Amur Maple questions?

TeKmInIbI

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I just recently bought a "Compact" Amur Maple tree and had a few questions to those that know more about this species...


1. When is the best time to prune/cut it down some?
2. When is the best time to wire?
3. Do i need to feed it anything special, or will my 20-20-20 fertilizer be ok?
4. The tag, and the people said full sun - do you leave yours in full sun?
5. I already repotted into a mix of Turface/Pine bark mulch/small river rock/peat moss, iv heard Amur's need quite acidic soil - from what i understand everything is "neutral" PH? do i need to give it anything special?

I can post some pics, when i find my camera... it's really just a small bush atm but it has a nice straight trunk and some low branches so i think it'll work well..

Any information you might have that may help, please let me know in this thread!

Thanks,
 

DaveV

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TeK, If it were my tree, I would plant it in the ground and let the trunk thicken up - maybe about 5 years or so. I think the trunk needs more diameter. I actually did this myself. Take a look at my post in the maples section and you can see the tree that I am talking about. You can feed it well when its in the ground with your 20, 20, 20 fert.

Dave V.
 

Rick Moquin

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I have to side with Dave on that one!

FWIW, folks think that planting something in the ground means waiting for 5 years or so for something to happen, not true. While the tree is in the ground this is where the building process commences and you will indeed be kept busy during this developmental phase.

The tree as is, presents a sling shot, not only is this not desirable in the landscape, it should definitely not be present in bonsai.

If it was mine, I would plant it out on a 12" tile and get rid of one of the branches that forms the slingshot. I would do this now. In the ground you will need to judiciously prune yearly while shaping the tree.

I have a linden which is on it's 3rd summer and I do not know when it is going to be ready to come out of the ground. It has quadrupled in size and has a gnarly look about the trunk. Mind you I have several other trees to occupy my time. Don't be in a rush to get there.
 

redvw5

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I agree with it needs to thicken but I like the deep serration in the leaves of your tree.
 

TeKmInIbI

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Here it is today (well, 2:48am) i cut it back quite a bit after reading this article it might have been a bad idea ? :( http://www2.canada.com/edmontonjour....html?id=7d452526-b56e-4c88-9170-b110482562d5... i figure it's unsafe to put into the ground now because i already repotted it this year...
Anyways, ill wait till next spring and put it into the open ground and cut it back some more.
Anyone willing to help with a vert on cutting it back again?
Do you think it was to soon for the sap, when i cut it back? i had another amur that died when i chopped it in early May.
 

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rockm

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I have regularly pruned my amur forest planting (9 trees) in late winter for the last 15 years. It is very aggressive in putting on new growth and I've found if I wait until the trees are in leaf, it becomes impossible to control and the planting becomes so overgrown and thick that interior shoots die off.

Amur can take HEAVY pruning and it requires it to control its apically dominant behavoir. Shoots in the upper third of the trees develop and thicken very quickly and must be regularly taken out. I usually thin those out in Feb., but have to do it again come June or so.

It is a myth that maples "bleed" to death because of sap loss. It is better to prune heavily BEFORE active growth starts, not during or after. Pruning during the growing season can result in die back from the tree abandoning the pruned section in favor of growth elsewhere. However, pruning too early in winter can result in similar die back. So, you have to time hard pruning kind of carefully to coincide with warming weather. Here in Zone 7 Va., for me that means mid-February to early March...
 

TeKmInIbI

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I have regularly pruned my amur forest planting (9 trees) in late winter for the last 15 years. It is very aggressive in putting on new growth and I've found if I wait until the trees are in leaf, it becomes impossible to control and the planting becomes so overgrown and thick that interior shoots die off.

Amur can take HEAVY pruning and it requires it to control its apically dominant behavoir. Shoots in the upper third of the trees develop and thicken very quickly and must be regularly taken out. I usually thin those out in Feb., but have to do it again come June or so.

It is a myth that maples "bleed" to death because of sap loss. It is better to prune heavily BEFORE active growth starts, not during or after. Pruning during the growing season can result in die back from the tree abandoning the pruned section in favor of growth elsewhere. However, pruning too early in winter can result in similar die back. So, you have to time hard pruning kind of carefully to coincide with warming weather. Here in Zone 7 Va., for me that means mid-February to early March...
Are you sure? i could swear that my other Amur "bled" to death - as it had a sort of wet look when i cut it down (at the cut and down the branch a bit, the bark was wet and moist looking - which led me to believe it was bleeding) and i'm prety sure the same thing is happening to my Colorado Blue Spruce, as it seems to be dying and looks as if it's bleeding.
I'm guessing that the honey-bee paste i have been using to seal wounds isn't working all that well.
Do you think it would be safe to chop everything down to just one straight trunk leader, then place it in open ground this year?? before winter?
 

Rick Moquin

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Are you sure? i could swear that my other Amur "bled" to death - as it had a sort of wet look when i cut it down (at the cut and down the branch a bit, the bark was wet and moist looking - which led me to believe it was bleeding) and i'm prety sure the same thing is happening to my Colorado Blue Spruce, as it seems to be dying and looks as if it's bleeding.
I'm guessing that the honey-bee paste i have been using to seal wounds isn't working all that well.
Do you think it would be safe to chop everything down to just one straight trunk leader, then place it in open ground this year?? before winter?
You are of course assuming this. There could be many reasons for the demise of your tree(s).

Amurs will suffer from die back, that is why whenever I cut a branch off I always leave a nub.

Beeswax??? even vaseline is a better product if you don't have cut paste.

At present in Alberta it is safe to plant it out in the ground and leave it alone. Dig a hole the size of your pot and plant it soil and all into the ground, develop your tree from there. Stop rushing things, the next time you should prune it would probably be late fall if at all.
 

TeKmInIbI

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You are of course assuming this. There could be many reasons for the demise of your tree(s).

Amurs will suffer from die back, that is why whenever I cut a branch off I always leave a nub.

Beeswax??? even vaseline is a better product if you don't have cut paste.

At present in Alberta it is safe to plant it out in the ground and leave it alone. Dig a hole the size of your pot and plant it soil and all into the ground, develop your tree from there. Stop rushing things, the next time you should prune it would probably be late fall if at all.
Yes i am rushing things, you are right.. i just wanted to get a start going (because i knew it would be a long while til it grows well) and have made some poor decisions because of it... i just don't want to do anything else too soon.
I have a growing bed i can use at my brothers and i guess ill just put it in that for a couple years, guess ill do that my next day off.
The paste i use i got from my local garden centre and is a beeswax type paste, i was told that it would be fine for sealing branch wounds. I can't seem to find anything else i can use in my area :(
Thanks guys for the info!!
 

rockm

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I'm sure. Maples do not bleed to death when pruned. As an illustration-- Sugar maples are "bled" pretty extensively to produce maple syrup. Ever consider how much sap it takes to make a gallon of syrup? -about 60 gallons. A single tapped sugar maple produces about 10 gallons of sap every season--some have been tapped for over a century...although these factoids really have nothing to do with amur bonsai, they can give you an idea as to how much sap a tree can lose with no harm.

Amur, as was mentioned above, is extremely prone to die back at major pruning sites. It is a reaction to the pruning, not sap loss. The tree seeks another avenue of growth to replace the one it lost. It closes down supplies to the wounded area and moves to another. Every amur maple bonsai I've seen has evidence of some dieback at trunk chops and other major cut sites. Trunk chops in the spring on maples tend to push alot of sap (sometimes an alarming amount) because the plant is "pushing" more sap up the trunk to prepare for the growing season.

I'm a bit late here, but taking this into account, you should consider making your trunk chop six inches ABOVE where you'd like it. This would give you room should the trunk die a bit below the cut..

Skip the sealant. You don't really need it.
 

TeKmInIbI

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I'm sure. Maples do not bleed to death when pruned. As an illustration-- Sugar maples are "bled" pretty extensively to produce maple syrup. Ever consider how much sap it takes to make a gallon of syrup? -about 60 gallons. A single tapped sugar maple produces about 10 gallons of sap every season--some have been tapped for over a century...although these factoids really have nothing to do with amur bonsai, they can give you an idea as to how much sap a tree can lose with no harm.

Amur, as was mentioned above, is extremely prone to die back at major pruning sites. It is a reaction to the pruning, not sap loss. The tree seeks another avenue of growth to replace the one it lost. It closes down supplies to the wounded area and moves to another. Every amur maple bonsai I've seen has evidence of some dieback at trunk chops and other major cut sites. Trunk chops in the spring on maples tend to push alot of sap (sometimes an alarming amount) because the plant is "pushing" more sap up the trunk to prepare for the growing season.

I'm a bit late here, but taking this into account, you should consider making your trunk chop six inches ABOVE where you'd like it. This would give you room should the trunk die a bit below the cut..

Skip the sealant. You don't really need it.
Again, many thanks for the insight!
I didn't know that a maple could lose alot of sap and not be harmed.
I think ill put it into a growing bed then and leave it be for a couple years!
I have a little time this weekend, so i guess it's as good a time as any lol.
Your help is much appreciated, thank you guys!
 
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