Help needed: Unidentified maple?

Arthur_C

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Hey guys.

*bows* New to the forum. :)

I used to have a bonsai which I grew myself out of something I found in the woods across the street. I have no idea what tree it was. Had it for 3 years, then it died in an accident.

Years later, now, I've decided to give it a new go. I have three different trees already planted out in the backyard, in their own growth pots. A cedar of some sort and two junipers of some sort, all found by me.
I got a fourth tree today, which was actually a cutting from our maple tree growing in our front yard. I did some looking around and came to the conclusion that what ever this maple is, it doesnt seem to grow around here in Canada natively. I only saw it on people's lawns.
What I'd like to know is; 1# Is it of a decent size/shape to turn out being a nice bonsai, 2# What species of Maple is it?

I am trying to get it to root inside of a mix of 85% moss and 15% soil, bundled up in plastic wrap, shoved into a glass. I made holes all the way through the plastic on all sides, so the water can be absorbed and excess easily drained out. Do you think rooting it like this will work? The cut is made at an angle, so more of the inside of the tree is exposed to nutrients. I also made little notches in even intervals along the edge of the cut, hoping that will even further provoke and speed up the formation of roots. Can it live, or is it a doomed case?



This is a close up on the major cut where I removed the biggest side branch. I don't have any professional bonsai repairing goo, so I just used Petrolium Gel to seal up the open cut. Did I do it right?




The size of this leaf is about as big as they get on the tree out in the front of our house, which is roughly around 8 meters tall.


Thanks ;)

~Arthur
 

meushi

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Arthur,

It is quite large for a cutting, for that size I'd rather have tried it as an air layer. As I don't see any foliage left on the cutting... it is a doomed case, I think.

Michael
 

Arthur_C

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I was afraid of it being too big for a cutting, but was hoping for a miracle.
I removed all of the foliage because according to what I've read, it says removing part of the foliage, but not all, can cause a lot of damage. It said that it is better to remove all foliage and thus shock the plant into a new "spring" season, accelerating growth of every sort (roots too, I hope).
By looking at the tree and thinking about it, I for some reason came to the conclusion that air layering wont work. I can't remember why I decided so.
 

Dav4

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In my experience rooting maple cuttings at this time of year, the leaves are needed to provide energy used to generate new roots. Taking a branch of that diameter and removing all its foliage will not work...honestly, I don't think it would have worked if you had left some of the foliage, either.

I usually take cuttings from this years growth that has started to harden off, maybe 4 inches long, and remove all but 2 leaves. I treat with a rooting hormone and plant in a free draining but moisture retentive soil. Place the pot in the shade and either mist often or place a plastic tent over the pot. I've had pretty good results with this technique on Japanese maples.

Dave
 

Arthur_C

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I was having the same doubts about the removal of the foliage, thinking maybe it needs at least a bit of a fotosynthesis to keep stuff moving. Oh well. I just wanted to start off with something slightly thicker, instead of waiting. I'm too excited right now to have enough patience :)
However, I really do have a strong feeling that somehow that branch is going to make it, so I'm not going to give up on it. I'll keep it around for a couple of months and I'll be sure to let you know if it ever worked. Meanwhile I'm gonna go back to roaming the woods in search of something even better that already has it's roots.

Any idea what sort of maple is this one that I have? I was thinking(hoping) it might be a variation of the Trident Maple, but as I look around the net for pictures to compare it to, I'm finding it hard to find a convincing match. There's so many that look so closely alike, and I am no expert on plants what so ever.
 
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Arthur_C

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Nah. I can say for sure it's not a red maple. This cutting was taken from the tree out infront of our house. It's been there for at least 20 years, and it's never been red, except in the fall. Our neighbor on the other hand does have a red maple.. They don't look anything alike. The leaves on a red maple are stiffer, slighly less pointy, and.. red :p (well, sort of dark purplish/red)
 

Bonsai Nut

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Nah. I can say for sure it's not a red maple. This cutting was taken from the tree out infront of our house. It's been there for at least 20 years, and it's never been red, except in the fall. Our neighbor on the other hand does have a red maple.. They don't look anything alike. The leaves on a red maple are stiffer, slighly less pointy, and.. red :p (well, sort of dark purplish/red)
Red maple (Acer rubrum) leaves aren't red. They are dull green on top, and pale green or whitish on the bottom. Just like black pines aren't black, red pines aren't red, and white pines aren't white :) Who knows who names these things? Regardless, I am pretty certain that leaf is a red maple leaf :) Show me a branch with 3 or 4 leaves on it and I'll tell you with confidence :)
 

Arthur_C

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Hmmm.. I didn't know that. Yeah.. who does name those things...?

*runs out to take a picture*






This is a different case. Found it in the woods across the street. So far I havent seen another one like that anywhere. To me it kind of looks like some of the Japanese Maple variations, but I don't think any of those grow natively in Canada... any idea? I took a cutting of it that is now swimming in a glass of water.



 
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Dav4

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This is a different case. Found it in the woods across the street. So far I havent seen another one like that anywhere. To me it kind of looks like some of the Japanese Maple variations, but I don't think any of those grow natively in Canada... any idea? I took a cutting of it that is now swimming in a glass of water.




The leaf looks alot like Acer ginnala, the Amur maple. It's indigenous to China, so not a native to Canada, but certainly hardy enough to grow there.

Dave
 

Dav4

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Looks like it. Thanks :)

Just googled it.. came with this page of basic info on this Amur Maple.. Looks like it could be fun to work with as a bonsai.
http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/trees/handbook/th-3-85.pdf
Yes, they can make nice bonsai, though I have never worked with them. Many enthusiasts in more northern, colder climates will use the hardier Amur maple instead of the less hardy Trident maple.

Dave
 
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