Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

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Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Apr 15, 2010 1:23 pm

Last year was the 2nd year attempting to root Japanese maple cuttings. From the looks of it I have one survivor.

Once again, I received a donation of several branches from a co-worker's maple. Last night I was able to quickly construct a rooting tray.

I took a small wooden pallet, turned it upside down, and lined it with plastic. I filled it with a bottom layer of loose bonsai mix and topped it off with course sand and watered well.

The branches were cut to 6 to 8 inch lengths (a few were left longer). I used a section of branch as a dibble and poked holes in the medium into which I inserted cuttings. I added some plant starter fertilizer to the mix and closed the door to the cold frame (So, now it is a humidity frame!)

I will take photos tonight and hope to get them on-line this weekend.

One of these days I will get good at this! (I hope!)

Jay

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Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  bonsaisr on Thu Apr 15, 2010 2:46 pm

It may be too early in the year to root cuttings. As a rule, it is much easier to root softwood (green) cuttings, which are available in June. Why didn't you use rooting hormone? The fertilizer won't do much if there are no roots. There are special preparations available in the garden centers for rooting woody plants. You might also try seaweed extract. It is widely used for plant propagation. In addition, fish emulsion has been proven to suppress damping off, but you have to mix it in the soil a month before to have the full effect.
Iris

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  AlainK on Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:32 pm

I planted about 30 cuttings in Autumn, we'll see how many take root: usually, autumn cuttings are for larger branches than those I planted.

I also planted cuttings in February, a few weeks before buds open. I had about 20% success last year with cuttings planted at that period.

I tried summer cuttings too last year, in late June. On about 30, only 5 didn't turn black, and they are just leafing out, maybe they've taken.

A friend of mine has a small greenhouse with floor heating and a misting system (every 15 mn), and he claims to have a 90% rate of success.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  JimLewis on Thu Apr 15, 2010 3:41 pm

With Japanese maple it is almost imperatiive that you use rooting hormone. You can lift these again, cut a few mm off the ends and dip them in a power or liquid hormone, and replant. In zone 5 you probably shuold have bottom heat on your bed.

I tried some early trident cuttings here, and 2/3 of them have not struck. That's about what I expected.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:08 pm

Last fall I did some major pruning to a Cotoneaster I picked up at Lowe's and a Dwarf Korean Lilac. I started 3 or for of the cuttings from both. So far all of the fall cuttings have survived.

The maple cuttings were not dipped in rooting hormone yet. I got them home late last night and wanted to get them into something to keep them from dying before I could get to them. Tonight I will be able to take the time to recut the ends and dip them.

I wasn't planning on starting them this soon, but my co-worker showed up with two fairly good sized branches yesterday morning and I didn't want to just let them die. I should be able to get 18 to 24 out of them.

I may try some additional cuttings as the season progresses.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  wabashene on Thu Apr 15, 2010 4:48 pm

I have been an inveterate cutting taker over the years and Acer Palmatum are tough.

One success from 3-400 cuttings - none of which were done in any systematic way to be fair.

As Jim and others have said, I do believe rooting hormone and bottom heat is the key to real high rate success and this what Brent at Evergreen recommends as well iirc.

Trident maple no problem - drop a stick on the ground and it sprouts in UK south............................ well almost.................... and then gets knobbled by Coral spot fungus just when you're looking to lift if and pot it up

Crying or Very sad

Thks

TimR

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Apr 15, 2010 5:03 pm

I do most of my palmatums in June/July with hormone and bottom heat in a propagator to keep humidity up and get about 50% strike rate usually. I have had about 25% success rates with thicker hardwood cuttings of common palmatum in autumn, using the same technique.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  GaryWood on Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:45 pm

Jay, at Telperion Farms we offer an intern program 3 times a year where people come to learn about all aspects of bonsai from propagating,container growing, field growing and finishing. Getting hands on experience with the regular crew. If you are interested just give Chris a call.
Wood

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Thu Apr 15, 2010 10:32 pm

I appreciate the offer. I'm not sure I can afford to take off work, leave Illinois for an internship in Oregon.

But, it does sound like a great opportunity.

Jay

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  RKatzin on Fri Apr 16, 2010 4:46 am

I've had very bad luck with cuttings from Japanese Maples, but I've had very good luck ground or air-layering them. A simple groung layering setup.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Kev Bailey on Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:01 pm

An excellent "tutorial in a photo" RKatzin. I'll be trying this!

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:38 pm

I've been using the same system for probagating blackberries. Never thought of using it for a tree. I have a sour cherry tree in my back yard that needs severe pruning. Might begin playing with those to get some air layering ppractice in.

That reminds me, we have to kill off our whole blackberry patch to get rid of sweetgum and other volunteer trees. If I get started now with ground (planter) layering, I can have a dozen or so new plants to put back in the patch when we are ready.

Thanks, RKatzsin

Jay

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  RKatzin on Sat Apr 17, 2010 12:08 pm

Thanks Kev and Jay, A picture is worth a thousand words, but I'd like to say a few. This little set up worked, but I almost lost the mother. Taking four at once was a bit much for such a small tree, she's just now coming around while the cuttings have been leafed out for a week. Never a problem with larger trees or trees in the ground. On another note, Jay, it's hard to believe someone grows blackberry intentionally. Around here they're the biggest nuisance, growing wild on any untended plot, hundreds of acres of wild blackberry.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Joe Hatfield on Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:19 pm

RKatzin wrote:I've had very bad luck with cuttings from Japanese Maples, but I've had very good luck ground or air-layering them. A simple groung layering setup.

This is some interesting low tech. I like it. I will be trying this.

As for the cuttings. Maple always gave me some trouble unless, I really paid attention. Junipers have been really easy for me for some reason. I don't know if they are for anyone else.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:50 pm

RKatzin wrote:Thanks Kev and Jay, A picture is worth a thousand words, but I'd like to say a few. This little set up worked, but I almost lost the mother. Taking four at once was a bit much for such a small tree, she's just now coming around while the cuttings have been leafed out for a week. Never a problem with larger trees or trees in the ground. On another note, Jay, it's hard to believe someone grows blackberry intentionally. Around here they're the biggest nuisance, growing wild on any untended plot, hundreds of acres of wild blackberry.


Not only do we grow them, but my wife has been known (and appreciated) for stopping by my office and dropping of large blackberry cobblers! MMMMMM!

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  RKatzin on Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:40 pm

Oh, did I give the impression I don't enjoy the berries? Nay, nay, it's an annual event, gorging on blackberries. The fields are eight to ten feet tall in places. I use two planks, one to walk on and one to carry, and leap frog my way out into middle of the patch. Those along the roadside get a funny taste. Cave Junction, Or. has it's annual blackberry festival, where you can get everything blackberry you can imagine, and I'd bet some you can't. It's a big deal for a town with only two traffic signals, both on the same street. I'm looking out my back window right now and beyond my property lies idle pastureland as far as I can west, all in blackberry. It has encroached on the back third of my place and I'm working on reclaiming the land a little bit at a time. There's old canes in there that are an inch and a half and several on each root wad, which make interesting bonsai strapped over a chunk of stone. The gnarled root is the main attraction, some totally awesome pieces, and the canes can be trained as they grow each year. I can hear the poo phoos from here, I know, it's not even a tree yadayada, but I've never studied under a master or had any formal traing and no one has ever told me no you can't. Not twice anyway. Laughing

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:46 pm

Hey RKatzin,

I think you should definitely post this to Robert Baran's "less usual bonsai" thread. Let's see a picture?

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  RKatzin on Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:46 pm

I saw that post and I'm kicking myself for not getting any pics of the ones I made last season. Very popular around here, but I didn't think anyone in the 'serious' bonsai world would be interested. Except for the internet I'm pretty out of touch and in my own little bonsai world. There's nothing new under the sun and I'm certain if I thought of it a hundred have already done it, still nice to know I'm not the only one who will bonsai anything that won't crawl off the table. Very Happy A friend is constantly trying to get me to do some Poison Oak, I know of some four inch vines out in the deep jungle, but never has an answer when I ask how much he'd pay.

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

Post  Jay Gaydosh on Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:31 pm

I'm sure Bonsai Blackberries would be COOL!

There was an article a year or two back in Mother Earth News about a gardener who had his own Bonsai Grape vineyard. His vines were all in tall pots that he set in verticle clay pipes buried in his back yard. Just before winter hit, he pulled them and stored them out of the cold. He had even built covers for the pipes to keep them from filling full of yard dibris when they were empty. I believe he was able to produce enough grapes each year to make a couple gallons of home made wine.

Jay

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Re: Beginning the annual quest to root J. Maple cuttings

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