Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

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Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  jonkatzmail on Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:39 am

I bought a clearance maple tree, unlabelled but it looks like a Red Maple to me (or maybe a Sugar maple with reddish petioles?). Its still in its gallon pot, and its about four feet tall with a few branches at the top. I plan to cut it back to a stump after the leaves fall off, or maybe next srping before the buds expand. Do I need to give it any winter protection or can I leave the pot sitting outside exposed to whatever winter brings opn in zone 5?

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  AdamG on Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:03 am

I'd say at the very least mulch the pot.

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  marcus watts on Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:50 pm

mostly the red maples need winter protection to protect the fine twigs and new buds - as you are going to chop it off there wont really be any twigs left that need protecting. within the red maples its the feathery leaved ones that are more tender too- seigen, etc - as the leaves get broader (deshojo) they get better at coping with winter. on a tree with formed branches i'd protect any red maple from freezing winds and worse still long periods of cold wet weather. bury the pot or wrap it up, and i'd minimise dieback by sheltering the tree from cold winds - this will keep the tree stronger and more likely to produce lots of new shoots when you chop the trunk. A well fed tree will bud better too as it will have plenty of stored energy - if you are unsure of the trees health spend a year feeding it, then consider an air layer - you will get 2 trees then ! Very Happy

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  will baddeley on Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:49 pm

It might be a good idea to establish whether this tree is an American Maple rather than a Japanese variety. Any pics?

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Sep 10, 2011 10:53 pm

will baddeley wrote:It might be a good idea to establish whether this tree is an American Maple rather than a Japanese variety. Any pics?

Yes, red maple - Acer rubrum???? or something else?

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  lordy on Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:16 pm

It will be happier if you put it in the ground without the pot. At a minimum, the pot needs to contact the ground, and then mulch it after the first freeze. Keep it in the shade, and out of the wind. Then around February or the beginning of March cut it to how you want it to start out when the buds swell next spring.

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  roberthu526 on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:18 pm

Japanese red maple usually do not need to be protected in winter if it is planted in the ground. However, if you plant them in a bonsai pot, I would suggest you bury it in the ground and mulch it. Make sure you choose a spot on the south side of the house so it can reach some sun light most of the day.

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  lordy on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:48 pm

In my experience, either it's in the ground and sun is OK, or it's in a pot, mulched, and in the shade. The last thing you want is to have the roots thaw and freeze repeatedly. Let the longer days and rising temps tell the tree when to push buds, not a a warm spell where the temps climb in January only to drop to a hard freeze again, possibly damaging branches. Shade helps to moderate this effect. And winter wind can cause dieback on even trees in the ground, depending on their particular stage of development, and how it may have been cared for going into cold weather.

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Red Maple

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Sep 16, 2011 2:52 pm

We still haven't established whether this is Acer rubrum or Acer palmatum. Please find out.
It is not a good idea to winter a tree like this in the sun. Once the leaves fall off, it does not need any light. Alternating winter cold & heat from the sun can crack the bark or even kill the tree.
Iris

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Sep 16, 2011 3:20 pm

bonsaisr wrote:We still haven't established whether this is Acer rubrum or Acer palmatum. Please find out.
Iris

Thank you!! The other part is good advice too.

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  jonkatzmail on Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:07 am

It would be a Red Maple, Acer rubrum, and not any kind of Japanese Maple. Its nothing exotic, just a plain reduced tree. The leaves are kind of tattered and dried out on the edges so it could be a Sugar Maple, but not likely. And its not a Norway Maple because when I rip a leaf no milky sap comes out. No other kind of maple has leaves similar to it. bounce

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Red Maple

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:15 pm

I would advise you to have the tree identified accurately. Red maple has bonsai possibilities (although difficult). None of the other native species likely to be for sale do.
Red maple can be wintered in the ground outdoors, but it should be covered with a rose cone or something similar, as it is susceptible to the top dying back.
Iris

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  Russell Coker on Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:14 pm

We should all remember that this is a WORLDWIDE forum, and we may receive well-intentioned but inaccurate information when we use terms as vague as "red maple", etc.

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  roberthu526 on Mon Sep 19, 2011 2:42 am

I can't agree to the point that dormant trees don't require sun light. In my experience, if you keem them in the dark or shade all winter, most trees will die.

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Re: Red Maple (?) Does it need any winter protection?

Post  lordy on Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:42 am

roberthu526 wrote:I can't agree to the point that dormant trees don't require sun light. In my experience, if you keem them in the dark or shade all winter, most trees will die.
No direct sun does not equate with being in the dark. My home faces south. I keep my trees in the back and it gets shade all day every day all winter. But it is open to the sky, so it gets plenty of overhead sky light. My trees are perfectly happy as far as light is concerned. And since most trees go into dormancy during shorter periods of daylight, they actually dont need sunlight.

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