A couple of Red Maples (Acer Rubrum)

Jay Wilson

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I was reading some threads on red maples this morning and got inspired to go work on some of mine.

Red Maples have some use as bonsai if you can work with their shortcomings.

They say the leaves don't reduce, but I've found they will to a degree.
Another area of concern is the inter-node length. I've found that this will shorten up quite a bit as well.
The last main thing against red maples is the length of the petioles...... I've not had much luck with that, but smaller leaves make for shorter petioles:)

Anyway, here are a couple of Red Maples.

This one is a broom looking thing I've been playing with for maybe 5 or 6 years.
First pic is after it's first defoliation this year back in mid March.
Second pic is today... 7 or 8 weeks later. Lots of wild, rank growth.
Third and fourth pic's are today as well, showing leaf size after cutting off the worst of the wild growth and then leafless.

This tree is coming along, but as with most of my trees, it needs a few more years.
 

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Jay Wilson

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This next Acer Rubrum has been around a bit longer than the first one..... Maybe 7 or 8 years.

I trimmed and defoliated this one in mid March as well, and it also has gone wild. (first pic)
Second picture is today after a trim and leaf removal.

This is one of my favorite red maples. It's got a ways to go also, but I wanted to show folks that Acer Rubrum can be worked as bonsai. Maybe not as nice as your tridents and palmatums, but for a native of north america, a lot can be done with it.
 

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jk_lewis

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I'm afraid I like the first one better than the second. It is one of the better -- if not the best -- Acer rubrum bonsai I have seen. Good job on both.

Down in Polk City you probably can defoliate a healthy tree three times over a growing season -- maybe more often.
 

Jay Wilson

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Don't be afraid JKL. You may or may not think different if you saw them in person.

Thanks, though it's funny, I really didn't think that much of the broom one....the picture does it too much justice maybe. However, if you and Al think it's acceptable, I'd better rethink my opinion of it.

You are right about defoliating down here... I've never done it more than three times in a year, but it could be done at least once more I think.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Jay, these are incredible trees. I love the nebari and branch structure on the first one -- very good work.
 

Jay Wilson

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Thanks Alex .....That makes three thumbs up for the first tree:)

Here are a couple more. They're not as far along as the first two, but they show some potential.

Again, I'm posting these trees to show the potential for bonsai with Acer Rubrum. The leaf size and long petioles present a challenge. The bonsai purists will tell you that deciduous trees should only be shown in their leafless, winter state........That solves those two problems:D
 

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Jay Wilson

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Here's a couple of pictures of the first tree with the new leaves coming out two weeks later.
 

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evmibo

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Jay,

very nice! My largest A. rubrum only has a 1/2" trunk. Did you collect most of these?

Other than defoliating what else is up your sleeve to work on shortening petioles and creating smaller leaves?

Evan
 
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davetree

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Isn't there a Florida variety of Acer Rubrum that has smaller leaves ? Is that what these are ?
 

jk_lewis

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Yes. It grows in northernmost Florida and south Georgia. I've mislaid my Copy of Kurz and Godfrey's The Trees of Northern Florida, but they refer to it there. I had one growing beside my house in Leon County, 1/2 mile south of the Georgia State Line. It still had rather long internodes and very long petioles on the leaves.
 

evmibo

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They also grow in southern Florida, although I see them in protected areas behind barbed wire fences usually ;( . For any of you that drive "alligator alley" from Naples to Ft.Lauderdale or vice verse it is loaded with cypress domes, pines and red maples. This is the Everglades National park on the East side and Big Cypress National Preserve on the West side. There are maples there that have desirable bonsai characteristics and everytime I drive through I'm always left admiring some nice big trees.

Luckily, some people are still using native species for local landscaping. I collected this one about a year and a half ago as a seedling that was growing in a ficus hedge.
1" petioles when letting it growout. Leaves <2.5" without trying to reduce (some are much smaller).
rubrum.jpg
 

Poink88

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Jay,
I like this the most of all 4 you posted actually.
 

Jay Wilson

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Thanks Dario, I like this one quite a bit myself.
It's got a good basic structure and a few more years of growing may make for a pretty good tree.
 

Xavier

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This next Acer Rubrum has been around a bit longer than the first one..... Maybe 7 or 8 years.

I trimmed and defoliated this one in mid March as well, and it also has gone wild. (first pic)
Second picture is today after a trim and leaf removal.

This is one of my favorite red maples. It's got a ways to go also, but I wanted to show folks that Acer Rubrum can be worked as bonsai. Maybe not as nice as your tridents and palmatums, but for a native of north america, a lot can be done with it.



Thumb up on this one.
 
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