came back and potted up more trees Sat night! He also provided a much welcome cooler chest of ice and bottled water for everyone. easy-to-grow Thank you, Tom, for being there when we needed you!
After careful consideration, this person chose a tall sugar maple to plant in her space, but other people wanted smaller ones. Luckily, we seemed to have the right size for each person.

Trees are simply amazing…

The Arbor Day Foundation said it best:

Trees Are Simply Amazing.

They clean air and water, slow climate change, ease poverty and hunger, prevent species loss, and feed the human soul.

All we need to do is plant and care for them.

Let’s work together to make it happen around the world.

More at:

Photo Credit: The Arbor Day Foundation

Boy Scouts to the Rescue

I want to give a great big THANK YOU to Ty Jensen of Scout Troop  68, Naperville, and his family, friends, and fellow scouts.

Ty Jensen (far right standing in white shirt) and his crew of family, friends, and fellow scouts after digging up sugar maple trees to give away at Veggie fest.

Ty Jensen volunteered to help with this project which he used for his Eagle Scout Service Project. What a great idea, Ty!

Ty’s help is critical in getting approximately 1,000 seedlings potted up, transported to the scene, and given away Veggie Fest. He also organized a fund raiser to help cover the cost of materials so that we can give  these trees away for FREE.

This is one of the 3 crews that Ty recruited. and organized. The crews worked simultaneously to get this big job done.
On each team, some people loosen the soil around the roots of the saplings with a pitch fork. Others gently dug the saplings out the ground so as not to break the roots and then immediately put them into tall, 32 oz cups so the delicate root hairs would not dry out. And other gathered the potted seedlings and carried them to the staging area where they were watered.


Everyone helped, even the little girls who kept a fresh supply of pots for each team to plant in, in between petting the puppy, of course.