Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

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Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  logdog on Wed Sep 30, 2015 2:22 am

Hello my name is Logan and I live in northern California. I am addicted to Japanese Maples currently every suitable location in my yard has large Maple growing in a container now. I started looking into adding a fee Bonsai to my collection so I bought a book and have read quite a bit on the internet but still don't know what to do. I recently came across about a dozen 1 and 2 year old seedlings. I would like to fatten their trunks up but planting them in the ground isnt really an option because I have heavy clay soil that doesn't drain and not enough shade. So I guess my question is what is the best option for types of training pots, pot size, soil types and fertization methods to maximize my trees potential. I plan to attempt a forest planting for each species and a few informal uprights when the time is right. I should also add that joining a Bonsai club is not an option either since the closest one Ive been able to find is two and a half hours away. Any feed back would be great thank you.

logdog
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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  Marty Weiser on Wed Sep 30, 2015 4:36 am

I like the grow these seedlings for a year or two in pots such as bulb pans in the the 5 - 7" diameter range. I then transplant them into rather shallow pots that are 8 - 10" in diameter and 1.5 - 2" in diameter. I make the later from the plastic trays used under pots with several 1" diameter drainage holes melted in them. This allows the development of a nice flat root pad. I normally move them up to a larger tray every other year with root pruning - cut off the bottom roots and those that are running around the inside of the pan. This encourages more growth. They kwy in my mind is to not use a huge pot until the tree can fill it with roots in a couple of years. A pot beyond that is wasted space that is cold and damp - good for rot. Yes, this is a slow process compared to the ground, but you get a nice flat root pad along the way.

Have you thought of upgrading your clay soil? Adding a bunch of particulate (pumice, perlite, vermiculite, lava) will loosen it some, adding a bunch of shredded bark will add organics and further loosen it, adding gypsum will cause the clay particles to agglomerate an loosen it even further. The downside to growing in the ground is that all of the growth is rather coarse so it take some time in the pot to get finer roots and branches. Plus, I don't like crawling around on the ground to decide what to prune.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  logdog on Wed Sep 30, 2015 9:43 am

Thanks for the help. The pots you have suggested are a lot shallower then I had expected but I will be glade to give it a shot on a few. Also I've thought of amending the soil and have used gypsum for my shrubs but morning sun is a premium in my yard and I though it would be best to keep these guys mobile for a bit at least until I can see if they like the spot I have chosen. Also do you have any tips on soil types I've read a lot about soil used for developed maple bonsai but can't seem to find anything about the development stage. Thanks again.

logdog
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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  Marty Weiser on Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:42 am

I tend to use basically the same soil for development as refinement. Perhaps a little coarser for development of trees once they have a good solid start. I sieve my soil into 4 sizes - fine is 1.5 - 3 mm, small is 3 - 6 mm, medium is 6 - 9 mm, and large is 9 - 13 mm. Seeds start in fine soil and move up to small and then medium if they get into a pot that is larger than about 40 cm on one of the sides. I use an inorganic mix since I had root rot issues when I had organics in the mix - sieved bark. I use a mix of lava (very cheap), pumice (reasonable price), and akadama (expensive). Trees in development get far more lava while those in refinement get closer to a 1-1-1 mix. I recycle soil so even the development trees are seeing some akadama. Use what you have available and works. For example, if I was in the Portland area rather than Spokane I would use far more pumice since that is where I get my pumice, but prefer not to take the trailer to Portland.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  logdog on Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:05 am

Great thank you for the tip on soil i have all the free lava rock I can shovel so that makes it cheap. I worry about not having any organic matter in the soil because it gets very hot here but I'll give it a shot. I might have to put them on a water schedule with a timer to water twice a day in the hotter months since I'm only able to water by hand once a day. Thanks again.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  Marty Weiser on Thu Oct 01, 2015 5:15 am

I think it was the hot, moist organic material which lead to my root rot issues. Providing a little shade during the hottest parts of the day will also help with the watering issue.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  M. Frary on Thu Oct 01, 2015 1:27 pm

Collanders.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  Marty Weiser on Thu Oct 01, 2015 2:47 pm

I have trouble keeping colanders moist enough for maples due to the large exposed surfrace area in my relatively dry climate. However, they work great for pines which can tolerate dryer soil.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  geo on Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:41 pm

Please fill in your location.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  logdog on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:08 pm

I live in Redding which is in Northern California. I believe its zone 9. I though about trying a colander but thought that would require a lot more watering.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  geo on Thu Oct 01, 2015 8:17 pm

Sorry not you, logdog. You filled yours in. I was asking Marty Weiser. A lot of posts not to have filled in a location. Duh! I see that it is Spokan, but still....not everyone knows you and it is more convenient to see the location in your profile, or whatever it is called. Just a consideration thing.

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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  AlainK on Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:27 pm

Raised beds: build them with planks 20 cm high (In countries still using medieval measurements, that's about 8 inches, 2/3rd of a foot, or 1/4 of a yard minus about an inch and an 8th Laughing ).

Fill them in with free-draining mix, and uproot the seedlings every 1-2-3 years after a clip-and-grow treatment, it depends on how they grow.

After that, you can put them into colanders, pond baskets, whatever you like.

But these are more suitable to conifers. Maples, either Acer palmatum or Acer buergerianum can de drastically root-pruned when done at the right time, using containers that have holes in their sides is of very little interest.

AlainK
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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

Post  logdog on Fri Oct 02, 2015 3:46 am

Thank you to everyone and your helpful comments I now see that there is a lot of different ways to grow trees. Honestly I think I will try them all. That would even give me a reason to go buy more.

logdog
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Re: Japanese and Trident Maple seedlings

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