I like this a lot. This has been my year for forests/groups. Started one group of tridents from Blll V. Also have 2 larch groups. Your amur maples are lookin' good. I hope I don't have to wait 15 years to look like this. I'll be 80 then!
The roots are looking great! I'm also considering to do a pine forest planting. I'm interested in Amur Maples and Sugar Maples for bonsai. How do Amur Maples differ from other maple species (like Acer Palmatum which I find to be too finicky)? Have you heard of Shandong Maple used for bonsai?
They grow like WEEDS, weeds on steriods....They start growing in February, unless I leave them out unprotected all winter then they hold off until late Feb.
I typically have to hack them back at least four times between March and June. They can push two feet of growth in betweeen hackings. They back bud all up and down the trunk--which is why they have all those warts on the trunks. Hard pruning can kill off large sections of trunks, but new buds pop in only a few weeks along the border of the deadwood and live tissue.
THey are extremely tough species and are now considered invasive in many parts of the country.
"How do Amur Maples differ from other maple species (like Acer Palmatum which I find to be too finicky)?"
See above. This species can take FAR more abuse from weather and heavy handed owners like me. I don't give them any shelter from winter cold or snow. Two winters ago, this forest and another were buried beneath five feet of snow, bent in half to the ground under the load. They were left out in temps below 10 F for weeks. I also give them full sun from March until the leaves drop in autumn. They will grow in extremely shallow containers for years. They've been in this one for over five years now and an even shallower one for a decade. They have had no health issues and simply won't die. Can't say any of that about Acer palmatum. However I like Acer P. better than this species as bonsai. Amur tends to remain very coarse in growth habits and the wood is brittle and can snap easily. Amur is also extremely stiff and upright in growth habits--and that really can't be changed all that much.
Thanks for that info! I'm actually not surprised this species is so cold hardy. If the species name suggests at all where it originates (northeast China, and eastern Russia), it should be hardy up to zone 3. Since you're in VA, I think you leaving it outside in your climate is perfectly fine. I seems like you've done a great job keeping the growth in check. I think the lumps on the trunk add charm and character.
I like the profile of this forest and the arrangement of the trunks, but find the eyepoking front foliage a bit distracting. Do you have any plans on this or is it part of your design?
I have to say I like trees that grow like weeds. Mostly because if a tree is growing that fast it gives me the impression that I know what I doing. Very good feeling when you first start out with bonsai.
Thanks for sharing your forrest. I think you have posted so very nice trees here.
The eyepoking foliage below the canopy isn't really eyepoking, it grows towards the left side of the planting. I should probably cut back some of the secondary branching to expose the initial direction of the branch...
Nice grouping! I sort of feel that they could be shifted a tad to the left in the pot...any chance that's in the plans?
BTW, thanks for sharing your experience growing these trees. I've got a single young specimen that I'm looking forward to working with. It's going to need a few years in the ground starting in the spring.
Well, I realize that "tad" is a somewhat imprecise term, but I'm talking about a slight (another imprecise term) shift to the left - certainly not suggesting centering the planting in the pot. When I look at the photo, it appears that the left-most tree is nearly in the center of the pot (left-right) resulting in a nearly equal division of the "pot space" - that is what bothers me. Maybe it's an artifact of the way the photo was taken and doesn't look that way in person. Anyway, that's just how I respond to the posted photo.
Hey, any updates on this forest? Is it still kicking? I’ve got a boat load of Amurs that I started from seed this spring. They’ve grown like mad and i’m planning to make a forest with a bunch of them this coming spring. Would love to see how this planting is looking today.