5 Point Leaf Maple

ml_work

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Will the Maple's with 5 point leaves change to small leaf and make good bonsai? The trees look very much like Trident Maple. The power company is cutting under about 5 miles of power line and it is many small - 2' and up pine and maples. I was thinking on digging some up as they will be cut down level to the ground in the next few days.

Thanks,
Michael
 

jonathan

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they can be reduced to some extend but not nearly as much as tridents but then again same applies to japanese maples.

happy hunting.
 

rockm

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Maples with five point leaves? Are you sure they're maples. THey may be sweetgum, if they're growing in a large group under powerlines. Sweetgum (liquidamber styraciflua)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquidambar_styraciflua

Liquidamber doesn't make great bonsai. It's hard to control growth to keep it looking good. Collection is also a little touchy as they have to be dug before leaf buds start swelling in the spring.
 

Tachigi

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Michael,

Hard to tell what type of maple your looking at by your description. However, it is possible to reduce some large leaf maples down to bonsai size with a bit of patience and the use of the right technique.

Below is a picture of silver maple which could be construed as a 5 pointer. As you can see it does reduce and when reduced looks vaguely similar to a trident.

If Mark's assumption is right, the last picture is the sweet gum (liquid amber) he spoke of.
 

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jonathan

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btw acer palmatum 'Osakazuki' also has 5 pointed leaves and they reduce quite good with some time/technique/patience.

greets jonathan.
 

rockm

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Given the poster's location in Alabama and the number and location of trees he's talking about, they're most likely not Japanese maples, but either sweetgum or native red maple (acer rubrum).
 

ml_work

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Thanks for the replies, not what I wanted to hear, but what I feared. From the picture Tom has on the right side I think they are sweet gum. Guess I will pass on the dig. Are there any maples in central Alabama that would make nice bonsai?
Thanks,
Michael
 

rockm

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There are a couple of species of native North American maples that live in Alabama. None make very good bonsai. One can be wrestled (with special techniques) into pretty good bonsai.

Swamp Red Maple (Acer rubrum "drummondii") has been used to make some very good bonsai, but those trees were created by folks with alot of expereince.
There are some pics of a notable Acer rubrum bonsai (and a sweet gum bonsai) here--look in "bonsai courtyard":

vlbanting.com

You'll have to scroll down and look for them, but they're there. Vaughn Banting was a pioneer with Southern US native bonsai material.

THe biggest issue with Rubrum and other US Maples is internode length (space between leaves on twigs). They tend to have gangly looking branching that is difficult to control. Acer rubrum Drummondii seems to have shorter internode length and a "neater" growth habit.
 

Tachigi

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Michael how do you feel about Oaks?

My wife's family lives in Piedmont and I have collected there more than a few times. You have an abundance of willow oak and also a natural hybrid of southern red oak and willow that make excellent bonsai. Alabama still does it the old fashion way when clearing, brush that parallels the roads.....gotta love a bush hog. I have a nice collection of these trees and suggest you give them a try.

Just one thing...snakes....you guys have way to many of them...and with hacked trunks with lots of hollows its a perfect hiding place....keep on your toes and look before reaching down or sticking your nose close to inspect a trunk.

Did I mention I hate snakes.:eek:
 

ml_work

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Quote: "There are a couple of species of native North American maples that live in Alabama. None make very good bonsai. One can be wrestled (with special techniques) into pretty good bonsai."

"Swamp Red Maple (Acer rubrum "drummondii") has been used to make some very good bonsai, but those trees were created by folks with alot of experience."

RockM, the "special techniques" and "folks with alot of experience" leave me out at this point. I will look at the site, thank you for your time.
RockM, I am looking at the site now, this is very nice. At 56k it will take some time to view all the pictures but worth it. Thank You!

Quote: "Did I mention I hate snakes"

Snakes and sticks that look like snakes!

Tom, I had made the same statement to my wife that it look very "snakie" to get to the trees.
I grew up hunting in woods around here (wouldn't kill a fly now) but never got all the trees straight. My Dad on the other hand was a "Tonto" can track a deer by the movement of the leaves. And knows the trees very well, I will get him to go with me on a dig. We have a small track of land in the country that I can collect all I want. I like oak (have a couple of pencil size in pots now) but the pictures I have seen it seemed the leaves do not get small..?
Thank you both for your time.
Michael
 
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Tachigi

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Quote: "Did I mention I hate snakes"

Snakes and sticks that look like snakes!

Tom, I had made the same statement to my wife that it look very "snakie" to get to the trees.
I grew up hunting in woods around here (wouldn't kill a fly now) but never got all the trees straight. My Dad on the other hand was a "Tonto" can track a deer by the movement of the leaves. And knows the trees very well, I will get him to go with me on a dig. We have a small track of land in the country that I can collect all I want. I like oak (have a couple of pencil size in pots now) but the pictures I have seen it seemed the leaves do not get small..?
Thank you both for your time.
Michael

The term "Snakie" must be a Bama thing ..... is what my wife always says before I go crashing into the underbrush :D

Taking your Dad sounds like a great idea...if he knows the woods and is familiar with species then he can relate a lot of knowledge to you. My wife can do the same...just have to translate the Bama common name (slang) to Botanical name we all recognize.

As far as the two oaks I suggested...both have leaves that will reduce down to 3/4 inch. Willow oak has leaves that are similar to a willow hence the name, and the hybrid I spoke of has a widish willow leaf look, but has 2 to 4 irregular lobes.

Good hunting Michael!

Cheers, Tom
 
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rockm

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Snakes aren't the only thing to watch out for when you're poking around under trees when you're collecting. ALWAYS wear thick leather gloves when you're moving things at the base of a tree. I've run into very large black widow spiders and scorpions digging trees in Texas. Rattlesnakes warn you. Spiders and stinging insects don't :D.

Willow oak is a good candidate. Live oak is also another candidate, although it's a bit trickier to dig. Don't bother collecting seedlings. Experiment with saplings (about an inch or so in diameter). Find out what trees can take what treatment (you will lose a lot of them as you learn). Leave the REALLY good stuff alone until you've mastered how to get them out alive.
 

cray13

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Method for ID'ing sweet gum

My apologies if someone already mentioned this... I must be honest and say I haven't read every entry in this thread.

Quick tip on identifying sweet gum. Pull a fresh green leaf off of the tree in question and crush it in the palm of your hand... if it has a strong pungent smell then it is sweet gum.

A maple leaf has a very mild smell compared to sweet gum. I've found this method makes Identifying sweet gum very easy.

Of course, the other ID method would be observing the sweet gum's woody, spiny, ball-like fruit.
 

ml_work

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Cray, thanks for the idea, sounds good. It's that "snakie" thing that has stopped me from checking the trees on the side of the road. I am on a bike, shorts and tennis shoes when I go by and the Snakes are still "awake" around here.

Rock and Tom, I will take the names you mentioned and lookup a couple of pictures to help identify when I get to the woods. Rock, I agree ...seedlings are a waste of time if I can get something older...but leave the good ones until after I kill ...I mean learn on a few. I have cut the top out of a few pines last year and left them in the ground to see what happens.

Tom...I am sure over the years you have had to decode many "thangs" from Bama to U.S.

Thanks to all!
Michael
 

Tachigi

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It's that "snakie" thing that has stopped me from checking the trees on the side of the road........

Tom...I am sure over the years you have had to decode many "thangs" from Bama to U.S.
Thanks to all!
Michael

Michael,
Looks like that snakie thing might be over soon and let you get out there. A recent article from the Piedmont journal reported on an infestation....a herpetologist was called and said they were on there migration track for hibernation. See the article http://www.thepiedmontjournal.com/news/2009/pj-local-0916-patrick-9i16u2256.htm

As far as translation of Bamaisms I have a doctorate and am in demand by folks of the northern persuasion to help them understand. I think babble fish should consider an application for this as well. A few of my favorites are:

Hose Pipe = Garden Hose, Bogg'n = Hat, Pone = Cake, Buc'n Dawg = a winch or come along
 

ml_work

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I think I will take Tom's article...let them sleep :)

Have A Great Day!
Michael
 

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