Loquat and Japanese Maples in containers?

claudia_sandgrower(SC Zone 8)November 8, 2008

I have 3 Loquat trees currently in pots. I dug them up last year from a massive number of seedlings that sprouted around one of the many Loquats on the USC campus. They're all about 4 feet tall now, and I want to put at least one in a large container and the others in the ground. The ones I see on campus are large and thriving, growing very close to buildings. (And I do mean very close - many are actually growing against the sides of the buildings and are quite old, judging by thier size and appearance.) Any advice on (1) whether or not it's a good idea to grow one in a container and (2) if they will do well in my oak-pine forest, sandy soil environment?

Same question about several Japanese Maples that I have in pots. They've been growing in them for some time (around 3 years for some) and I'd like to put several in large containers. Feedback?

Thanks!!

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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

1) I can't think of a single tree you can't grow in a container if you're willing to provide favorable cultural conditions for it, so go for it - have some fun. You may wish to consider cutting the 4 ft trees back to a low branch that favors the vertical though. You could also remove branches & leaves from the existing trunk in spring and use it as a stake that you can tie a branch that already favors the vertical to. Once the branch is 'set', you simply cut off the trunk above the new leader. This process will give you a shorter and bushier tree in the end - perhaps more suited to container culture than a 4 footer.

2) The trees will prefer a mildly acidic soil, and sandy soils are usually on the acid side, so my guess is the trees will do well as long as you can keep the moisture supply adequate and make sure the nutritional needs are being reasonably met.

There is no reason you cannot successfully cultivate J. maples in in containers and maintain them for years and years - with a little attention to the pruning of roots as well as above-ground parts.

Al

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 3:10PM
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claudia_sandgrower(SC Zone 8)

Thanks, Al! It's wonderful to get free advice from someone who's obviously an expert (I've read many of your other posts). Thank you for taking the time to respond... I will go gleefully forward with my Loquats and J. Maples!

Claudia

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 7:04PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Hmmm. It's (advice) the only commodity on the market where the supply ALWAYS exceeds the demand ... ;o) but I'm glad you seem to have found it helpful. Good luck, Claudia.

Al

    Bookmark   November 9, 2008 at 9:05PM
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