Collected dwarf? Acer saccharum

yashu

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ADEDBCB3-3F2C-418B-9C3A-642C2709985A.jpegShohin sugar maple in a Sara Rayner pot. This tree is mostly unstyled besides some pruning of third twigs/branches and some spacers. I can’t seem to not scar my maples so I’ve been working with this spacer idea. It has its obvious limitations but allows a good amount more manipulation than “clip n’ gro”.

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I have several small sugar maple saplings I’m working on but this was found in this state and far more ramified than anything else I’ve found. Most were the usual straight whips with long internodes and big leaves. The largest leaves on this one were barely 2 inches. I have no idea if this is a genetic mutation like a witch’s broom but from seed or if it was somehow otherwise stunted.
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My goal it to try to keep the same general size and scale but increase the ramification and maybe add a little girth. This tree remained outside in Maine for the winter through a couple weeks of -20F and the buds still appeared viable and none of the twigs had desiccated so I went ahead with a repot. I’ll keep the long leader through the season in hopes of Giving the main trunk a little more thickness and then remove it in favor of the little branch emerging near the bottom of the shoot.

It’s just a start but if it behaves like a dwarf perhaps I’ll have cuttings down the road with promising habits.
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Shibui

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My gut feeling is the tree is just dwarfed by conditions but there's always a chance that seedlings have unique traits. Try growing some cuttings in good conditions and see how they respond. If dwarf growth continues in better conditions it is likely to be genetic.
Leaves sound small for sugar maple but still pretty large for shohin sized bonsai.
Looks like long internodes for a small sized tree so I can see some difficulty developing really good ramification but best of luck with the trials.
 

yashu

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My gut feeling is the tree is just dwarfed by conditions but there's always a chance that seedlings have unique traits. Try growing some cuttings in good conditions and see how they respond. If dwarf growth continues in better conditions it is likely to be genetic.
Leaves sound small for sugar maple but still pretty large for shohin sized bonsai.
Looks like long internodes for a small sized tree so I can see some difficulty developing really good ramification but best of luck with the trials.
I know the odds of finding such a genetic mutation are quite long but I try to be an optimist. My hope is to reduce the leaf size further through other techniques once the tree has settled in and shows vigor. I’m open to change and am not against allowing it to grow beyond shohin if that’s what it takes to keep the leaf proportion to a pleasant aesthetic. This is all an experimental project and I’m not expecting miracles but I would love to be able to take advantage of what my local geography and environment provide. At some point, should the tree survive and thrive I will make some more aggressive changes to the lines of the tree but that is some time off I expect.
 

yashu

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Kept small, every maple will have smaller leaves. For example:
Thanks for the link to your post, that was actually very eye opening for me and it makes me tend to agree with u/Shibui that the stunting occurred in the environment. How has this tree progressed since that post?
 

0soyoung

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It dropped leaves in fall and now has swelling buds. It has expressed some more buds that were not visible last fall, though not on the trunk (just at visible branch nodes).
It should be leafed out by mid-April.
I intend to keep it small, so it is still in the same 4 x 2 inch pot of Turface MVP.
 

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