Is this Red Maple worth collecting?

AcerAddict

Shohin
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This is an Acer rubrum on our property that I've been contemplating collecting for many months. It's at the back of our lot on a wooded strip of trees where the builder stopped bulldozing space for the house and lawn. That's our house and fence on the right side of the first picture. The large trunk laying on the ground in the pics is an oak tree that got pushed over but never removed. The red circle in the upper-left of the first pic is where I chopped off the leader this past spring because the tree had completely slumped over and was growing in an upside-down "U" shape back towards the ground due to the weight. The tree is probably 10' tall at least as it currently stands. The trunk base is quite thick as seen in the last photo. I have big hands and wear a size L/XL glove.

Obviously, this would be a huge project and a BIG bonsai if I dug it up. Considering the main trunk is poker straight other than a single elbow bend, I don't know if it would be worth the time needed to grow out taper on something this large after doing a big chop on the trunk. I could do a standard slanted style with this trunk as well, since it's already set up for that right now. I'd need to grow out lower branches though of course. Finally, I haven't ruled out air layering this tree either. That would give me more control over creating a root base, and would let me work with a thinner trunk.

Thoughts?
 

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Arlithrien

Shohin
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Looks like a sweetgum to me. I don't think they are easily collectible.
 

AcerAddict

Shohin
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Looks like a sweetgum to me. I don't think they are easily collectible.
Ah yes, I think you're right. Should have occurred to me that it's not a Red Maple because all the others on our property have smooth, white bark, which this tree clearly does not. I didn't think it was a Sweet Gum initially though because I haven't seen any of the tell-tale spiky brown seed balls that fall off it. The bark pattern does seem to match Sweet Gum though as well.

Thanks for the clarification!
 

Arlithrien

Shohin
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Ah yes, I think you're right. Should have occurred to me that it's not a Red Maple because all the others on our property have smooth, white bark, which this tree clearly does not. I didn't think it was a Sweet Gum initially though because I haven't seen any of the tell-tale spiky brown seed balls that fall off it. The bark pattern does seem to match Sweet Gum though as well.

Thanks for the clarification!
If you're still interested in collecting it, you might be able to airlayer it. I'm airlayering one at the moment and they are slower to root than the maples I've layered before.
 

Shibui

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It is easy to tell the difference. All maples have opposite leaves. Liquidamber all have alternate growth pattern. Looks like the smaller seedling is maple.

It is easy to be carried away with 'big is better' but IMHO bonsai is about small. Large trunks require large chops which then require many years to heal or carving expertise to disguise.
Anything CAN becom bonsai but sometimes the time and effort required does not warrant the results.

Collecting can be a way to get good material for bonsai but it is not usually instant. Good bonsai from collected material requires good choices to get superior foundation material. I usually look at many hundreds before taking one or 2 with potential. Even then, what looked good in the field often lose their appeal when seen in a pot and you suddenly realize the proportions are not quite as you had first seen.
 

Mikecheck123

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It is easy to tell the difference. All maples have opposite leaves. Liquidamber all have alternate growth pattern. Looks like the smaller seedling is maple.

It is easy to be carried away with 'big is better' but IMHO bonsai is about small. Large trunks require large chops which then require many years to heal or carving expertise to disguise.
Anything CAN becom bonsai but sometimes the time and effort required does not warrant the results.

Collecting can be a way to get good material for bonsai but it is not usually instant. Good bonsai from collected material requires good choices to get superior foundation material. I usually look at many hundreds before taking one or 2 with potential. Even then, what looked good in the field often lose their appeal when seen in a pot and you suddenly realize the proportions are not quite as you had first seen.
Yea. After the chop there's nothing interesting about this tree. It'll just look like a log in a pot.
 

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