Author Topic: Red Maple (acer rubrum)  (Read 6918 times)

Jay Wilson

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Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« on: July 10, 2009, 09:03 PM »
I thought I would share this swamp maple with you.

I've been playing with this one for too many years for it to only look as good as it does.
They say red maples are difficult to work with, and they are, but I still should have brought this one further along than I have.
But, I do bonsai for the journey and this tree has given me lots of pleasure over time.

I'm looking to pot this in a real pot next spring...Any comments or suggestions are welcome.

Thanks,
Jay
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2009, 09:15 PM »
I plan on doing it's second defoliation of the year this weekend, so I'll post a few pictures of it naked afterwords.

Jay
 

ken duncan

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2009, 09:45 PM »
Very nice Jay, is this the same one that You posted on another forum?
Should look real good in a Bonsai container.
Ken 
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2009, 10:02 PM »
Yes Ken this is the one. I just found an old picture from 2003 which I guess is the year I collected it.

Jay
 

Heather Coste

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2009, 09:39 AM »
I collected about 150 seedlings of this variety this spring from an area that was going to be bulldozed. No, most of them aren't going to be for bonsai, I'll be growing them out and replanting them in a couple conservation areas I've been working with, and some are going to my son's class next year for the same purpose, but I thought I'd keep a couple and see what happens.

Any tips on quirky growing requirements?
 

bonsaikc

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2009, 02:13 PM »
Jay, this has to be the nicest red maple I have ever seen! You have done a magnificent job of getting the ramification dense (for this species) and the movement is wonderful. Thank you for posting it here.

Is the nebari the result of air layering, or how did you produce it?

Chris
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2009, 03:48 PM »
Heather,
I don't think there is anything really quirky about growing red maple.
They enjoy lots of water... I sometimes leave mine in trays of water during hot dry spells.
They also like a bit of root run. It was recommended on another forum by a more experienced person than I to pot them up in larger pots every few years so they can rebuild strength.

Hard trimming and defoliating a couple of times a year along with pinching new growth will help get shorter internodes and smaller leaves. People up north might not want to push them that hard.
I've included some pictures.
1st pic. Leaf size before the first defoliating this year in mid April.
2nd pic. about 3 weeks after  the first pic.
3rd pic. how it looked this morning.
last pic. The avg. leaf size. These are the result of pinching the new growth and also cutting the larger leaves on occasion.

I'm still very much just learning how to grow Acer rubrum....Two or three more years.....

Jay
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2009, 04:15 PM »
Jay, this has to be the nicest red maple I have ever seen! You have done a magnificent job of getting the ramification dense (for this species) and the movement is wonderful. Thank you for posting it here.

Is the nebari the result of air layering, or how did you produce it?

Chris

Chris,
Thanks. I think you're too kind....Either that or you haven't seen many red maples ;D  
Seriously, thanks, I value your input.
It is a challenge to overcome the naturally long internodes to get ramification. I have a fair number of twigs just die after defoliating instead of branching.

The nebari is the result of a ground layer done in 2006. See pictures. It still needs a few more years to thicken the roots to make a more natural looking root spread.

1st Pic shows the ring of bark removed. It was covered with sphagnum and soil.
2nd pic after removal from the pond basket.
3rd pic. result of the layer.
Last pic. Potted up.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2009, 04:21 PM by Jay Wilson »
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2009, 04:27 PM »
I defoliated and trimmed this tree this morning.
First two pics are a better look at the nebari.
Second two are front and back after todays butchering.

Jay
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2009, 05:42 PM »
Hello Irene,
Thanks! I used no hormone... Didn't have any and I guess I didn't need it :) They say maples are very easy to throw roots.

The tree is 15 inches from the ground.

Jay
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2009, 06:17 PM »
Hey Irene,
Maples are easy to layer...What I have trouble with-hormone or not-is oaks.


 My soil mix is about 60% turface MVP and 40% fresh ground pine bark (sifted to between 1/4 and 1/8 inch) and  I usually throw in a bit of peat.

Jay
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2009, 06:55 PM »
I haven't been able to find crushed lava in Florida in bulk or at a price I could justify, so last year, I bought some of the 1" to3" lava they use as mulch. It's fairly cheap and readily available.
I ran several bags through my chipper/shredder and ended up with about 40% usable product.

I love the color it adds to the soil, but for me, it seemed to dry out quicker (this was mixed with my regular soil mix at about 30%) I didn't see a lot of difference  in the health or vigor of my trees which are mostly in grow boxes anyway. So, When I get more trees in bonsai pots and have a way to water more often, I might look into using lava again.

Any way, to finish this ramble...There was no point to it, just working on getting my post count up so I can play with the big kids in the 50+ post section ::)

Jay
 

Steven

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2009, 07:06 PM »
Very, very nice Jay! What time of the year did you do the ground layer? I have a recently collected(March 2009) red maple that has one big root on one side. It was about a 30 foot tree chopped down to about 24" and dug up. It is pushing growth like madness. the base above the roots is about 4-6 inches in diameter(haven't gotten an exact measure). I ask because I may, and most likely, going to layer it for better root spread.

pic 1: collected 3-8-09
pic 2: as of 4-29-09
no upto date pic
 

Jay Wilson

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2009, 07:32 PM »
Thank's Steven for the compliment.

I don't feel comfortable giving advice, but if it were me, I would feed like crazy for the rest of this year (I feed weekly with full strength water soluble fertilizer . I have very fast-draining soil mix) This will give you a very healthy tree with lots of stored energy in the roots.

Next spring I would do the layer in the same pot (without disturbing the roots) and leave it till spring 2011 before separating it. I have had good success with ground layers when I do them after the first flush of spring growth has hardened off.

I would also consider chopping the trunk way on down at the same time. Not telling you how to style your tree, but it seems too tall, without much taper as it is now.

Good luck with it and keep us updated with your progress.

Jay
 

Steven

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Re: Red Maple (acer rubrum)
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2009, 08:57 PM »
Thanks for the info Jay. I have been looking at taking the height down some. Thought of maybe doing a 'V' cut to get  a division in the trunk from one to two. The notch would not be very deep. Or try the Gary Marchal technique(what he does with BC) to achieve a better taper. Still a ways off though. Again thanks Jay.
**Now back to Jay's tree  :D **