What would you do with 10 Japanese Maple seedlings?

sfhellwig

Mame
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Yes a very broad question. I guess more looking for changes to what I plan to do with them. I won an auction for 10 Japanese Green Maples that are 5 months old. I got them cheap and until I successfully try to stratify seeds I figured this would be a good way to start some stock to play with. I have been reading Bonsai with Japanese Maples by Peter Adams and would like to have material available for learning. I know that they will be highly variant and take years to be useable but this way I will have several to try different techniques on. After the number of places I went yesterday it doesn't appear I will have another outlet for young maple stock to learn on. So, they are being shipped "without pots" so I assume in a wad of wet peat and dirt. I plan to pot them up in one gallon nursery pots as I have many from my previous purchases. I will shade them until they stabilize then resume normal watering. For this time of year they shouldn't get any fertilizer unless a 0-10-10? I cannot plant them directly as I am on a small rental lot but the pots will at least get buried in the garden for the winter. I would like to build a cold frame this year, perhaps they need to be in there?

Any suggestions welcomed. I am sure their is something fundamental I am missing.
 
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I'd bind them all together this coming spring and let them grow into one big trunked tree. With 10 you might make a trunk that is 2-3" in diameter to start off with. When they have fused together they would make a great tree.
 

banzaibonsai

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Build a shallow grow box 24" square, about 6" deep and let them grow for a few years... you will get nice radial roots and transplanting will be a snap!
 

JJR

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Put them in pots as you are planning on doing and let them grow. There isn't any reason that you can't fertilize them after about two weeks or so. Just wait until you start to see new growth.
 

cquinn

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Leave them alone (aside frow watering them, and some fert). In the Spring when they begin to pop bare root them, cut the roots back to radial roots, plant them in the ground over plastic plates using rubberbands to old them on, make sure the roots are spaced as evenly as possible. Let them grow, but cut when and at places you want movement (You'll have to decide how large you want them for this to be effective as this will effect internode length). If you want them larger let them grow longer (duh, right). Seedlings grouped as forests tend not to create great forests. Trees trained individually for things like nebari and taper and then put into a forest and trained as a forest make great forests.
 

cquinn

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Sorry I didn't read until the end of your post (ADD). Do everything in my last post, but put them in individual training boxes (preferably wood).
 

sfhellwig

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The fused trunk is an interesting idea. I probably won't try it this first time but if the trees look good this could be a repeat purchase down the road. I need to research this some.

The grow box is a possibility. I do wood working and have been making my own growing flats. From what I have learned so far that would be a heavy box but perhaps a couple smaller ones. That might work better than lugging 10 cans around till fall. We'll see how big the trees actually are when they get here.

Does anyone have any opinions about the winter care for these? Japanese maples are hardy but with such young plants I am concerned about root damage. Even with pots buried in the ground, should I really try to get them in a cold frame for the extra 10 degrees protection? Here in SE Kansas we never know what the winters will do.
 

mcpesq817

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If they are seedlings, I wouldn't plan on putting them in grow boxes any time soon. Would be a waste of soil, and the soil might not adequately dry out enough.

I believe the latter is a bigger problem with conifers. I think I might have lost a scots pine that I potted into a flat that was considerably bigger than the rootball. I did an emergency repot into a smaller container a week or two ago and noticed that the soil was considerably damp under the rootball, even though the surface was completely dry (and this was well draining soil).
 

jamie11

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i agree with mac.

there is a technique where you can make a frame out of copper to the shape of the trunk you want, bind the sappllings to the frame and let them all fuse creating a very different trunk. i think craig coussins done this in his master class book and it come out well.
only think is i think he had about 300 sapplings. but the oerall tree ended up sumo style with a huge base and taper. looked brilliant though.
if i could get that much stock i would try it myself.
 

amkhalid

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Depends...

If I lived in the right climate and had the time and space, I would plant them in the ground and develop the nebari and trunks over several (5-10?) years.

If I didn't have the climate, time, and space, I would throw them in the compost bin and go find some material which is a little further along.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but just my honest personal opinion. I'm not hating on growing from seed... it is the best way to get a perfect nebari, which is particularly important for most styles of deciduous tree... but it takes time and know-how... or so I hear.

Cheers
 

jamie11

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Depends...

If I lived in the right climate and had the time and space, I would plant them in the ground and develop the nebari and trunks over several (5-10?) years.

If I didn't have the climate, time, and space, I would throw them in the compost bin and go find some material which is a little further along.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but just my honest personal opinion. I'm not hating on growing from seed... it is the best way to get a perfect nebari, which is particularly important for most styles of deciduous tree... but it takes time and know-how... or so I hear.

Cheers

all up for personal opinion. but isnt bonsai a timeless thing? living for hundreds of years, changing through out?
having the time isnt the issue i dont think. its having the patience to watch a small sapling go from little more than a stick to an outstanding piece of art work that you can pride yourself on as you have nurtured this little tree into its miniture relatives counterpart. time is only an issue if you are impatient or want an "instant bonsai".
this thread is based on the learning of, as such what is trying to be accomplished is practice and learning of ideas and techniques.
im not starting an arguement either, everyone is entitled to there opinion. just dont think its neccesary to "throw them on the compost".

kindests regards
 

Klytus

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I was looking at an enormous Trident Maple quiet redently,it's root flare and trunk taper as well as it's branch placement could not be faulted.

Talking about it later i remarked that if you have seen one you have seen them all.

Something was missing,maybe just an appreciation or maybe something else.

It maybe that a lot of time and effort was put into creating something imitative of another species.

Such as Dendrosicyos socotrana.
 
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Brian Van Fleet

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I bought 50 seedlings last winter on eBay and planted them in the ground. Since it was March when I got them, I was able to trim roots and spread them out so they'd have a shot at developing a decent nebari/base. They are now about 1/2" diameter at the soil level, and around 40" tall. In the winter, I'll look them over, and maybe cut some down to a main branch to get some movement started. I culled through them this spring because the seedlings were quite variable in leaf shape and size.

Noting the wide variances, I wouldn't bind them together and try to make a big maple with them. HOWEVER...I did do that with some volunteer live oaks from costal MS a few years ago; wrapping the lower 6" in raffia and wire and then spread the whips to horizontal, and it's coming along nicely, but slowly.
 

sfhellwig

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Sorry to take so long to reply to my own thread. So they were a little small and had been completely bare rooted. They were bound together in a bunch and at least packed in a good bag of moist soil. They did not dry out but such small plants in the mail for 2 or 3 days took a good hit. They were actually quite varied in their sizes but not their characteristics so far. I gently separated them and potted them up as carefully as possible. Watered in well and kept in the open side of the garage (full shade, natural air flow but not full wind). Their are a couple that should come through well, some so so. They must have anticipated this as there were actually 15. However the 3 smallest were far too small and already shriveling.

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a386/sfhellwig/japanese maple seedlings/1-stillboundtogether.jpg
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a386/sfhellwig/japanese maple seedlings/2-allpottedup.jpg
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a386/sfhellwig/japanese maple seedlings/3-allpottedclose-up2.jpg

The leaves are kind of starting to look wind burnt. We have been having stormy weather but they are in a very protected spot right now. Suggestions welcomed.
 

greerhw

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"What would you do with 10 Japanese Maple seedlings? "
In my case, I would go ahead and spray them with Roundup and put them out of their misery as quick as possible, rather than die a slow death here in hades.

keep it green,
Harry
 

jamie11

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lol. well that now makes perfect sense, i was wondering why the lack of positivness to harrys outlook on "d" trees was like that. sorry bloke :)
 

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