Potted Maple - ID please

greenman28 NorCal 7b/8aApril 18, 2009

Hey, good morning, folks.

I tried for an ID over on the Maple Forum, but that was a no-go....so I thought I'd

enlist the help of the experts, here ;)

I *thought* this seedling was a Japanese maple, since the parent trees

have the look of Japanese maples. Last year, I assumed that the trident leaves

were simply juvenile.....and I expected the "adult" leaves to appear this year.

Well, it looks like my leaves are trident. Also, the other seedlings (in ground)

have trident leaves this year, too.

Are trident maples used as understock?

Enough speculating: here are a bunch of pics - seedling, fall color, bark detail,

new growth this spring, et cetera.

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bonsaibean(7 - TN)

I've not heard of tridents being used for understock, but from all the pictures you've got here, that would certainly be my guess as to what you've got.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2009 at 9:34PM
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indorbonsai(6-7-8)

That looks a bit like a vine maple to me they grow like weeds here but I am going to Bonsai one and see how it works out.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 1:29AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks for the help so far.

Indorbonsai, have you seen a vine maple?
I did a google search and the leaves look nothing alike.

Josh

    Bookmark   April 20, 2009 at 9:45AM
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bobclarkcenter

It's hard to tell from the photos, it's such a young example but it could be an Amur maple.

Bob

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 12:12AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Bob!
I'll keep searching in that direction.
And I'll try to post update pics of foliage.

Josh

    Bookmark   April 21, 2009 at 1:51AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Update pic, taken this morning.
Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that this is an Amur maple - as Bob suggested.
(Cryptomeria japonica 'Tansu' and Olea europea 'Skylark' also pictured).

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 2:03PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I'm back, and armed with some new pics!
Maybe we can arrive nearer an identity for these maples now! Or we can at least speculate further as to the origins.... ;)

My friend Jason and I dug up some seedlings from his yard the other evening. I took the opportunity to get some pics of the parent trees, as well. As you can see, there are two trees, with distinct leaves, in the immediate vicinity. They both have limbs that arch over the fence and drop seed. I'm not sure which tree provided the seed from which my particular maple grew.

While digging, I happened to discover a seedling with non-trident leaves...which is really cool, since most of the seedlings don't have unique leaves. Hopefully it will survive. See very last pic (sorry for the poor quality).

Josh

    Bookmark   June 4, 2009 at 7:51PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

So,
I'm considering pruning off the top two-thirds...
There's a node down by the base that hasn't put out any growth, and I think that would be the perfect spot
to make the cut. The tree's about thirty inches now, and I'd be cutting it down to about a foot.

What say you, good folk?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2009 at 8:02PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Sorry to keep bumping my own Thread, but I gotta do something about this floppy maple....

I'd like to cut it down to the red line, but I'd be open to just a mild pruning at the blue line.

Bob....?

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 3:53PM
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kendal(8 PNW)

The red line would be a good cut for a bonsai, imo. It's strange that there are no limbs, I've never seen a tree like that, but a cut might help it limb out. I'm sure there are others more qualified then me. I don't come here often because there isn't a lot of people around to get advice from, but here is place that someone is almost always around and you don't have to wait days for an answer.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Bonsai Site

    Bookmark   July 17, 2009 at 6:44PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks, Kendal.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 11:28AM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

OK, I'll take a stab at giving advice. Everything I have found says that uninhibited growth gives the thickest trunk. Which would tell us not to cut it. However your plant is a little stretched looking. So I don't think a trim would be such a bad idea, however I would go with the top line to retain as much foliage as possible. I have been very temped to cut mine back a little to keep a compact look but keep telling myself it doesn't matter what it looks like now. The longer I wait to do any trimming the more I should be rewarded when I do.

Other issue is the time of year which would again tell us not to do it now, wait till late winter. However, if the tree appears healthy and depending where your at, there is still plenty of time for it to recover this season. It just won't be thinking much about vegetative growth for much longer.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 10:27AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thank you!
I cut it at the blue line, in order to keep a good amount of leaves for photosynthesis.
This tree recently went into its second push of growth, and it was having a hard time
supporting that extra weight in the wind. Although it's not the best time for pruning,
I think it'll work out just fine. Plus, I fertilized a few days ago, so that kick of
nutrients ought to help.

Now that the leader is gone, I'm hoping that the plant will devote some energy to the
lowest branches....but, chances are, it'll re-develop a leader lickety-split, limiting
the amount of bushiness this season. There's always next year...but it would be nice to
have as many leaves on the tree as possible this autumn, since the color is so spectacular.

Updates when I see some new/significant growth.

Josh

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 5:38PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, it didn't sulk for too long... ;)
Just about everything is experiencing a High Summer flush of growth....
This'll provide a good reference for growth from late July until the end
of the season. I'm guessing several inches at the least.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 11:14PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Nearly a month later, and the Maple has two leaders, one slightly more dominant than the other. Just under seven inches of new growth on the longer of the two. I'll let them "fight it out" for the time being, then I'll prune the one that points in the wrong direction next Spring.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 5:32PM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

Looking good. Did you ever come to a more conclusive ID? The young plant has so many different qualities about it's leaf that look Japanese maple but it doesn't appear anyone had mentioned Acer Rubrum, Red Maple. It would have had to fly into the middle of the other seedlings but weirder things have happened. And while Red Maple and Trident can look very similar, Red has a slightly more pronounced central lobe. Just a suggestion.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:52AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Well, I've labeled these seedlings Trident Maples in most of my computer files. I've ruled out Acer ginnala - the leaves on mine just aren't serrated enough along the edges.

Indeed, Red Maple does have trident leaves...
however, the Red Maples in my area seem to have a smooth grey rind (at the 8 inch diameter size). My seedlings are probably too young to determine lasting characteristics, but the bark seems rougher...and more brown in color.

Also, you must remember that my seedling did not appear alone (and so is even less likely to be a fly-in). There are at least ten new seedlings each season, all bearing the Trident characteristics - except for the one "palmatum" looking seedling that I found this year.

As an experiment, my friend Jason and I will be germinating a bunch of seeds next Spring - we're curious to see if we can find any unique seedlings in the batch. Since the seeds are free, and since we're guaranteed vigorous Trident Maple seedlings at the very least, we figure we have nothing to lose.

I already have three of these Maples, and my buddy has given several more away to our friends/family. Jason has one seedling in a pot, and another six or so still in the ground - two of those are second-year seedlings, developing a nice, stout trunk. One of the seedlings he pruned for a low-branching bushy effect.

To all of you who are offering your help, and to all showing interest in this on-going project, thank you!

Josh

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 10:42AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Update on the maple.

March 9th -

May 24th -

Josh

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 8:29PM
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