Should Maples Be Fertilized before leafs have hardened?

Flabonsai

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I have this Bonsai book that says you should wait until the leaves have hardened because fertilizing when the leaves are soft can burn the tips causing them to blacken. I have a trident that has stated popping leaves all over. I've always thought when the leaves are popping early in the spring it is a good time to give them fertilizer. Is this true?
 

Gene Deci

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One of the problems with maples is that the leaves tend to get too big. Fertilizing in the spring exaserbates the problem but if you wait until the leaves harden, they won't get any bigger. I think that is mainly why people wait.
 

Concorde

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In the winter months I use 0-10-10 once a month and during the growing months I use Peters 20-20-20 half strength and fish emulsion.

Art
 

Flabonsai

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Ok Thanks, I guess I'll hold off a little longer then.
 

cquinn

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The biggest problem is that it also lengthens the internodes which is worse than leaf size.
 

Brian Underwood

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If the tree is still being developed, fertilizing now is exactly what you want to do. Leaf size doesn't matter until it is more or less finished and show-worthy, and defoliation of a healthy tree will produce significantly smaller leaves. I fertilize as soon as buds start to swell, let grow for a month or two, prune back and defoliate to start the process over again around June-July. If the tree is nice and healthy, you can get two (and in rare cases three) growing seasons in one.
 

Flabonsai

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If the tree is still being developed, fertilizing now is exactly what you want to do. Leaf size doesn't matter until it is more or less finished and show-worthy, and defoliation of a healthy tree will produce significantly smaller leaves. I fertilize as soon as buds start to swell, let grow for a month or two, prune back and defoliate to start the process over again around June-July. If the tree is nice and healthy, you can get two (and in rare cases three) growing seasons in one.
Thanks Brian for the detailed explanation. I was told my tree was around 26 yrs old, So He looks pretty well developed. I got him from the Lone pine Nursery.
 

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milehigh_7

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What do you think about reading up on Smoke's ground layering adventures and doing that at the red line?
 

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Flabonsai

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What do you think about reading up on Smoke's ground layering adventures and doing that at the red line?
Yeah That would be a pretty drastic chop:eek:. I like the shape of it right now, I'm going to hold off on a trunk chop. I'm sure I could grow it out better but it would take years. The tree's is 16" tall, 12" wide, 7" nebari, 3-4" trunk
 
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Brian Underwood

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He is not suggesting a chop, merely a course to grow new roots for the tree (via "layering") creating a far superior base. I have many tridents from Lone Pine, and this is the conclusion I have come to with most of them. Your tree is nice, and could be VERY nice with some wiring and a couple season's good growth (with lots of fertilizer using the technique described above and in my thread). However, the tree could be FANTASTIC with a more drastic course of training including a layer (for good roots and base), large branches removed and regrown (more balanced overall look), and lots and lots of fertilizing/wiring/defoliating/pruning.

Sorry if this is overwhelming, and obviously more than you asked for... It would probably help you if you joined a club. REBS is a good one with a great teacher; http://www.rebsbonsai.org/

My tree; http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3974

Layering; http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATLayering.html
 

Flabonsai

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He is not suggesting a chop, merely a course to grow new roots for the tree (via "layering") creating a far superior base. I have many tridents from Lone Pine, and this is the conclusion I have come to with most of them. Your tree is nice, and could be VERY nice with some wiring and a couple season's good growth (with lots of fertilizer using the technique described above and in my thread). However, the tree could be FANTASTIC with a more drastic course of training including a layer (for good roots and base), large branches removed and regrown (more balanced overall look), and lots and lots of fertilizing/wiring/defoliating/pruning.

Sorry if this is overwhelming, and obviously more than you asked for... It would probably help you if you joined a club. REBS is a good one with a great teacher; http://www.rebsbonsai.org/

My tree; http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3974

Layering; http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATLayering.html
Oh Ok, Yeah I've never done any Layering before. Yeah I should join a club I've been in to bonsai for about 10yrs and still have a lot to learn. I live in Florida so I'll have to find a club close to the West palm Beach area. Thanks for the links,
Russell
 

Brian Underwood

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Oops, sorry Russel, I guess a club in California isn't going to do you much good. I'm sure there are plenty around you. Good luck.
 

Mike423

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An air layering process is also good to help form an even distribution of roots all the way around the base of the trunk. This is what is strives for not only due to aesthetical purposes but for the more essential fact that it helps the roots to spread evenly in all directions of the pot allowing for optimum moisture/fertilizer uptake and overall optimum health.
 

pjkatich

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If you are looking for a club in your area then try this link:

http://www.bonsai-bsf.com/?page_id=8

This should take you to Bonsai Society of Florida's web page containing all the information you need to find a club in your part of the state.

Regards,
Paul
 

Brian Van Fleet

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FEED IT HARD! We have a tendency to starve our trees. Large leaves are far more often a result of everything but overfeeding, yet that's the easiest patsy. If you get big leaves on a trident maple, defoliate it. More buds = more leaves = smaller leaves.
 
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