Field growing in the Midwest.

grog

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So I've been planting out some of the crap I've picked up over the years that's never going to amount to anything if I just keep them in a pot and it's given me the idea to plant out some younger juniper, hornbeam, and maple. Problem is I can't decide what type of maple. Tridents are no good in the ground here and palmatum are dicey due to the winters. There's not gonna be a lot of shade so the more cold hardy A. japonicum and shirasawanum seem to be out. Here's my list of other candidates I've come up with.

pseudosieboldianum - Seemed the logical choice but if it really was just a more cold hardy palmatum it should be a lot more popular than it is.

triflorum - Another one that seems like it might work but I just don't know much about.

truncatum - Starting to gain popularity as a yard tree around here and looks like a decent possibility.

griseum - Pretty tree but as popular as they are for ornamentals there must be a reason I've not seen one as a bonsai.

ginnala - Wonderfully tough tree but too many people have reported problems with them randomly dropping branches, plus I already have several.

campestre - Not really anything negative that I've come up with. Seems like the most likely candidate.


Any input from anyone who's grown these trees in conditions similar to the midwest or just thoughts on any of these particular trees would be most welcome. The place they will be planted is mostly open field, will receive limited shade, and the soil is the typical black gold farmers love here in Iowa.
 

Jason

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Zone 5

I used to grow ginnala in Green Bay, WI when I lived there and they did great. In fact I still have a couple that lived there with me. Unfortunately it's the only one I can vouch for in zone 5. I tried a couple palmatum there and they where touchy at best. I think 'bloodgood' is supposed to be one of the hardier varieties. In retrospect I've always thought If lived in zone 5 again I'd grow more larches. They're tough and can make some great material.
 

rockm

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I've been growing ginnala for 15 years here in Va. I have learned NOT to shelter them here. I leave mine out all winter with no protection. They are tough trees. Mine have been exposed to temps in single digits for days and last year survived a five foot snow load --bent some 2" diameter trunks double to the ground.

Skip the truncatum and griseum. Not really worth the effort. Too coarse.
 

grog

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Thanks for the responses guys.

I'm with you on the tough aspect of the ginnalas. If there's a picture attached, that's one of my bigger ones. If not, I need to remember how to post pictues. Mine stay outside in pots in zone 5 stuck up against a building and with some mulch then snow piled on when we get it. Whenever I start working on final more delicate branching they'll go in the shed but not a worry yet. My problem with them (not through personal experience) is reading that they are prone to dropping major branches. Not something I'd really like to have happen.

Summers seem to be too warm for larch here, at least the American larch. Summer nighttime low temps can stay in the high 70's and higher. I bought some Japanese larch seedling from Matt Ouwinga to see how they do, but I digress. Ridiculously :D

I was almost set on the pseudosieboldianum, still don't know much more about them so I think I'm just going to pick up a tube plant from forestfarm and see how it does.

Campestre are recommended up into northern Minnesota so I don't think I would need to worry too much about cold hardiness. Just don't know much else about them other than I've seen quite a few pictures from Europe that are pretty amazing.

Thanks again for the input, it's much appreciated.
 

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rockm

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Ginnala CAN drop branches, but it is usually the result of extremely hard pruning on a given branch or a dramatic trunk chop. They're prone to sometimes extreme dieback at cut sites when major pruning is done. They quickly overgrow the dead portions though, if given enough root run and mass.

Older Ginnala bonsai tend to have hollows, etc. in their trunks because of this.
 

rockm

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Acer Rubrum is usually not worth the effort. They remain leggy in growth even with heavy pinching and pruning. If you can find a larger trunk that's got character, however, you can put up with that.
 

Mike423

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Grog, if your worried about lack of shade (full sun) being an issue why not just buy a shade cloth and place it accordingly to give filtered light during the hottest part of the day? Its easy to set up maintain and fairly cheap.
 

Gene Deci

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Acer Rubrum is usually not worth the effort. They remain leggy in growth even with heavy pinching and pruning. If you can find a larger trunk that's got character, however, you can put up with that.
In northern Michigan we tend to prefer native species and I have seen some superb Acer Rubrum. They respond to standard techniques with short internodes and small leaves, in this climate at least, and nice material is easy to find and collect. In any case, using material that thrives locally is seldom a bad idea.
 
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