Black tips on Trident leaves

Rob.t

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Good morning everyone,
I’m new to Bonsai and have 3 young Trident maples. I’ve had them indoors under grow lights and they’ve been flourishing.

I have them indoors for a couple reasons, we’ve had an unusually cold spring in Vegas and my apt faces west so I get the late afternoon sun.

Question is, I noticed this morning on one of the Maples and on one of my Willows. The tips of the leaves are turning black. Not sure what happened or how to correct it. Can anyone assist?5C098CF7-4EFF-42C1-843D-2745B343F57A.jpeg5740FFEA-D3B3-4A2A-8337-6A065D5C7B85.jpeg
 

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rollwithak

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Are those cuttings or did you grow those from seed?
 

rollwithak

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Cuttings.
It doesn’t look overly concerning but in the future maybe invest in a cheap little humidity dome and use a less organic mixture like fine pumice and coarse sand, the roots will love it. Not sure what soil you used and/or how sterile it was. That little stuff makes a difference. I’d let these play out a bit further before putting on chemicals if it were me, but to each their own! Good luck, keep us posted!
 

Rob.t

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It doesn’t look overly concerning but in the future maybe invest in a cheap little humidity dome and use a less organic mixture like fine pumice and coarse sand, the roots will love it. Not sure what soil you used and/or how sterile it was. That little stuff makes a difference. I’d let these play out a bit further before putting on chemicals if it were me, but to each their own! Good luck, keep us posted!
Ok thanks. It’s a mixture of retail Bonsai soil and an organic potting soil.
 

Shibui

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Burnt leaf tips can be a number of reasons
Dry - it just takes a couple of hours of dehydration to damage leaves. Generally starts at the tips.
Too wet - rotting roots make it difficult for the tree to take up water so they dehydrate - see above.
Salinity - salts damage root tips so they cannot take up water - see above. Salinity can build up from not enough water to flush naturally occurring salts form the soil, excess fertilizer or watering with saline water.
Sunburn - too hot for the tree's system to supply enough water to keep the leaves cool. Unlikely indoors but high intensity grow lights can cause burn similar to sun.

I assume you already know that growing indoors introduces a whole new set of problems. Not sure how 'unusually cold' spring ahs been in Vegas but I know that most species are far more tolerant than many people give credit to. I'd be getting these outdoors to halve the potential problems.
If the trees cannot live outdoors long term why grow them? Neither species is likely to thrive indoors long term.
 

sorce

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Aye....

The line between flourishing and growing in desperation is subtle, but marked with a roof.

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Rob.t

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Again thank you all for your replies. I’ve cut back on watering the maples. It was every other day because I had read they take up a lot of water and have changed their light source and they have improved.

I have read that training should begin at around the 2/3 yr mark. When is a good time to move them to a shallow pot and start training?
 

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Shibui

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I have read that training should begin at around the 2/3 yr mark. When is a good time to move them to a shallow pot and start training?
There are many roads that lead to good bonsai.
I start preparing most trees right from the start. Early root pruning definitely improves lateral root structure and future nebari.
IMHO shallow pot is not necessary if proper root pruning is carried out but other experienced growers will argue that point. Deeper pots don't dry out as quick as shallow ones so I seem to get better growth with deeper pots.
There's also a difference of opinion on when to start pruning. I know I develop better trunks with better taper and more realistic bends with regular pruning. It may take an extra year or 2 to reach final trunk thickness but subsequent branch, apex and healing cuts is many years quicker so I'm confident regular pruning wins in the long run.
Others prefer to allow the trunks to grow as long and as fat as possible then make a massive chop to reduce height. You may reach trunk thickness quicker but consider the next phase developing the new trunk, branches and getting that massive cut to heal.
Some wire and bend seedlings while the trunk is still flexible. This seems to be Ok for really small bonsai but I've yet to see a larger maple bonsai that looks really good developed this way. Early trunk wire will give you some practice and may even add something good. Just beware that trunks fatten quick so wires tend to mark young trunks badly.

No one single approach is right. Look at different possibilities and try different methods and see what appears to give you good results.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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@Rob.t - Bonsai is normally an outdoor hobby. Tridents are fully hardy outdoors in Las Vegas in winter, and with some shade protection can be grown outdoors in summer. The reason it is an "outdoor hobby" is that most young seedlings and cuttings going through the phases of development can be 5 or 10 times the size of "finished size" of the bonsai. You're question is "when to start training?"

Now.
How large a diameter trunk would you like? Thumb size?, wrist diameter? Leg diameter?
Generally little or no pruning is done until the diameter of the trunk is near the diameter you envision for the finished tree. This means the tree needs to grow, TALL, often tridents are allowed to get 10 to 20 feet tall in order to get the proper diameter trunk.

Then they are cut down to roughly one third of the finished height. You want a tree 12 inches tall with a 4 inch diameter trunk, you allow the seedlling to grow until the trunk is roughly 4 inches in diameter, most tridents will be between 12 and 20 feet tall at this diameter. Then you cut the seedling down to roughly 4 inches. The seedling will then explode with back buds, pick one as the next segment of main trunk, allow that to run until it is 2/3rds the diameter of the trunk below it, cut it down to 3 inches in length, it will explode with back buds. Pick the next segment of trunk. Allow this to run until it is 2/3rds the diameter of the previous segment, cut to 1 inch in length. The whole tree will be full of back buds, now pick some of these to be branches, and one to be the new leader.

You can see how this process needs space and height to grow out. More than the average light set up will allow. This is the reason bonsai is usually described as an outdoor hobby. You can increase diameter of trunks with horizontal running branches, it is the total surface area of leaves that a trunk supports that determines the caliper of the trunk that develops. You need a large trunk caliper to create the illusion of age.

Your seedlings are ''ready'' to begin training in that they need a period of rapid growth, they need to pick up size, in order to develop trunk diameter (caliper).
 

Rob.t

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Today is the first day I’ve put them outside during the day since my first post. We’ve had some pretty high winds here and The nights here recently have ranged from 38 - 55. Some things I have read suggested to protect young maples from temps below 60 and high winds.
Is that incorrect?
 

pamboys09

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Im seeing those black tips on Trident on trident on poor soil condition or being watered too much. Whenever i see this kind of stuff i hold back on watering and it will be good.

Hope this helps.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Today is the first day I’ve put them outside during the day since my first post. We’ve had some pretty high winds here and The nights here recently have ranged from 38 - 55. Some things I have read suggested to protect young maples from temps below 60 and high winds.
Is that incorrect?

Trident maples can survive temps from 0 F to 110 F and if given shade up to 120 F. But key is they need to adapt and harden off to outdoor conditions. When moving from inside to outside, only protect at night if the temps are below 40 F. Start out with afternoon shade. Watch how the tree responds. If you get sunburn leaves don't panic. New "outdoor grown leaves" will replace the tender indoor grown leaves. Make certain the tree gets shade during the hottest part of the Las Vegas day. Maples are forest trees, they are not desert cacti, they appreciate bright shade or dappled sun. Full desert sun will cook them, especially May through September. Once adapted to being outside, leave the tree outside to get the chill in the autumn. Frost and freezing in autumn will not harm the trident at all. Winter the tree by setting it on the ground IN THE SHADE of a building or a fence or wall. The shade will prevent it from getting sun scald on below freezing sunny days in winter.
 

Rob.t

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Trident maples can survive temps from 0 F to 110 F and if given shade up to 120 F. But key is they need to adapt and harden off to outdoor conditions. When moving from inside to outside, only protect at night if the temps are below 40 F. Start out with afternoon shade. Watch how the tree responds. If you get sunburn leaves don't panic. New "outdoor grown leaves" will replace the tender indoor grown leaves. Make certain the tree gets shade during the hottest part of the Las Vegas day. Maples are forest trees, they are not desert cacti, they appreciate bright shade or dappled sun. Full desert sun will cook them, especially May through September. Once adapted to being outside, leave the tree outside to get the chill in the autumn. Frost and freezing in autumn will not harm the trident at all. Winter the tree by setting it on the ground IN THE SHADE of a building or a fence or wall. The shade will prevent it from getting sun scald on below freezing sunny days in winter.
Ok thank you for the reply. Will do that.
 

Rob.t

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Trident maples can survive temps from 0 F to 110 F and if given shade up to 120 F. But key is they need to adapt and harden off to outdoor conditions. When moving from inside to outside, only protect at night if the temps are below 40 F. Start out with afternoon shade. Watch how the tree responds. If you get sunburn leaves don't panic. New "outdoor grown leaves" will replace the tender indoor grown leaves. Make certain the tree gets shade during the hottest part of the Las Vegas day. Maples are forest trees, they are not desert cacti, they appreciate bright shade or dappled sun. Full desert sun will cook them, especially May through September. Once adapted to being outside, leave the tree outside to get the chill in the autumn. Frost and freezing in autumn will not harm the trident at all. Winter the tree by setting it on the ground IN THE SHADE of a building or a fence or wall. The shade will prevent it from getting sun scald on below freezing sunny days in winter.
Maple update. Followed your advice and here are the results. Looking much healthier then before. Looking forward to the day I can start work on them.
 

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Can also get sun burn if growing indoors with bulbs and then taking them outside to experience the full wrath of the sun! Only because there not used to the intensity. If this happens the tree will grow new leaves that can tolerate more direct sun.
But yes it’s an outdoor tree. Tropicals are a different story.
Also I keep my tridents outside even if it hits a few degrees below zero!
 

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