How long can a field maple stay dormant?

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
I ordered three field maples seedlings this spring. They were shipped early, fully dormant. They scared me by taking forever to wake up. After the first broke bud the second took at least three weeks more before it broke. The third never has opened up but I never threw it our either. Every time I want to pitch it I check and find signs of green. Just a few weeks ago I rubbed off a budded thinking they were all dried up and toast. But of course the one I took off was green inside. So I left it. Then just last night I was really going to do it. But I figured I would cut a "branch" and see and sure enough there was green cambium. So what gives? It never felt good enough to go into active growth but has enough reserve to not die? Is there any way that it could live through the winter and break bud next year with no photosynthesis? Should I just compost it? I'm a little confused.
 

Bob O

Mame
Messages
171
Reaction score
4
Location
Tidewater, VA
USDA Zone
7B
Don't give up yet!
I once trunk chopped and repotted a trident maple at the same time. It kept green cambium but didn't pop any bud for two years. Then in the third year grew as normal.

Did anything similar happen to this tree? Did you get it bare rooted?

Hope this helps,

Bob O
 

Tachigi

Omono
Messages
1,201
Reaction score
32
Location
PA.
USDA Zone
6b
Your done for this year, in fact I would venture that you want it to stay dormant. Not much benefit will come from it popping its buds this year hardening off and then shortly there after dying off with the cool fall winds. Next spring if its cambium is still green and you have given a chance for it to pop on its own, you'll need to sweat your tree to get the buds to pop.

Your situation isn't unusably .... but thee are steps you can take to help it out
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
Yes, the plants were grown in Anderson bands but had escaped considerably. I didn't try to work them any more than to get them out of the bands and into some pots. No root mass removed and it had all been bagged with moist moss. I don't think they spent more than three days in the mail. I just didn't know a tree could hold like that for so long. And they aren't real big, maybe 18" each. So I will keep it in the shade till Spring. I really doubt it will wake up since I've been contemplating if it's live/dead. If it wakes in Spring then great. Hopefully this means the two that did grow will have a better response next year. They put out leaves and then kind of sat there. Nothing wrong but virtually no new growth all spring/summer.

I need to read up on sweating. I remember seeing a post somewhere about it. Plastic bag, full sun, something like that. Tachigi, you say "thee are steps you can take to help it out ", what would those steps be besides getting it to hold dormancy right now and sweating it later on?
 

dcartier

Seed
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Location
Brampton, Ontario
USDA Zone
6b
I had a similar experience with a field maple, though in my case it was self inflicted. I purchased a medium sized field maple in 2006 and as I had no place to plant it ground, I left it in the 3 Gallon nursery pot.

Late in 2006 I decided to air layer the top half of the tree as it had a nice trunk and branch structure. In the spring of 2007, when checking the layer I discovered it had bridged the gap so I removed the bark from the air layer to try again.

In 2008 I checked the air layer and discovered it had again bridged the gap. At this point I was stressing the poor tree with my clumsy air layering attempts and it failed to leaf out until July of that year. I was thinking it was a goner when months passed and it had not leafed out while all others had.

In the spring of 2009 I finally had a proper grow bed so I planted the tree and tried one last time to air layer the same section. It leafed out even later than the previous year with the top leafing out after that. The tree did very little in 2009 with such a short growing season. I was just happy it was not dead (because I thought it was again).

Then in the spring of 2010, I found that the top of the tree was indeed dead. All my crude air layer attempts had finally drained it of all its vigour. I removed the top and waited to see if the rest of the tree was dead. Nope, shoots that were 8" long and had not grown in years suddenly put on 8 ft. of length over the summer and the lower trunk (below the botched graft) doubled in size. The chop scar that was the size of my thumb, healed by half.

So I guess what I am trying to convey is that Field Maples are very resilient trees and you should not give up on yours just yet. You may yet be pleasantly surprised.

Dennis
 

sfhellwig

Mame
Messages
192
Reaction score
1
Location
Pittsburg, KS
USDA Zone
6a
That is good to here. I guess certain trees are tenacious. When you try to kill some seedlings they keep coming back year after year. Hopefully mine are like that and don't make me wait that long. I'm trying to decide whether to mark the one that didn't bud out or wait till spring and see if I can tell. I am more hopeful now but only time will tell. I need at least one to grow up and become my layering mother. I don't know if I could even get someone to order these into my area. Nursery owners seem real shifty on what they will get for you (profit margin I'm sure). Hence the mail order in the first place.
 
Top Bottom