Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

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Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Jay Wilson on Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:14 am

I'm glad to see IBC back up.
Thanks Kev!
This is an Acer Rubrum for a test pic.

Jay

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acer

Post  JimLewis on Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:14 pm

Nice job with a difficult species. I know it's just a training pot, but it appears to be leaning away from us.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Jay Wilson on Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:56 pm

Thanks Jim,
This is one of the first trees I collected several years ago when I got back into bonsai. It's gone through all my learning mistakes and screw-ups and it shows with all the scars etc.
I don't expect it to ever be a "show quality" tree but I enjoy playing with it anyway. Maybe I'll put it in a pot this spring.

Here is a picture from the other side.... Still looks like it's leaning backwards.


Jay

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Wolfgang Putz on Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:50 pm

What´s about the size of the leaves of this kind of maple, Jay?
Do you have pics from the foliage??
Greetings from Austria!
Wolfgang
www.yamadori-bonsai.info

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Jay Wilson on Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:38 pm

Hello Wolfgang,
Here's a picture from late december 2008.

I've had the leaves a little smaller on this tree, and I think that with some effort they can be kept fairly small...maybe 1 inch on the average... more in proportion on a larger tree.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Reiner Goebel on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:37 am

Wolfgang Putz wrote:What´s about the size of the leaves of this kind of maple, Jay?

The size of the leaf is not so much a problem if you grow it as a larger tree, say 60 cm and up. What is more of a problem, at least in its bare state, is the unappealing branching. Very stiff and angular.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  martyhab10 on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:48 am

Why bother with Acer rubrum when we have all the varieties of Acer palmatum to work with? One particular maple I like is A. p. aconitifolium. It has exceptionately large leaves which can be reduced to about 2 inches in a couple of growing seasons.
Its fall foliage is spectacular, with streaks of brown and red on a yellow background.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Wolfgang Putz on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:12 pm

Jay Wilson wrote:Hello Wolfgang,
Here's a picture from late december 2008.

I've had the leaves a little smaller on this tree, and I think that with some effort they can be kept fairly small...maybe 1 inch on the average... more in proportion on a larger tree.

Looks very fine, Jay!

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red maple

Post  JimLewis on Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:26 pm

Reiner Goebel wrote:
Wolfgang Putz wrote:What´s about the size of the leaves of this kind of maple, Jay?

The size of the leaf is not so much a problem if you grow it as a larger tree, say 60 cm and up. What is more of a problem, at least in its bare state, is the unappealing branching. Very stiff and angular.

It works OK as a small tree, too.

[img][/img]

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Reiner Goebel on Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:26 am

[quote] It works OK as a small tree, too.[/quote]

Well, if you think so. Smile

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Reiner Goebel on Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:54 am

[quote="martyhab10"]Why bother with Acer rubrum when we have all the varieties of Acer palmatum to work with? One particular maple I like is A. p. aconitifolium. It has exceptionately large leaves which can be reduced to about 2 inches in a couple of growing seasons.
Its fall foliage is spectacular, with streaks of brown and red on a yellow background.[/quote]

Good point, Marty. Smile

I have not seen an A. rubrum bonsai that came even close to the quality of what one can accomplish with A. palmatum.

As to A. p. aconitifolium, I agree with you as far as its fall colour is concerned. Splendiferous. In a previous house, I had one as a foundation plant. However, because of its leaf size and long internodes, I never considered it worthwhile bonsai material.

If you or anyone else has an image of one as bonsai, I would much appreciatre it being posted here.

It sure is great to have all you guys back here. Very Happy

Reiner Goebel
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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  AJ on Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:35 pm

Acer rubrum has all the qualities one would look for in a species for bonsai use. It is easy to grow, easy to collect, takes well to container culture, responds well to pruning and will ramify over time without too much difficulty. The tree has many aesthetically pleasing features which make it enjoyable to view no matter what the season. For people who are hung up on leaf size, there are A. rubrums with naturally small leaves to begin with, and all of them will diminish over time when subjected to bonsai culture.

The fact that not much bonsai work has been done with this species makes it as attractive to some people as it is suspect to others.

A. rubrum can have outstanding autumn color:



They look good in the winter, too, when you can enjoy to bright red color of the newer twigs:



The A. rubrums in the above pictures were grown from seed and have been in containers the whole time. The larger trees are about ten years old and the smaller about six. The container was made by Max Braverman.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  kenduncan on Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:07 pm

AJ, I like your Red Maple group. Have the trees ever bloomed?
Ken

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  AJ on Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:13 pm

Ken, sorry for the delayed response. No, as of yet the maples in this planting have not bloomed, but that is because I've never given them the chance. I suspect they are mature enough to flower at this point, but they are not mature enough in terms of their bonsai development, so they are still being aggressively pruned to promote ramification. Flower buds do not have the chance to develop. Someday, though, that will be a great feature. A. rubrum flowers are small and subtle. The best way to enjoy them is looking at a mass of the trees from a distance, where the multitude of blooms, which occur before the leaves emerge, gives them a hazy coloration ranging from yellow-orange to red. Many times when I've driven down I-26 toward Columbia in late February, I've whiled away the time enjoying the A. rubrum show along the roadside, checking occasionally to make sure I'm not heading off the highway and into the ditch. The other way to enjoy the flowers is individually, right up close:



Of course, bonsai is an excellent vehicle for encouraging this sort of up-close study. So add that to the list of reasons why A. rubrum is well suited for bonsai use - if you can get them to bloom on a bonsai, the delicately detailed flowers would be a perfect size.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Velodog2 on Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:52 pm

martyhab10 wrote:Why bother with Acer rubrum when we have all the varieties of Acer palmatum to work with? One particular maple I like is A. p. aconitifolium. It has exceptionately large leaves which can be reduced to about 2 inches in a couple of growing seasons.
Its fall foliage is spectacular, with streaks of brown and red on a yellow background.

I have several in my landscape that I have propagated through air layers and they are beautiful all year round. One small correction - I believe they are Acer japonicum, not palmatum. I'm sure the leaves and internodes could be reduced effectively in bonsai culture, but I'm guessing the twigs and buds would still be quite large and coarse. Still I could see it as a larger size bonsai. As for why A. rubrum? Why not? Variety is good.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

Post  Rob Kempinski on Wed Feb 11, 2009 9:51 pm

martyhab10 wrote:Why bother with Acer rubrum when we have all the varieties of Acer palmatum to work with? One particular maple I like is A. p. aconitifolium. It has exceptionately large leaves which can be reduced to about 2 inches in a couple of growing seasons.
Its fall foliage is spectacular, with streaks of brown and red on a yellow background.

The problem Marty is climate zones. If one wants to grow maples in the deep south of the USA, Acer palmatum won't do. If you want a maple, it will have to be Red Maple - Acer rubum. It will live although they do not really have ideal bonsai characteristics. However, they do have some value - red color in fall and plenty of availability.

As for me, even though the woods behind my house is a red maple forest, I can't seem to keep one alive as a bonsai.

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Re: Red Maple (Acer rubrum)

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