A Journal for following the development of Containerized Maples
As the name implies, I want to start a thread to Journalize the development of Containerized Maples. Specifically, my first 5 Japanese Maples. (I'm sure to add additional trees over time. I currently have about 10 on my wish list to add to my current 5.) However, I'd like to encourage anyone to post photos and updates on their Maples. The idea is to provide a place where all of us can learn together and follow the progress of each others containerized Maple trees. My trees are just beginning life in a container. Others out there I'm sure have trees that are at various stages of development.
I'll start with where this new found passion began for me (as briefly as I can ;-)). I have written about this in another thread, so if you've read it before and want to get on to the trees, please feel free to skip to the next paragraph. Unlike many on these threads, I'm not a gardener, having only recently uncovered a part of gardening that intrigues me. Last fall looking for an area in the Puget Sound region that would have the beautiful fall colors of the Smoky Mountains (where I grew up), my wife and I began visiting public gardens in the region. I finally found an amazing variety and depth of color and shape in the Seattle Parks and Recreation: Japanese Garden, a smallish sub area of the UW Botanical Gardens at Washington Park Arboretum. This was the first time I'd ever seen what I later learned is called Niwaki. I found the brilliant reds, oranges, purples and yellows in the Maples and Ginkos in this garden, but I also found interesting shapes in the Pinus, Rhododendron and Azalea species found in the garden. After visiting the garden I began to research on the web and in the library to find out what these trees where called. What I found was a new hobby. I developed an excel spreadsheet to group all the Maples I found on the web and more specifically in the 4th edition of Vertrees' "Japanese Maples..." I found at the local library. I narrowed this list of approximately 600 trees to around 100 that were for the most part less than 10 feet (a few less than 15 feet) at maturity that had interesting leaf shape and color. My wife then helped me narrow that list down to about 15, and I bought my first 5 this late winter and early spring.
That brings us to buying the trees. I bought 3 from a local nursery in January (Tamukeyama, Sensu, and one labled as Fjellheim but I'm not sure what it is). The other two were from a list of 4 that a Landscape Architect friend with whom I work, was helping me to track down (Fireglow and Corallinum).
I found Gardenweb during the search for information on trees and found Al's (tapla) posts on soils, water retention, trees in containers, fertilizer program and how plant growth is limited very educational. I've since found Al to be not only knowledable but very nice and willing to share his expertice with anyone who asks.
At this point (May 14, 2011) all 5 of my trees have been bare rooted, root pruned, planted in Al's "gritty mix", and they've all had their first spring pruning and bud pinching.
For those interested in the timing and process of these events the following threads document those processes.
From now on all updates to these 5 trees will occur in this thread.
I hope you all will follow along on my journey and post pictures, updates and links to your containerized Maples as well.