Aftercare for collected Maples

Cioffi

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I collected two maples in early April (Zone 6A). (I suppose it would have better to collect in mid to late March.) I chopped the trunk of each tree, leaving roughly four feet. I potted them in a bonsai soil mix. Once a week I give them root hormone, a vitamin mix, and something for "transplant shock." Here's the issue. Some of the leaves - it seems the larger ones - are starting to wilt. We had some strong wind the other day, so I'm sure that didn't help. Here's what I'm wondering. Would a humidity tent help? Would a heat source underneath the trees help the roots develop faster? If need be, would it help to snip off some leaves in an attempt to let the roots catch up? I collected two other maples and a beech, and they're doing quite well. I'm not sure what's going on with the two maples in question.
 

sorce

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All our good practitioners probably can't read that small text!😉

I collected two maples in early April (Zone 6A). (I suppose it would have better to collect in mid to late March.) I chopped the trunk of each tree, leaving roughly four feet. I potted them in a bonsai soil mix. Once a week I give them root hormone, a vitamin mix, and something for "transplant shock." Here's the issue. Some of the leaves - it seems the larger ones - are starting to wilt. We had some strong wind the other day, so I'm sure that didn't help. Here's what I'm wondering. Would a humidity tent help? Would a heat source underneath the trees help the roots develop faster? If need be, would it help to snip off some leaves in an attempt to let the roots catch up? I collected two other maples and a beech, and they're doing quite well. I'm not sure what's going on with the two maples in question.

Sorce
 

sorce

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Too much hormone acts in reverse, I'd start by cutting that out.

Sorce
 

Cioffi

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Ah, right, I didn't see that the text was so small. Thanks for reposting!
 

Cioffi

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Too much hormone acts in reverse, I'd start by cutting that out.

Sorce
Should I continue at some point or just eliminate it all together at this point?
 

sorce

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Should I continue at some point or just eliminate it all together at this point?

You shouldn't need it at all.

If root hormone isn't snake oil, it should be considered such for bonsai.

Especially when starting new plants with zero years.

If plant A needs root hormone, convincing, to grow roots, it will suck every Repot.

Plant B that grows a bag full of roots quick as hell with no convincing, will more likely provide the 200 years of worry free repotting.

If a rancher bought a bunch of stock that needed to be convinced to eat every day, Chicago wouldn't be Chicago, and we'd probably eat a lot more chicken.

Sorce
 

leatherback

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not knowing the local climatic conditions makes this tricky. Buut.. I would consider defoliation if you really had a collect. Then just let it do its thing.
 

Cioffi

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not knowing the local climatic conditions makes this tricky. Buut.. I would consider defoliation if you really had a collect. Then just let it do its thing.
So I'm at 6A (west Michigan). Right now, we're between 50-75 degrees (F) (dipping down at night to high 30s or low 40s at times). Warm weather, though, is on its way for later this week and probably here on. So, defoliation - every leaf off? Is that normal for collected trees or just in the case of trying to save a collected tree? Thanks.
 

leatherback

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Is that normal for collected trees or just in the case of trying to save a collected tree?
ideally trees are collected when leafless. Then root recovery can keep pace with foliage showing up. Right now, you just have a lot of evaporation going on, with no roots.

But as said, I do not know what you call collected. We do not know what sort of tree you are talking, nor what foliage is on there.

If you add your location to your profile, people will know in the future. If you post a picture, people can better judge what you have there.
 

Shibui

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I can't see any need for root hormone. Root hormone stimulates roots on stems but underground parts are already roots, even if they have been chopped hard. They already know how to grow new roots so should not need chemical assistance. No need to taper off, just stop using it.
Vitamin mix seems to be snake oil in my trails but if it makes you feel good keep using as it does not seem to do any harm.
'Stuff for transplant shock' can vary. Often it is just Vitamin B and again, I have not been able to see any beneficial affect on transplanted trees but does not do any harm.
There are some anti-transpirants that are sprayed on the leaves to reduce moisture loss. That appears to slow transpiration enough to allow roots to catch up.
Defoliation is an alternative to reduce water loss. Not ideal because leaves help feed the new roots but most trees have enough stored reserves to recover from occasional setbacks.
Another alternative is to just let it do its thing. Trees are capable of dropping leaves to balance water use in order to survive. Not all seem to manage the trick but maybe those that don't survive were never going to with other treatments anyway.

4 feet tall seems pretty tall for something destined to become bonsai or are these for landscape?
 

Cioffi

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Great advice, folks. I chopped at four feet thinking that the tree may need, um, something that four feet gives it. I guess I was thinking it needs more buds, leaves for root growth. What's interesting is that there are some leaves that seem fine (not the majority) and then the rest are droopy.

How often should I water the trees? Should I base it on dry (or mostly dry) soil, or assume that they need some water on a daily basis.

I did read a bit on collecting trees, but I didn't come across a lot on "trouble shooting." So, everybody's input is very helpful.
 

Shibui

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I tend to keep collected trees on the slightly damp side rather than drier. Mine are mostly watered on automatic so they often get more than many would consider appropriate and they still mostly make it.
We have found it is better to keep Australian natives (all evergreens and generally collected in warmer months) recover far better when the pots are kept in a tray of water while they re-establish so it seems that extra moisture is not as detrimental as some would have us believe.
 

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