Tall Spindly Tree Seedling Burying?

FeedMeSeymoreFebruary 12, 2014

I have a Acer Rubrum (Red Maple) seedling that is a bit too tall and I want to try and save it from a possible demise. Is it possible to bury this sucker up to his first true leaves? Or will that cause rotting in the stem?

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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Maples are not tomatoes! Trees should not be planted deeper than their root flare.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 2:01AM
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krnuttle

I had some trees that got to tall and spindly that they could not support themselves. (I put in a little too much effort to trim them into nice trees)

I staked them and hid my saw. After a several of years they became the trees I wanted.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 8:28AM
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edlincoln(6A)

Nooooooooooooooooo!

That will kill most trees. A few trees that are prone to "suckering" might survive it, but not a maple.

Staking the tree or using a tree tube would probably be a better solution.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 1:16PM
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FeedMeSeymore

Ok, so I took everyone's advice and refrained from burying the stem deeper. However, I'm worried about the stem being too thin to support the eventual weight of the top leaves. The stem seems a little fragile to tie it to a stake.

I've heard of people using oscillating fans on a low setting to help mimick nature's breeze. Thereby, causing the stem to build up strength. Would anyone recommend this?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:57PM
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FeedMeSeymore

Ok, so I took everyone's advice and refrained from burying the stem deeper. However, I'm worried about the stem being too thin to support the eventual weight of the top leaves. The stem seems a little fragile to tie it to a stake.

I've heard of people using oscillating fans on a low setting to help mimick nature's breeze. Thereby, causing the stem to build up strength. Would anyone recommend this?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 3:58PM
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arktrees(6b NW Arkansas)

First, MORE LIGHT. MUCH more light. That is the first thing to fix. The tiny leaves and long thin stems are dead give a ways that light intensity is far to weak and/or short. AFTER that is fixed, and more normal growth with bigger leaves starts, you can begin to provide GENTLE stimulation so that the stems will thicken and strengthen. And yes a oscillating fan is good for that. Doesn't even have to be on all the time, but does need to be one every day. But it will have to be very gentle to begin with since your maple is so strung out from lack of light. Note also, without that light, there will not be any improvement, as there simply will not be available energy for the plant to use.

Arktrees

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:16PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

Your seedling appears to be etiolated from too little light and probably too high a temperature. As soon as it is warm enough outdoors you need to start hardening it off so you can get it outside where it belongs. It is not a tree which should really be indoors, or in leaf, at this time of year.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:20PM
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FeedMeSeymore

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone! Once I first noticed the seedling getting too tall, I placed it under the fluorescent light it currently sits under. It hasn't gotten any taller since then and has changed from light green to magenta in the stem and the new leaves seem to be shifting into magenta as well.

Is this little guy too fragile to transplant out of its seedling mix (50/50 perlite,soil). Or would a new pot and mix help in its development/strengthening?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:36PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

The pot looks big enough to me, especially if it's deep enough. If your seedling has never been repotted, doing so (including some minor root pruning if appropriate) could encourage a more fibrous root system.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2014 at 4:49PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the light needs to be .. within 2 inches of the plant ... presuming a normal fluorescent or two .... and running 16 hours on.. 8 off... or all on ...

you are on the verge of loving this thing to death ...

repot it about a week PRIOR to getting it outside.. in full shade ... whenever that might be.. wherever you are ...

and trees dont need to be sopping wet all the time ... so be carefull with watering ...

and no fert until a small dose in mid to late summer ... maples simply dont need it ...

if i think of the bazillions of maple seedlings that sprout in my yard every year .. lol .. this is about what i would expect to be its first year growth ... the rest of its work is going on.. in the media.. where it is growing a root mass for next year ...

do not expect much more ... but dont be surprised if it does so ...

i would probably ... up pot it to a one gallon this year.. and plant it out in spring of 2016 ... just to get some size on it ... before i released it to ma nature...

ken

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 8:46AM
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huggorm

I once planted a catalpa seedling too deep and it put out new roots further up the stem. I didn't seem to harm it, but it was a seedling with a stem that was still pretty green and soft. I would not do it to a plant with mature bark.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2014 at 4:47PM
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