How to acclimate trees to my State

Redwood Ryan

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Hey everyone, I received some Japanese Maple 'Bloodgoods' today from a friend who lives in Texas. I know this may not be a bonsai question, but I would one day like to use them as bonsai. The area of Texas he is from is about a zone 8. My climate here in Virginia is a zone 7. That's not too much of a difference is it? I want to repot the trees as they are in some bad soil, but I'm afraid to do it now. Thanks for your help everyone!


Ryan
 

Redwing

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Ryan,

Just repot in very early spring, before the buds swell, and then don't worry about acclimation in the least.

-rw
 

Redwood Ryan

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So I can simply place the trees outside now?
 

bisjoe

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Yes, they shouldn't be indoors. Zone 8 to 7 is not that different, and Maples actually should prefer the cooler winter.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Thanks for your help you two. I felt dumb asking it, but I normally just feel dumb when it comes to things like these.
 

Bonsai Nut

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The only thing you have to worry about is whether the roots will freeze. Shouldn't be a problem in Virginia, but if a freak winter storm is approaching, you might want to move them into your (unheated) garage or just mulch them into a flower bed.
 

rockm

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The trees will have no problem coming here, but they don't make very good bonsai.

You will not need to acclimate them. They are entirely hardy in the No.Va area. Roots can freeze, but need protection from the worst (below 25 F) cold.

It would be more of a concern if your were moving them to Texas--As a rule, Japanese maples are only marginally hardy the further south you go. Even here in Va., some Japanese maple types in landscapes are sun scalded by mid-July. "Bloodgood" is only one of a handful of Japanese maple cultivars that can handle the heat and sun in the deep south.

Here in Va. you will need to ensure their roots are protected and they're out of the winter winds. Cold wind will induce dieback in twiggier growth on these. I would find a sheltered, shady spot in your yard, put the pots on bricks, mulch them to their trunks and leave them alone this winter.

Bloodgood tends to grow in a lanky manner that looks clumsy is small and medium sized bonsai. They don't ramify well and most are growing on extremely ugly grafted root stock. They also tend to "bleed" profusely when pruned the spring.
 

greerhw

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"Bloodgood" is only one of a handful of Japanese maple cultivars that can handle the heat and sun in the deep south.


I don't know what you call the deep south, but they don't do it here in Oklahoma, unless they are in a sheltered area on the north side of the house.

keep it green,
Harry
 

rockm

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OK ain't the South. Windier, not as deadly humid...
 

Redwood Ryan

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Darn, I thought they would be good. Oh well, worth a shot.

Oe of the 'Bloodgood' maples leaves are a green color. Will they darken if they get more sun? The other leaves on the other trees are a red normal color.

Thanks for your help everyone.
 

greerhw

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Darn, I thought they would be good. Oh well, worth a shot.

Oe of the 'Bloodgood' maples leaves are a green color. Will they darken if they get more sun? The other leaves on the other trees are a red normal color.

Thanks for your help everyone.
Mine turns bright red in the spring when the new leaves spring forth and turns brown in June.

keep it green,
Harry
 

Redwood Ryan

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Harry, you don't have a bonsai 'Bloodgood' do you? Or are you just talking about your landscape tree? Were your trees leaves ever green?
 

greerhw

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Harry, you don't have a bonsai 'Bloodgood' do you? Or are you just talking about your landscape tree? Were your trees leaves ever green?
Early on I tried one and it lasted about 4 months, the one I'm talking about is a landscape tree. No one down here tries to keep them as bonsai.

keep it green,
Harry
 

rockm

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Actually it's the green leaf that's "normal." Bloodgood leaves can revert to green over time. The more sheltered a site, the greener.

Also, since bloodgood is usually grafted (usually done really badly) onto stock Japanese maple roots, allowing growth on the understock to grow can overtake the top. Understock can have green leaves.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Oh so it is normal. Strange. I've got a green leaf one and a red leaf one. Thanks for your help!


Ryan
 

sfhellwig

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Are these by chance "Bloodgood" seedlings? You didn't mention if the were seedlings or young grafts. "Bloodgood" can green up depending on several conditions, but the seedlings are highly variable and my not look anything like the parents. Just throwing that out there.
 

Redwood Ryan

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Yes they are 'Bloodgood', but are seed grown.
 

sfhellwig

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Yes they are 'Bloodgood', but are seed grown.
Then your green looking one may just be a green japanese maple. It's parent may have been "Bloodgood" but the only way to keep those specific traits are by asexual propagation (grafting). What you have from seed could well be used for understock when it reaches the right size. Or just grow it and see what you get. This is my first year researching maples and am doing a seeding project this winter. As I have read surrounding maples can influence genetic material, and "Bloodgood" is not true from seed anyway so you would have unknown trees. Another seeding experience I have seen showed some very interesting variety from colored and dissect to short inter-nodes to green and palmate.

Sorry if you already knew all of this. I am hoping someone will correct if I have stated anything in error.

Also, "Bloodgood" can fade over the season depending on environmental conditions. So if yours is a green leaf with a definite reddish cast it could just be faded for the season. Most of the larger ones I watched this year started as crimson, faded to dirty red-green, and are now bright red as they are dropping. HTH.
 
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