Making Japanese Maple Cuttings

mapleman77

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Hi All,

I have read bits and pieces from many other threads, but I just wanted to put the information all together...can everyone just tell me their way of taking Japanese Maple cuttings? I have 28 cultivars and counting, and want to make many cuttings for bonsai. I know (mainly from Brent's comments) that cuttings will survive on their own roots, and that has convinced me to try some. I just don't have all of the necessary knowledge to make them work.

Instructions/suggestions/tips/etc always appreciated!!

David
 

weeble

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So far, I've had far more luck with Japanese maple air-layers than with cuttings. I have started over 20 cuttings with only ONE success, and did two air-layers that both succeeded.

Maryjane

aka Weeble

Whistling Fish Pottery
 

mapleman77

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Thank you weeble! I have a pretty extensive collection, so I'll probably end up trying multiple methods and seeing which one works the best. Who knows maybe cuttings will take down here in Louisiana! But will DEF try the air layer and see how it goes (probably do a few actually).

Any other thoughts anybody?

David
 

Ken Duncan

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Hi David, I have had the best luck rooting Japanese maples in pure perlite and taking them this time of year or even earlier. It seems that they do better if taken before the leaves come out. I keep them outside in a area that is protected from the wind and strong sun light, You can also cover them with a tent of clear plastic. It is important to keep them well watered, I water mine when I water my Bonsai and I tend to leave then in the perlite all summer and pot them up in the fall or wait till next spring. When they start putting on growth, May, June, I use a little liquid fertilizer on them.
I have found that some verities root better than others, Kotohime root almost 100%, Crimson Queen is one that I have not been able to root at all. There have been others that root real slow, Tridents root almost 100%.
Hope this is some help to You, good luck.
Ken
 

mapleman77

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Hi Ken,

Thank you so much. If I may ask a couple of questions, do you use rooting hormone (and what concentration)? And what size? And basically how do you keep them so that they don't shrivel up or anything?

David
 

Ken Duncan

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David, I will try to answer your questions with what has worked for me for the last 35 years of propagating woody plants. First of all I try to keep it simple. Sometimes I do use rootone but not all the time. As far as size I take all size cuttings, sometimes the bigger they are the better they root. I think that this has to do with the type of plant more than anything else, some types root better than others. When you take real large cuttings, say 2 inches or so in dia., it is best to use a real sharp blade and cut all around the edges of the bottom and use rootone.
As I said in the first post some maple verities root with ease and others will not root at all.I have found this to be true with other trees as well. Take Hornbeams for example, most verities will root for me but Korean Hornbeam will not root at all for me. Tridents and shimpaku root very easy as do most azaleas.
The cuttings will not shrivel up if you keep them in pure perlite watered well and protected from drying winds. They can be covered with a plastic tent of some kind to help with this. One thing that works real well is to use a 5 gal. plastic water bottle with the bottom cut out, placed over the container they are in, it can be removed very easy to water the cuttings.
Hope I was of some help, good luck propagating cuttings it has been a joy to me over the years.
Ken
 

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mapleman77

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Hi Ken,
W-O-W! Thank you so much for the detailed information! I will definitely try to take some cuttings ASAP (right now most of my japanese maples are still kind of small but in then next year or so they should have some good growth on them). I'm mainly looking at propagating the cultivar 'Garyu'--a VERY little-known cultivar with a wonderful small stature, very incised leaves, and good compact habit. It's always said to be great for bonsai. I'm going to get a nice 6 year grafted plant as my "mother tree" in the next 2 weeks or so and take as many cuttings as I can. That's not all i'm going to try to propagate but mainly that one and, if possible, 'Beni Hime'--another dwarf that has a WONDERFUL red spring color and leaves--full size--the size of your thumbnail! But it grows about as fast as a snail moves, so that'll be a challenge to get decent wood. I'll try to post some pictures of both cultivars. Anyway...Thank you SO much for the pics...those really helped with the "visual image" of what I was looking for. Most appreciated!

Any other information from anybody who has experience like Ken or has just done it before is always appreciated!!!!!

David
 

rajputana

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Hi All,

I have read bits and pieces from many other threads, but I just wanted to put the information all together...can everyone just tell me their way of taking Japanese Maple cuttings? I have 28 cultivars and counting, and want to make many cuttings for bonsai. I know (mainly from Brent's comments) that cuttings will survive on their own roots, and that has convinced me to try some. I just don't have all of the necessary knowledge to make them work.

Instructions/suggestions/tips/etc always appreciated!!

David
hi sir
nice information.
 

davetree

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Ken - Do you take trident cuttings before they leaf out or as the buds swell ? Those are some big cuttings in the last picture. Do you use rootone on tridents ?

thanks,
davetree
 

Ken Duncan

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davetree, I do take the cuttings before the leaves come out, late Winter and early Spring.
With the large cuttings I use rootone. Tridents root easy for me.
Ken
 

davetree

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Can I ask, what is the largest trident cutting you have taken successfully ?
 

davetree

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Can I also ask, what type of rootone ? Powder, liquid, gel, what concentrate ? Thanks much for your info, I have a big trident that is going to get carved up pretty soon, I think I can make some nice trees out of the surplus.

davetree
 

mapleman77

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I received the 'Garyu' yesterday; it was the cultivar that I talked about before. It's REALLY big (not so much tall but roundish and dense). I'll have no problem taking cuttings from it. When it leafs out I'll post some pictures of the 'Garyu' and also of the 'Beni Hime' (the other cultivar I mentioned).

These tips are really helping me out! Thank you everyone.

David
 

Ken Duncan

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davetree, The largest cutting of Trident that I have rooted was about 2 inches in dia., I have seen some that were 4 to 5 inches in dia. that were rooted by someone else. I use the power, it has been around here for about 30 years, I don't know about the concentration.
Ken
 

emk

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I have had the best luck rooting Japanese maples in pure perlite and taking them this time of year or even earlier. It seems that they do better if taken before the leaves come out.
Considering that the weather you get in min/late January is what I don't see until mid/late March makes me impatient to get started on my own cuttings this year. Guess I'll just have to twiddle my thumbs a bit longer and wait for the snow to melt.
 

mapleman77

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I have news--I was checking the FOUR JM cuttings that I made in January...and one of them is starting to root! The JM mother tree was pretty small so I could only take 4, but already I have one success and the other 3 are callousing nicely! They are just starting to leaf out and looking a little stunted (from lack of water due to the nonexistent root system, I think) but when they start growing more, I'll post a picture or two. They are looking good and healthy (no wilting/shriveling). All I did was place them in pure perlite (like Ken said) and covered them with a plastic bag. Sealed it all with a rubber band. I made sure that it stayed pretty moist. I can't believe that it actually worked; I was a little dubious since I did not use any kind of rooting hormone. In any case, I'll try to get a picture of the cuttings asap.

The 'Garyu' and the 'Beni Hime' (refer to earlier posts by moi) are both leafing out so I'll try to get some pictures of them too.

David
 
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