American Red Maple? (swamp maple)

Messages
81
Likes
8
Location
Central Florida
USDA Zone
9
#1
My girlfriend and I were coming home from Alabama yesterday to Florida and came across a bonsai place on route 231 two miles from I-10. Nice place, lots of bonsai to see and buy!

I had asked a question regarding Japanese Maples and since I live in Central Florida, they are a no go. She did however mention that a swamp maple (Acer rubrum) work just fine and to look into one of those. So I have and wanted to be sure that it will work in hardiness zone 9b. In my research it says that they are hardy up to zone 9.

So, I am curious will this work?
 
Messages
515
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703
Location
N/E Illinois
USDA Zone
5b
#2
It will live in a pot just fine.

The struggle is keeping the leaves small, and the branches fine and twiggy. It seems to resist both of those conditions.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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18,851
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23,814
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#6
I'm good with Acer Biggun!

Works for the size tree too!

And if anybody naysays you....

Shoot em in the face!

Check...check...and....

Check!

Sorce
 
Messages
81
Likes
8
Location
Central Florida
USDA Zone
9
#7
I'm good with Acer Biggun!

Works for the size tree too!

And if anybody naysays you....

Shoot em in the face!

Check...check...and....

Check!

Sorce
Thank you!

Now to find one as they seem hard to find as all I can find is Japanese Maples or Acer rubrum seeds.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
Messages
12,091
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17,056
Location
Mio Michigan
USDA Zone
4
#8
I can't have Japanese maples up here. It's too cold in winter.
I may try Amur maple again again but not red maple.
I would rather have Japanese maples over any others though.
 
Messages
536
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504
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
USDA Zone
7
#9
Greetings @Naomanos the rubrum will be absolutely fine. I will say, like others have already, I've been growing a acer rubrum for the past 16 years and it's very hard to reduce this tree's leaves, if not overall size. I've defoliated this tree once and the leaves come back nice and small but that's temporary.
 
Messages
673
Likes
639
Location
Wyomissing, PA
USDA Zone
6b
#10
This species (Acer rubrum) is locally abundant in the Fakahatchee, which is far south in the Everglades, so a locally sourced one will do great in any part of Central Fl.

Also, (Japanese) red maple is a common name for certain Acer palmatum and Acer rubrum (just "red maple" in the latter case).
 
Messages
81
Likes
8
Location
Central Florida
USDA Zone
9
#11
This species (Acer rubrum) is locally abundant in the Fakahatchee, which is far south in the Everglades, so a locally sourced one will do great in any part of Central Fl.

Also, (Japanese) red maple is a common name for certain Acer palmatum and Acer rubrum (just "red maple" in the latter case).
So, there are Japanese Red Maples that are just Acer rubrum? Thus far, I have only found Japanese Red Maples and no species name. Don't want to get Japanese Red Maple and have it not survive because it's the wrong species.

Would it be better to obtain seeds or try to find a several years or more year old tree? Acer rubrum seeds are easy to find and are all over the place online. Actual Acer rubrum trees, not so much.
 
Messages
536
Likes
504
Location
Fairfax, Virginia
USDA Zone
7
#13
@Naomanos I would advise that if you start from seed, it'll take you forever. I believe what @miker is trying to say is, japanese red maples are commonly known as acer palmatum; but, the acer rubrum is really just "red maple" and that tree reaches all the way south into the everglades. I think the reason why you don't see acer rubrum (red maple) trees is because they're not popular as bonsai material; thus, you won't see it for sale much. I got mine as a sapling growing next to a tree locally. I agree with @miker that you should find a local acer rubrum and identify it by leaf once the tree starts to wake up. This is what swamp maple leaves look like.

 
Messages
1,047
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1,041
Location
Bethlehem, PA
USDA Zone
6b
#14
Acer rubrum has the most beautfil fall color I've seen in a potted plant yet (my history is short). They don't lend themselves to bonsai but I'm starting to see some okay examples around. It'll take a lot fo work and some experimentation but I love local species so I'm trying a few myself. Just remember that japanese maple have been in bonsai cultivation for hundreds of years or more. Red maple have been mostly ignored until about a week ago, there's no rule book or elders to ask questions to, just a rugged trail to blaze. Please give it a shot, the USA needs more players in the game
 
Messages
673
Likes
639
Location
Wyomissing, PA
USDA Zone
6b
#15
The red maples in your area should all be leafed out fully by now. Look under the larger trees and you should be able to find an abundance of seedlings.

The "trilobum" variant of Acer rubrum(leaves pictured above) is the type that is supposed to more lend itself to bonsai.

I now live in SE PA and even up here I see both types with regularity.

This past fall, I found a young seedling with fire engine red leaves and a cherry red stem. I will be growing this out for bonsai purposes.

With many, many years of selective breeding and experience, I think Acer rubrum could be tamed into a species fully suitable for bonsai culture.
 
Messages
928
Likes
1,074
Location
Southern Michigan
USDA Zone
6a
#17
I can't have Japanese maples up here. It's too cold in winter.
I may try Amur maple again again but not red maple.
I would rather have Japanese maples over any others though.
Mike, Japanese maples will grow up there, I know this because I take notice of a nice one growing in someone's yard on red oak rd every time im up there.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
Messages
12,091
Likes
17,056
Location
Mio Michigan
USDA Zone
4
#18
Mike, Japanese maples will grow up there, I know this because I take notice of a nice one growing in someone's yard on red oak rd every time im up there.
I've tried and they can't take it.
Is this tree along 489? Or somewhere else?
 
Messages
906
Likes
1,218
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
#19
My girlfriend and I were coming home from Alabama yesterday to Florida and came across a bonsai place on route 231 two miles from I-10. Nice place, lots of bonsai to see and buy!

I had asked a question regarding Japanese Maples and since I live in Central Florida, they are a no go. She did however mention that a swamp maple (Acer rubrum) work just fine and to look into one of those. So I have and wanted to be sure that it will work in hardiness zone 9b. In my research it says that they are hardy up to zone 9.

So, I am curious will this work?
Swamp maple can work as bonsai, but you need to be aware of one thing in addition to the usual admonitions about leaf size. If your plan is to collect a large specimen it's going to rot out from the chop to the ground starting about year three. I am not aware of any way to stop this from happening. With that said, I've also seen some awesome large swamp maple bonsai that went with the flow and ended up making super nice hollow trunk specimens. Just be sure to plan for this eventuality.

Zach
 

Giga

Masterpiece
Messages
3,749
Likes
4,358
Location
Virginia beach, VA
USDA Zone
7-8
#20
I have 4 red maples and I think they make fantastic bonsai - I've even been able to keep leaf size down. Not sure about swamp maple though - these are just your standard red maple