'Summer Red' Red Maple

Redwood Ryan

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Hey everyone,


I bought this huge guy at the local nursery for a whopping $32.99. It was 80% off. Why? I dunno. It was 12 feet when I first saw it, but it is now around 2 feet tall. I chopped it and made sure I left quite a bit of buds. It is not a plain Red Maple though, the tag says 'Summer Red' Acer rubrum. So, we'll see what happens with this guy. I've heard all about them from people and online references, etc. This guy goes in the greenhouse to recover for a while. Comments are appreciated but not necessary ;)

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Btw, the trunk is around 3 inches thick.
 

Smoke

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I see all the makins of a fine maple baseball bat.

Just kidding... was that the chop just to get it home?
 

Redwood Ryan

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I see all the makins of a fine maple baseball bat.

Just kidding... was that the chop just to get it home?


Mmm I was thinking the same thing, it's okay. But yes, there would've been no way of getting it home at that height, and I saw that there was a large number of buds down lower on the trunk.
 

evmibo

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Do you think you'll cut it further down once you get it healthier? I assume you don't want a 6 foot final bonsai? :) What are your plans for developing nebari?
 
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I would lower your cut and rotate in the planting to more of a 45 degree angle...
 

Redwood Ryan

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Do you think you'll cut it further down once you get it healthier? I assume you don't want a 6 foot final bonsai? :) What are your plans for developing nebari?

Well so far it is a little over 2 feet tall. I will eventually cut it back once the new shoots extend. I'll pick one, make it a leader, then chop it. As for the nebari, I couldn't tell you. I haven't really dug down in the pot to even look for any nebari. But I'll let you know come repot/root pruning time.

I would lower your cut and rotate in the planting to more of a 45 degree angle...

Thanks Stacy, I thought of chopping it down low like you have in the picture, but I wanted to be sure to leave plenty of buds so that it will survive.
 
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is there a graft there??? sorry can't really tell from pic...
now I am not as familliar with this kind of tree, but don't these grow pretty fast and agressive???
if so, what would be the point of a graft???
just currious...
 

Redwood Ryan

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I don't believe there is a graft, actually. If there is, it is pretty dang well done.
 

garywood

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SAM, clones are only vegetatively reproduced, not sexually. In the nursery industry very little "cutting" grown 'cultivar' trees are reproduced. Grafting is the most efficient method to produce a sell-able plant in the fastest time. 99% of the nursery industry is geared to forestry or landscape and bonsai is, guess what, less than 1%.
Wood
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no, I understand the point of grafting...
I just don't understand the point of why one would want to graft this actual species of tree...
that is if one even does???
correct me if I am wrong, for like mentioned before not as familliar with this tree, but from what I know, it seems to be a very fast grower ...
grafting would seem to be a little counter-productive, unless one was bored...

I don't think there is a graft, either...
 
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rockm

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"Summer Red" is a trademarked variety of Acer rubrum.

http://www.huntertrees.com/TreeDetail.aspx?var=1&id=1

There are a few variations of this Acer rubrum that have been cloned and marketed to the nursery trade for their more intense or different spring and fall colors. Since, like Japanese maples, such variations are not genetically stable and seeds may not breed the variety "true", they are grafted. It's hard to tell if this tree is grafted, though. If it is a true authorized "summer red" it probably is.

Looks to have been left that container for quite some time, which would explain the mark down. If it were mine, I would have chopped AND reduced that root mass by 90 percent right out of the gate.
 

Redwood Ryan

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"Summer Red" is a trademarked variety of Acer rubrum.

http://www.huntertrees.com/TreeDetail.aspx?var=1&id=1

There are a few variations of this Acer rubrum that have been cloned and marketed to the nursery trade for their more intense or different spring and fall colors. Since, like Japanese maples, such variations are not genetically stable and seeds may not breed the variety "true", they are grafted. It's hard to tell if this tree is grafted, though. If it is a true authorized "summer red" it probably is.

Looks to have been left that container for quite some time, which would explain the mark down. If it were mine, I would have chopped AND reduced that root mass by 90 percent right out of the gate.


Thanks for that Mark, it's appreciated. And you would reduce the rootball by 90%?! In this summer heat?? I mean, I could do it tomorrow if it should be done. And if you really were curious, I could bring it by your house so you can see if it's grafted or not...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't cutting the roots by that much cause slower recovery for the tree?
 
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i only said it because i thought it looked like a graft. the picture is too small for me to really tell. i often avoid nursery maples for this reason.
 

garywood

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no, I understand the point of grafting...
I just don't understand the point of why one would want to graft this actual species of tree...
that is if one even does???
correct me if I am wrong, for like mentioned before not as familliar with this tree, but from what I know, it seems to be a very fast grower ...
grafting would seem to be a little counter-productive, unless one was bored...

I don't think there is a graft, either...

SAM, are you saying you don't understand the economics of grafting or the economics of grafting this specific variety? ECON 101, is it worth disrupting a whole production cycle for marginal returns? Bonsai is MICRO ECON 101 industry is MACRO ECON 401 Time is money in any economy.
 

rockm

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"Thanks for that Mark, it's appreciated. And you would reduce the rootball by 90%?! In this summer heat?? I mean, I could do it tomorrow if it should be done. And if you really were curious, I could bring it by your house so you can see if it's grafted or not..."

It's very late to be doing any kind of drastic work, including trunk chopping, on any tree now. I wouldn't have chopped it, but since it's already done, clearing out the root mass may actually help the tree, since I would guess, there are a lot of dead roots in there. I've found that clearing out congested roots in such a dense mat allows new roots to grow a bit quicker. Red maple is a pretty vigorous tree.

Such work so late in the growing season might not be the best thing, however. The most active time for green growth has largely passed. The summer solstice has come and gone, which means days are getting shorter and trees have begun shifting from putting out new green growth in favor of storing reserves and putting on woody tissue. It's your tree. It's up to you to consider all of this.

I'm not that curious about the graft:D
 

Redwood Ryan

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I think I may just leave the root mass and remove them come root pruning time. It's now being suggested to me that I should chop it lower. But, as you said, it was the wrong time to chop it, so why keep chopping it? Or is the damage already done and I should just chop it anyway?
 
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sfhellwig

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I would say what damage is done is done, no more insults for this growing season. It is already budding back and will put out something for the end of the year. Being the tree that it is it should be hardy and able to recover from the chop well enough for winter. Any fancier of a maple and you might have been pushing it. Either slip pot it, put it in the ground or just fill in the pot around the root ball and get it to survive until spring when you need to do a lot of work on the roots. Rock may be right about getting the dead stuff out of there but I wouldn't be doing any kind of work with weather how it has been lately. To work the roots or not , I think would make the difference between keeping and losing the tree. No more chopping either, it's had enough. Just my opinion.
 

mcpesq817

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I wouldn't chop it any more. I'd let the tree recover from the first chop and see what sort of dieback you get.
 

rockm

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Another chop now would further weaken the tree. If another chop had been done immediately after the first, or even within a week (before new growth began) there wouldn't have been any real harm. Subsequent chops can be done but they have to be done BEFORE the tree invests in new growth above where the new chop is planned...

All that said, I'd let it be until next spring...

Put it in a protected spot this winter, under mulch. I'd set the thing on the ground -- removing it from the container--- and mulch it over. You also might consider simply planting it in the ground at this point and digging it up in the spring --it probably won't put out many roots into the ground between now and next March, so it would be easy to get out.
 

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