Field Maple. Acer Campestre. It’s Been Lifted Now

Tieball

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After about 12 years of growing first in a box and then transferred to the ground for further growing this Acer Campestre, Field Maple, twig grew enough to be dug-up and boxed. Bittersweet feeling....after all those years of easy care...watering and sometimes weeding. Just watching and growing. The buds were swollen. The tree lifted out well....perhaps because I planted it years ago on top of an 18” x 18” tile (45.72cm x 45.72cm) buried just below the natural ground soil.

I took several branch and trunk cuttings before digging it up....maybe...just maybe....some of the cuttings will take. I don’t know.

The rootball after all the clean up was less than 2” (5cm) in thickness depth...and...very clean, smooth, flat and ready for a box. I mostly removed all of the crossing and unnecessary upward growing roots. I forgot to photograph the bottom....but it was quite impressive looking really. Maybe a photo next time it’s root pruned. Squeaky clean once washed. Just above the spreading nabari the trunk is about 5” (12.7cm) In diameter.

The tree from the top of the substrate to the top cut-off of the tree is 19” (48.2cm). I chopped it higher right now because I have no idea how the top will die back....or what else will happen.

And I finished just before it began to rain. While not a perfect tree....I can see potential to have a good look of character. Now.....I just need the tree to to recover from the digging, root pruning and chopping and begin to grow.FD8783E0-C1F0-436A-B14C-C34599FC6912.jpegD5BA6983-17A6-428B-9635-2959930E0EB3.jpeg8D7E2FA4-6AEB-40DB-9C6C-76945BA81C23.jpeg1849830D-D5F6-4C5A-BBC3-09FA94D6F052.jpeg
 

Tieball

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Good stuff.
How much rootwork did you do before planting?
Do you mean initially before beginning the ground growing? Not to much other than spread the roots out. When first planted there were not many roots.

Today at digging up. I would say I removed a lot of roots radiating around the tree. Just a guess, but I’d say about 3/4 of the roots were removed And left in the ground as I just took a reciprocating saw around the tile. When boxing I found there were not that many root ps to chop back...but I did chop back. In the second photo, those clean roots you see are just about all of them. Below the roots on that photo was still soil. When the soil was sprayed off there was just a solid flat bottom.

About every four years while it was in the ground I would dig in around the tile just to cut roots short and encourage new ones. I think that’s how that massive solid nabari formed.
 

BobbyLane

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Thats a good solid trunk, you got a good amount of roots, it should power on nicely this season. ive recently lifted two, one of them had much less roots than this one, but im not worried. these are tough trees.
 

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Thats a good solid trunk, you got a good amount of roots, it should power on nicely this season. ive recently lifted two, one of them had much less roots than this one, but im not worried. these are tough trees.
I left most all of the lower branches on for now. Thoughts? leave them for now? Take them off?
 

BobbyLane

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I left most all of the lower branches on for now. Thoughts? leave them for now? Take them off?
not sure why taking them off is an option unless they are course and ramrod straight and over say 2-3in i dont see that here, plus i see nodes up n down most.
please dont begin any ground layering and taking everything back to the trunk! roots/base is fine too!
 

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not sure why taking them off is an option unless they are course and ramrod straight and over say 2-3in i dont see that here, plus i see nodes up n down most.
please dont begin any ground layering and taking everything back to the trunk! roots/base is fine too!
I agree...no ground layering to get back to the trunk. I like that spreading root formation character just like it is and will work with it.
I'm thinking that after growth starts and hardens off I could prune back some of the lengthy branches that have rather straight sections well away from the trunk. However, I am a thinker...I research, listen and act with careful purpose.

Seeing growth develop will be my first step on this tree. Then I can think more. Right now my focus is just care to grow.
 

Woocash

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Nice. This looks similar to one of mine with the form of it, just bigger and with more advanced primaries. The dimpling on the bark is different to ones you get round my way though which is interesting. I’ll watch with interest.
 

Tieball

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well the basic primary framework is there, just needs time to fill in now.
@BobbyLane I have observed, asked questions and learned from your postings and those of @Woocash over the years as I eventually knew I would dig this tree out and start it in a path. I have much to learn yet though. So...keep posting about your trees.

When I started this tree, way back as a stick, I really wondered if it would even survive my climate as it would always be outside....regardless of the temperature or weather. So that begins a new question for me. This tree has survived well in the ground...protected by earth's core temperature. Does not being in the ground change everything? I half thought that maybe I should plan to bury the tree back in my sandy ground soil each winter rather than having it exposed to the elements in a box. For winter I could simply bury the entire box and let the tree get buried in snow for the entire winter....lifting the box in spring.
 

Woocash

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@BobbyLane I have observed, asked questions and learned from your postings and those of @Woocash over the years as I eventually knew I would dig this tree out and start it in a path. I have much to learn yet though. So...keep posting about your trees.

When I started this tree, way back as a stick, I really wondered if it would even survive my climate as it would always be outside....regardless of the temperature or weather. So that begins a new question for me. This tree has survived well in the ground...protected by earth's core temperature. Does not being in the ground change everything? I half thought that maybe I should plan to bury the tree back in my sandy ground soil each winter rather than having it exposed to the elements in a box. For winter I could simply bury the entire box and let the tree get buried in snow for the entire winter....lifting the box in spring.
I can’t really speak for real extremes, but these things really are tough as old boots. If you are that concerned then afford some protection from the worst weather etc, or overwinter as you suggest, but hopefully your cuttings will take then you can test the water outside in a pot with them perhaps before you leave this one to the elements.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Cool base...will be a fun one to see branches develop quickly on. Nice work so far.
 

Tieball

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Cool base...will be a fun one to see branches develop quickly on. Nice work so far.
Thanks. I also hope to see new buds and have branches develop....quickly or slowly. I am not in a hurry. I simply enjoy the entire journey.
 

BobbyLane

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@BobbyLane I have observed, asked questions and learned from your postings and those of @Woocash over the years as I eventually knew I would dig this tree out and start it in a path. I have much to learn yet though. So...keep posting about your trees.

When I started this tree, way back as a stick, I really wondered if it would even survive my climate as it would always be outside....regardless of the temperature or weather. So that begins a new question for me. This tree has survived well in the ground...protected by earth's core temperature. Does not being in the ground change everything? I half thought that maybe I should plan to bury the tree back in my sandy ground soil each winter rather than having it exposed to the elements in a box. For winter I could simply bury the entire box and let the tree get buried in snow for the entire winter....lifting the box in spring.
I dont have any problems with these in winter as its a native woodland tree here. @Paulpash has been growing them longer than me and lives in a much harsher UK climate, he should be able to give you some tips but nothing to be concerned about from my experience.

 

Tieball

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I dont have any problems with these in winter as its a native woodland tree here. @Paulpash has been growing them longer than me and lives in a much harsher UK climate, he should be able to give you some tips but nothing to be concerned about from my experience.

Thanks for that link. I remembered snippets of a Field Maple development, @Paulpash is skilled and the tree is more advanced than mine with similarities (a good target for me to learn from) but could not narrow it down to find this posting.
 

Paulpash

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Thanks for that link. I remembered snippets of a Field Maple development, @Paulpash is skilled and the tree is more advanced than mine with similarities (a good target for me to learn from) but could not narrow it down to find this posting.
They're listed as hardy to USDA 4-8. I'd add on a zone in a pot so that'd be - 20 to - 10F / - 23-28 C. Good idea with the cuttings. It never gets anywhere near that cold in the UK. Good looking tree, well done with the trunk building, now comes the tricky bit - taming it's vigour 👌
 

MrWunderful

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I love, love the base. I know the right side of the nebari is a *bit* weak, but it gives the tachiagari(?) lowest part of trunk great movement.

Well done.
 

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Do you mean initially before beginning the ground growing?
Nah, I meant, after digging. It is clear from the roots at digging that it was not the first time that tree has seen work.

I was indeed wondering whether you had removed root below the trunk, but it sounds like there was no need. Nice!
 

Tieball

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Nah, I meant, after digging. It is clear from the roots at digging that it was not the first time that tree has seen work.

I was indeed wondering whether you had removed root below the trunk, but it sounds like there was no need. Nice!
I was surprised there was no tangled root mess below. A shovel and sometimes a reciprocating saw plunged into the ground to go around the large tile took care of the roots while growing. I’m convinced that the periodic root trim worked. I was surprised that it lifted so easily really...other than the simple weight of the earth ball of soil. The first photo shows what it looked like after the early soil removal and a spray wash with water. Planting on tiles has worked well for me. Several American Elms have done well with the tiles also....and Include a tangled mess of roots below. The Elms seem to produce more roots and simply push the tree upwards in the ground for more root room.
 

cmeg1

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Awesome species.I always did like these.Then to find it is reported to air-layer quite easiliy,I have tons of seed sewing now.
 

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