new Field Maple

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new Field Maple

Post  Richard S on Sun Jan 29, 2017 4:22 pm

Hi folks

Just downloading some photos so I thought I'd share one.

This is my latest aquisition. It's a Field Maple, Acer Campestre.

I believe it's an air layer (although I haven't explored the roots yet as they were frozen solid in the pot until this morning!).



I think this could be a great tree given time. It has loads of character although styling it may prove a little challenging. There's a lot going on in there  Laughing  A serious cut back and removal of unwanted branches will be the first job. For now though I'm happy to just decide on the basics.

This image is my preferred front/angle.

Regards

Richard
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  steveb on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:29 am

I really like the tree - it has a lot of potential.  How tall is it?  The reason I ask is that I have one I've been growing in the ground for 4 years.  It now has a 3 inch trunk.  That would make the final tree height 18 - 24 inches.  Will the leaves reduce enough to look convincing for a tree of that height?

Thanks for sharing.
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  AlainK on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:35 pm

Very interesting material. There's perhaps a bit of trimming to be done, but it's got geat potential I think.

Some twigs seem to be slightly winged, it gives it even more character. (I wanted to reply to steveb's question, and I read your post again: I agree, I realise I've actually more or less repeated what you wrote Wink )

steveb:
"That would make the final tree height 18 - 24 inches.  Will the leaves reduce enough to look convincing for a tree of that height?"

Took my calculator : 24 x 2.54cm = 60.96 cm. (two big feet!) (a yard minus a foot)
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That makes it a big bonsai!

When planted in the ground and let grown freely, some leaves can be over 10 cm (4 inches), but when potted, they can be reduced to under 2.5 cm (1 inch): the more it ramifies, the smaller the leaves.
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  augustine on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:42 pm

Great tree!

I also grow A. campestre and like the species very much.

Good luck, you'll have fun with this one.

Augustine

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Re: new Field Maple

Post  Richard S on Mon Jan 30, 2017 6:30 pm

Thanks guys

My tree is about 2ft in total height although it will obviously be a bit shorter when I've cut it back.

Regarding leaf size I've found that Acer Campestre vary quite a lot. I have a couple in the garden which have naturally very small leaves (although they're not bonsais - yet  Cool  ). The ones I have in pots are much bigger unfortunately but as Alain says they do reduce with increased ramification and of course the winter image is just as important.

I hope to update this post as the work progresses so watch this space.

Cheers

Richard
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  AlainK on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:37 pm

Richard S wrote:
(...)
I've found that Acer Campestre vary quite a lot.
(...)

Absolootely! Laughing

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Re: new Field Maple

Post  steveb on Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:37 am

Wow, 1 inch.  Cool.  Thanks for the reply.
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  Richard S on Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:51 pm

I gave this tree a hard cut back yesterday and thought I'd take a few photos so as to assess the results.

This probably still needs a bit more work before I'm finished but just for fun I indulged in a little "virtual potting up". I think it would look good in this Tony Remington pot (although I actually bought it for another Field Maple). Being an air layer it could probably go straight into a bonsai pot this spring but for the vigour of the tree I should probably put into a bigger container for a couple of years.

Anyway this is the direction of travel!



Opinions welcome of course.

Regards

Richard
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  Thomas Urban on Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:52 am

That pot and tree match up nicely Richard. Regarding the bigger pot, I think if you had a nice even particle size like pumice/lava and the rest something organic like pine bark, I believe you would find this tree would grow quite well in this pot.
Shallower pots actually hold more water than taller pots due to capillary action so if you had this substrate mix your maple should be quite happy. If you wanted to give it a real boost then it would be more effective to stick it in the ground as trees can balance out pH levels to take up all of the chemicals they need to properly function.

I think you want more refined twigging now so if it were mine I would place it in this pot you selected. Then you can control the tree's growth a bit better and perhaps even wire the new fine twigging next year. I noticed that some of the trees I've had in the ground grew out of control in just one growing period Very Happy
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:05 pm

yeah... i think tommy is right... this one looks like it has gotten all the major growth and bulk that it needs...

time for ramification !

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Re: new Field Maple

Post  Richard S on Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:17 pm

Thanks guys, your probably right. I'm certainly not trying to thicken the trunk or grow out the primary branch structure and field maple can produce very coarse growth if they're given free reign, at least in the ground. So yeah, maybe straight into this pot in the spring.

The only question is the roots, it's an air layer so they will be quite immature (although they should at least be flat).

Regards

Richard
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  Thomas Urban on Tue Feb 07, 2017 9:16 am

The best way to get strong roots is to utilize the crown that will pop out in the spring let that grow freely until mid summer to give the roots the most photosynthates to grow.
Root pruning without stem pruning initiates new growth in stems, roots and everything else but you will have new root growth before any stem growth apprears.

Keep us posted what it does in the spring and summer. I have a big campastre in the ground and I can't wait to improve it.
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Re: new Field Maple

Post  BrendanR on Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:31 pm

You haven't seen it in leaf yet, so I think that you should just wait until after the leaves break before you do anything else.

If it puts out loads of healthy leaves then you can assume the roots are healthy, which would permit a repot next spring. If the leaves are thin, weak or you get only a few massive leaves you are likely dealing with a weak tree. Repotting a weak tree now might kill it and it will certainly slow it down next season.

You can't tell yet so be patient to be safe.

There are still way too many branches from my perspective, but you should just let it be for now.

With such a great bit of material I'd be very careful and patient.

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Re: new Field Maple

Post  Richard S on Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:13 pm

BrendanR, thanks for the input.

It looks to have many viable buds and no evidence of recent die back so I'm hopeful that it had a good growing season last year (it was apparently separated from the parent tree in October 2015). As I said though the roots are a mystery so your suggestion of caution may well be advisable.

It's in a rather heavy organic soil though and will probably still have sphagnum moss around the layering point so I might just have to take a look in the spring and see what I find. If the roots look good I may re-pot into better soil, if not the tree can stay in its plant pot for another year (the heavy soil should be less of a problem in a deep pot).

Either way I think I'll have to "suck it and see" as they say!

Regards

Richard
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