Red Maple From Seed

JohnFranklin

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I am a complete novice in the practice sense of bonsai but I've done a fair amount of reading. The issue is a planted a number of red maple seeds (want to start a bonsai from seed) mid to late summer (I live in Maryland) in peat pots. I left them outside and nothing happened for 3 or 4 months and I got ready start over and found a number of seeds had sprouted and it was early December. The upshot is I transplanted two survivors to small clay pots and I am keeping them in the garage, temperature is probably 10 to 15 degrees warmer than outside. The plants are thriving, so my question is, is there anything I should do at this point to encourage lateral root growth or anything for that matter? I've read, do nothing until the second year. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

sorce

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Pics!

Welcome to Crazy!

I'd cut the taproot off in spring and plant em in a wide and shallow joint.

Sorce
 

GroveKeeper

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In Florida, I have notice that red maples don't produce a particularly strong tap root. It shouldn't be too hard to achieve a lateral root spread simply by cutting the taproot and putting the seedings in wide, fat containers like sorce said.
 

JohnFranklin

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Thanks for your responses.....well it turns out I really don't have any idea as to what I am doing. I have not started "Red Maples" from seed, the trees are Amur Maples at least according to the packing slip from the seed company. Does this have any impact on the suggestion to trim the tap root come Spring? Also, should they be so tall and spindling? I am using a grow light.

Also here are a couple of pictures:
 

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aml1014

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A fat joint is better :D
Agreeeeed
Thanks for your responses.....well it turns out I really don't have any idea as to what I am doing. I have not started "Red Maples" from seed, the trees are Amur Maples at least according to the packing slip from the seed company. Does this have any impact on the suggestion to trim the tap root come Spring? Also, should they be so tall and spindling? I am using a grow light.

Also here are a couple of pictures:
Amur is a red maple, oh and welcome to the nuthouse!

Aaron
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Makes no difference, seedling care for Amur maples and red maples is roughly the same. Amur maples are quite winter hardy, all the way through zone 4 into zone 3. They also have naturally smaller leaves and will make better smaller bonsai than Acer rubrum. So in some ways, Amur maple is a better choice for bonsai than Acer rubrum. Your seedling look good. Thanks for the pictures.

Most maple seeds have a portion of the seed that requires a warm stratification followed by a cold stratification. When I plant maple seeds in a flat, I label the flat with name of variety and date. I do not give up on seed sprouting until the 3rd summer. Often the 2nd summer a fair number of seeds will sprout if the flat was kept moist the whole time. The pots you gave up on, might have sprouted this coming summer.

When you have a chance, go to the Edit Profile page and put in a general location. You get better advice if we can have a clue to the climate your are dealing with.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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Common names are tricky and often vague or misleading.

Acer rubrum - red maple native to USA,

Acer ginnala - Amur Maple - this is the maple I was referring to. There is seed grown race (not a single clone, but a population that is cultivated from seed) that has red autumn color. This is referred to as the Flame Amur maples. It is not at all related to Acer rubrum. Some do call it red maple, but it is not related to the others called red maple.

Acer palmatum - Japanese maple, there is a horticultural subgroup of Acer palmatum referred to as Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum. There are also sometimes call Red maples. but are completely unrelated to the two previous species.

Acer japonicum - Japanese maple - same common name as above, botanically a different species, although closely related to Acer palmatum. Another area where common names can confuse.

there are other confusing common names, when in doubt it is useful using the scientific species name.
 

Eric Group

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Agreeeeed

Amur is a red maple, oh and welcome to the nuthouse!

Aaron
No, Amur is not the same as Red Maple.
Red= Acer Rubrum
Amur= Acer Ginnala

Amur's leaves may turn red in Fall but they are two different trees.
 

Eric Group

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Lmao duuhhh, I had a brain fart as my fiance says

Aaron
No problem man, I think Leo did a much better job of explaining the differences than I did and as he said it gets mixed up all the time!
 

sorce

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We might have to pass around that fatty....

They still look like Rubrum to me.
The new leaves are decievingly alike.

Where did the seeds come from?

Sorce
 

JohnFranklin

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>Where did the seeds come from?

I bought them, mail order from "Whatcom Seed" located in Eugene, OR. The packing slip is specific, "Acer Ginnala" and on their (Acer Maple) sowing instructions sheet it translates the scientific name to "Amur Maple". In hindsight, I am thinking that I would not have had any basis for ordering "Amur Maple" seeds, rather I seem to recall thinking "Red Maple" as this is the species of Maple I am most familiar with. I suppose the packing list could be in error.
 

jeanluc83

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Most maple seeds have a portion of the seed that requires a warm stratification followed by a cold stratification.
Red maples acer rubrum do not need a cold stratification. The seeds ripen in early summer and will germinate immediately.

In these parts acer rubrum are almost weeds. I pulled 50+ that had self seeded in my pots over last season. This year I'm not close to any maples so it should not be a problem.
 

sorce

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Ahh good.....
Amur is better!

Sorce
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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>Where did the seeds come from?

I bought them, mail order from "Whatcom Seed" located in Eugene, OR. The packing slip is specific, "Acer Ginnala" and on their (Acer Maple) sowing instructions sheet it translates the scientific name to "Amur Maple". In hindsight, I am thinking that I would not have had any basis for ordering "Amur Maple" seeds, rather I seem to recall thinking "Red Maple" as this is the species of Maple I am most familiar with. I suppose the packing list could be in error.
In some ways, you lucked out, Amur maples are very, very winter hardy. For those like me who live north of the area where Trident maples are hardy, Amur maple is a good substitute. I may be exaggerating, but Amur maple is hardy enough that it needs no winter protection just about anywhere south of the Yukon. Actually this is only a slight exaggeration. They survive all of zone 4 with minimal winter protection. They are hardy well into zone 3. You are in Maryland. You can leave them fully exposed on your bonsai bench outside all winter, and not have any problems.

They are a little more coarse, a little more difficult to train than a Trident maple, but most consider Amur maple fairly easy to train using bonsai techniques. They make good shohin, and larger size bonsai. Where Acer rubrum is not a good choice for smaller bonsai sizes. Acer rubrum, probably is best where the finished tree will be over 2 feet tall.

So enjoy them. Amur are one tree I am experimenting with.
 

JohnFranklin

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Thanks for your responses.....well it turns out I really don't have any idea as to what I am doing. I have not started "Red Maples" from seed, the trees are Amur Maples at least according to the packing slip from the seed company. Does this have any impact on the suggestion to trim the tap root come Spring? Also, should they be so tall and spindling? I am using a grow light.

Also here are a couple of pictures:

Not sure if the pictures are going to show up in this reply but they do exist in this thread but the pics are well over a month old. The maples are still the small around pots and one is 12 inches tall and the other is 17" tall. I've been placing them outside in the sun on less windy days. Based on what I've read and one of the reply's in this thread I am wondering if it's time to cut the tap root and repot in a flat containers, which I have (6" x 4" x 2.25") the aforementioned reply here is this thread suggested the cutting when spring arrives. What is unclear to me is, should I trim the trees back to 4" to 6"? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

Redwood Ryan

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I wouldn't cut them back at all. Let them grow for several years and get thick trunks.
 

JohnFranklin

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TreeFour.jpg

I am hoping for some advice. So here are the trees four months later, relative of course to the other pictures I posted in Feb 3, 2016. Currently, one tree is approximately 16" in height, the other 18". At least a couple of months ago I had pruned them back to about 9" (in opposition to "RedWood Ryan's suggestion as they just kept growing taller and nothing else(I panicked, I am a novice)) each and 3 weeks ago I transplanted them from their clay pots to these pseudo bonsai pots. At the time of the transplant I trimmed the roots accordingly. In the past six weeks they are spending most of their time outdoors. So my question is, they are as you can see seem to be growing tall and spindly, is this normal? If not, it is not clear in the reading I've done what to do nor have a I ran across whether or not this growth pattern is normal? They did spend a lot of time until recently under grow lights in the garage which may have contributed to the tall spindly look, maybe? Oh, there are about 8 months old.

Any input\advice would be appreciated.
 
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