Maples bonsai from seeds

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Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:18 pm

Hello IBC members,

I'm sharing you some pictures of my work with the Acer palmatum from seeds.
I have been creating bonsai from seeds for 22 years. It's a long way, however, it gives you more choices and in this way you can observe the whole cycle of a tree life.


Fresh seeds ordered at the end of November.


Seeds are hydrated for 72H in a 5°C water.


Hydrated seeds are mixed a with the charcoal powder to limit the proliferation of micro organisms, when no chemical is used.


The germination is observed between 6 to 10 weeks of stratification from 3 to 5°C in the fridge.


2 months old young maples.


Field growth in summer



7months old maples


1 year old maples


Field growth in winter


2 years old pre-bonsai maples


3 to 4 years old pre-bonsai Acer palmatum.



Giang,
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thank you

Post  brucebinsf on Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:41 pm

thank you,, that was a nice little view of the "life of" for a Sunday morning.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  drgonzo on Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:58 pm

I'm going to begin stratification of mine about mid January,

I had read about using an overnight warm water soak, but you use a cool water soak for three days? Have you tried warm water I read its supposed to help loosen the tough seed coating.

Also The charcoal Idea is GREAT, I use 100% inorganic to help limit fungus, but Charcoal sounds interesting too.

What medium/soil do you use when they are in the refrigerator?

Excellent growth! I'm just about to do this process myself so this thread was very helpful thank you Giang
-Jay

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:36 pm

Thank you,
It's a long way, like any trip, the longest one begins with the first step. Season after season, we can observe the evolution of the tree life. At least, with this method, we know exactly the age of each tree, and each one has a story to tell to us.

Usually, at this time of the year, I prepare many seeds for the next generation of trees.


Malus pumila seeds


Juniperus sinensis


Prunus subhirtilla


Ulmus parvifolia...


Prunus myrobalan, 4 weeks old.


Zelkova serrata in controlled condition before the field growth.


Pinus parvifolia, 1 year old.


Pinus thunbergii



Hi Jay,
Charcoal powder and garllic tea (used post- germination) are one of the most efficient natural products to limit the development of fungus, when we dont treat the seeds with chemical. For the stratification base, I use 1/2 Sphagnum moss + 1/2 charcoal broken into small pieces. I also use 1/2 sand + 1/2 charcoal. But everything must be heated for 200°C for 20min in the home oven. We can't prevent the development of micro organisms, because their spores are constantly in the air, but can limit its proliferation.


Giang


Last edited by giangus on Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:46 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:45 pm

I may try a little charcoal powder in the seed flats this year. I just plant my A. palmatum and other seed in flats and set them out for the winter with a screen over the top to keep critters from digging up the seed. Of course Spokane is a little colder than the Canary Islands so natural stratification works well. I also find that transplanting the 1 year old seedlings into another flat with about 3" (8 cm) spacing works well for the 2nd and 3rd year of growth. They have more room for the roots to spread than in small pots and are easier to care for since they can be moved as a group and don't dry out as quickly.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:00 pm

Ah! to rehydrate the seeds from the tropical and some seeds from the subtropical area, like the Ficus religiosa, I use warm water 20 to 28°C from 48h to 72h. This category of seeds doesn't need a cold period to activate the proteins, which controls the germanination process.

The seeds from the temperate zone, such as the pines, apples, zelkova...seeds, I use cold water. I rehydrate the seeds in the fridge from 48h to 72h. In this way, I can accelerate a bit the time of the stratification.

Giang

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  daiviet_nguyen on Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:29 am

Hi anh Giang,

Your process sounds very comprehensive. I am from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Our Winter at its coldest is around 0 Celcius, rarely goes to minus. The last batch of trident maple seeds that I did, I just grounded them in the middle of Winter, and they germinated around early Spring. I have not done Japanese maples. For black pine seeds, I did exactly the same as tridents.

I love your white pine seedlings, they look very cute. I am looking forward to the white pines' progression Smile

Best regards.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:28 am

Chao ban,
For the stratification process, usually we need a constant temperature to get a high rate of germination. Here in southern France and central Canary Islands, the temperature is not constant at all. So I use the fridge temperature for the stratification, as the way I used to do in labs.

We also can use the ourdoor germination in winter time, however, there are many factors, that are out of our control, such as the development of micro organisms, birds...In the fridge stratification, every week, I remove a bit the stratification base for the air circulation and to limit the proliferation of fungus.

For the Japanese white pines, the rate of germination is around 70%, but the post-germination phase is delicate to take care of the small pines due to a fungus ,which affects systematically the base of each young seedlings. Therefore, after the germination phase, I use the garllic tea to water the seedlings, in stead of clean water.

chao,
Giang


White pines germination in controlled condition for the first 8 weeks.


Cuttings of Prunus mume

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:54 pm

Thanks for the details of your stratification and germination methods. It is always useful to see other perspectives.

Your cuttings of Prunus mume caught my attention at the end. I'd love to see some details of when and how you do them.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  nguyen75 on Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:02 pm

chao ban Giangus.
May i asking when the time of the year you do Your cuttings ( chiec canh ) of Prunus mume ? cam on ban nhieu
Nguyen

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:37 pm

Hi Kev & chao ban Nguyen,

There are several ways of propagating the Prunus mume. Seedling and grafting are the most commun methods to obtain the young Japanese apricot trees in great quantity. The cuttings technic is a bit difficult, because it depends on the environmental factors, the quality of the stems, that you will use for the propagation.

I first prepare the sping growth of the green stems. At the end of February (Mediterranean climate), I put the mother plant (progenitor) pots in a heated greenhouse. Then, I start to the nitrogen firtilization. With a high rate of heat, humidity and nutriment, at the end of April, I obtain a great qualitity and quantity of the spring green stems, which I'll use for the cuttings.

Based on plant physiologic cycle, we know that, at this period of the season, with the increase of the temperature, of the daylight and the humidiy, plants use all of its energy and secrete a lot of phytohormones to renew its vegetation, specially the auxin hormone.

So, I just use the artificial atmosphere of the greenhouse to accelerate the growth of the species, that I want to propagate by cuttings, instead of waiting till June, July...

In a controlled atmosphere (humidity, heat, air, light), the Prunus mume gives you the first roots after 3 weeks, with or without the cuttings hormones. For the cuttings base, I use 1/2 peat plus 1/2 charcoal. The Sphagnum moss is so acidic with the presence of water, it doesnt give me an optimal result as expected through many seasons.

The rate of rooting is from 30% to 50%. Therefore, grafting and seedling are often used in profesionnal nurseries.

Regards,
Giang

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:15 pm

Very useful information, thank you Giang.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  nguyen75 on Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:21 pm

thank you ban Gangus , cheers
Nguyen

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  capo_regime on Mon Dec 12, 2011 10:24 pm

Hi all!

Almost every year, by this time, I try to make some seeds born. Depending on the species I use different stratification technics. However, almost every seed is always attacked by fungus. Last year I decided to use a chemical fungicide, diving the seeds on it before going into the freezer but it seems it make no difference.
So, maybe this charcoal technic is what I need to do. What kind of charcoal do you use, vegetable or mineral?
Where do you buy your seeds?

Thanx

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:47 pm

Hi,
when I prepare the stratification base, I use the home oven to sterilize everything, 20 min at 200°C. Chemical fugicide is dangerous for the family fridge. I basically use the wood charcoal and do the weekly aeration to limit the development of micro organisms. For the seeds, I buy every year from the professional sellers, because they have the structure for the seed storage (cool temperature 2 to 5°C and no light) and they have the statistics for the germanition rate of each species.

Giang

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  daiviet_nguyen on Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:53 am

Hi anh Giang,

I hope you have been well. I found your info very useful; especially garlic tea for white pine seedlings and home oven sterilisation.

Are a botanist?

I have a basic understanding of green house etc for seedlings. Would you be able to explain more on "controlled condition" you apply for white pine seedlings, please?

In Australia, it is virtually impossible to buy black pine and white pine seeds. I have my own black pine which already produces good cones. And I am preparing to ground a matured white pine for seeds as well. Hopefully in a few years I can apply your techniques on white pine seedlings Smile

Thank you and best regards.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:51 pm

Chao ban,
The tree propagation by seedling, cuttings, grafting...depends on many parameters, that we can control such as the light, humidity, heat, air circulation...to reduce the development of micro organisms and to provide good condition for the growth of the plants.

Here is a propagation prototype box, that I developed to provide suitable condition for seedling and cuttlings. This is a simple box made of wooden boards 1,4 x0.4x0.5m with 2 neon light tubes (1 in the bottom to provide the heat, the lighting is control by a timer and one on the top for the photosynthesis).





Propagation box

Small greenhouses are made of food plastic boxes covered by clear plastic bags to maintain the humidity.

The whole structure provides an early tropical spring condition to activate proteins, that control the germination or the rooting mecanism. I used to use it to propagate by cuttlings for many conifers species like the Junpirus sinensis or the Podocarpus 'maki' in December and to propagate trees by seedling after March.

After the germination or the rooting, young trees stay in another propagation box with the same condition to get a strong root system before being planted in individual pots for the growth.

In this way we can improve highly the rate of the propagation.

Propagation of Serissa bu cuttlings

Propagation of Sageretia


Propagation of White pines


Propagation of Acer palmatum varieties such as Deshojo, Seigen...

Regards,
Giang
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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  Nejikan on Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:53 pm

Hi Giant,
Very good culture! It is very interesting, thank you for showing us your technic.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  CraftyTanuki on Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:48 am

Thank you for all of your valuable information pertaining to raising maple seed.
Will help me with future endevours.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  luke308 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:43 am

Thanks for a detailed and helpful post. I am just wanting to clarify though, for the stratification of seeds, you use horticultural charcoal. Is this just crushed up? if so do you sieve it and use a particular size eg no fines/dust? Also the garlic tea, how do you make this, and what strength do you dilute it to?

Thanks again,
Luke

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:34 pm

Hi Luke,

I just reduce the barbecue wood charcoal into small pieces from 5mm to fine particules. Then I use this fine dust to envelop the hydrated seeds, and the rest I put with peat moss or sphagnum moss.

For the tea garlic, I crush 5 or 6 fresh garlic clovers, then I put it in a water bottle with 1 L of fresh water. I put this botle into the sunlight for 2 days, I then I use it directly to water the seedlings without dilution.

Regards,
Giang

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  luke308 on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:08 pm

giangus wrote:Hi Luke,

I just reduce the barbecue wood charcoal into small pieces from 5mm to fine particules. Then I use this fine dust to envelop the hydrated seeds, and the rest I put with peat moss or sphagnum moss.

For the tea garlic, I crush 5 or 6 fresh garlic clovers, then I put it in a water bottle with 1 L of fresh water. I put this botle into the sunlight for 2 days, I then I use it directly to water the seedlings without dilution.

Regards,
Giang

Thankyou so much. Would "horticultural" charcoal be better to use than BBQ wood charcoal? I dont know what the difference is, but I have seen it in my local hardware and gardening store next to the specialist potting mixes.
Thanks
Luke

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  luke308 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:24 am

I had a look at the horticultural charcoal to see if it mentioned anything about it being different or better than plain old BBQ charcoal, but I couldn't find anything on the packaging that mentioned this. The staff at the hardware store weren't any help either. It is $28 a bag of the horticultural charcoal whereas the BBQ charcoal is less than $10 for the same size bag!! Unless anyone has any info regarding the difference between the two, I will probably be a cheap skate and buy the BBQ charcoal.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  giangus on Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:53 am

Hi Luke,
For more than 22 years, I have been using BBQ wood charcoal for the tree plantation, from seeds to pre-bonsai trees. The generation of my grand parents used to use also the wood charcoal for their bonsai trees. Here, in Europe, most of professional propagation nurseries dont use charcoal. They use directly chemical to treat the soil.


The maple seedlings are coming out of this week. For the medium, I used 1/2 peatmoss and 1/2 BBQ charcoal reduced into small pieces.
regards,
giang

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

Post  luke308 on Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:10 pm

Thanks for your great information cheers

A few more questions if I may please......
I was wondering though about the sphagnum moss and peat moss you use. You said you use sphagnum moss and charcoal, oven treated, then in the fridge for the stratifying process. And then you use peat moss and charcoal, oven treated, when you plant out seeds post stratifying. Is that correct? Can I use peat moss and charcoal for both the stratifying and the post germination? Are sphagnum and peat interchangeable (ie use either with the charcoal)

Also I noticed one of your post germination pics of white pines in controlled conditions for 8wks are in sphagnum moss, why is this? did you not have peat at the time, or are white pines different to maples?

Also can you confirm that you stratify your white pine, and black pine? I have some black pine seedlings, but I just planted them outside and they germinated (no over-wintering at all). I have been lucky enough to source some more JBP seeds, and a couple of JWP, but I want to ensure I have a high germination rate. So would you to recommend soak, then stratify as per maple seed?

Thanks very much for taking the time to document your process. You have helped many.

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Re: Maples bonsai from seeds

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