Snakebark and Devil Maple as Bonsai?

Messages
271
Likes
277
Location
SE MI
USDA Zone
5b
#1
I just received some snakebark, Japanese (red and green), devil, Amur, and trident maple seeds. With luck, they'll be sprouting in time for the summer sun to kill them off.

Now, obviously the Japanese maple, trident maple, and Amur maple are all going to be good bonsai subjects (... by the time my as-yet-unborn children graduate college). The first two are staples of the hobby, and the third is like the second but laughs at the sissy cold of the southlands. I have less material on the snakebark (A. davidii - I really wanted A. pennsylvanicum, but couldn't find a good source) and devil (A. diabolicum) as bonsai, though. Most of the places I've found that have anything to say on the subject have been mercantile sites selling the seeds or plants, which isn't exactly what I'd call reliable and unbiased sources.

Has anyone here had any luck with those species, or am I wading into largely uncharted waters?
 
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1,036
Likes
941
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
#2
I have amur, trident, and jm maples (red and green), but haven't even heard of diabolicum, sounds pretty interesting! I've seen pictures of snakebark and have wanted to find some. I found a Shantung maple last year (truncatum) and these have pretty cool bark, but I think snakebark looks more interesting.

One thing I noticed from pictures online about the devil maple is that they seem to have long petioles, which might give you trouble with presentation in leaf (unless these were grown as large bonsai), but naked I think would look pretty good. My shantung has the same problem, I was so excited to find it that I didn't notice the petioles until I got it home and really looked at it.

I'd say you are in some pretty uncharted territory, but maybe you can learn about it and report back to us! Good luck!
 
Messages
271
Likes
277
Location
SE MI
USDA Zone
5b
#4
The trident maples and snakebark maples have started to germinate in the fridge. I put ten of each into stratification, and I see two of each have sprouted. 20% success at this stage isn't too bad for a first start. Haven't noticed any of the other species germinating yet, but it's still another monthish before I pull them out to put into warm trays. It's entirely possible that the other seeds don't want to germinate when it's still just about 34* F, so I'm not concerned.
 

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