An Introduction & A Question

Discussion in 'Maples' started by RedBarnNate, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. RedBarnNate

    RedBarnNate New Member

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    Hello UBC Community & Maple Lovers!

    A good friend and I are in the process of setting up our JM seed germination, seedling growth, and grafting hobby center at my house. We have a dozen 1-2 year old Acer Palmatum green rootstock plants that will be ready to graft soon (now I'm learning that February is the best month for us to graft in Central CA...oops). We have 5-8 dozen sprouted seedlings, and a growing collection of parent trees from which to harvest scion wood.

    Here's a question that I still haven't found a good answer for...

    What soil mixes should we be using for each growth stage? IE: New sprouted seedlings, 1st year of growth, 2nd year of growth. We are aiming for the best safe growth rate. I built a couple seed germination wood frame boxes, and we are using two store-bought seed-starting trays. We have <1 year established seedlings in 4" pots, and >1 year established young plants in 1 gallon containers.

    What a great hobby! I'm looking forward to seeing where this takes us =).

    - Nathan

    PS Here is a photo of one of my trees - an Oregon Sunset
     

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  2. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    We used to start Winter grafting as early as mid to late November in a temperature controlled greenhouse in the Central Valley. February grafting is fine with dormant budwood.

    As far as soils to use, what are you using now for your seedlings? We used perlite, coarse sand and vermiculite for our grafts until they were ready to be "bumped up" to a larger size pot. Only when they went into one gallons did we change the soil substrate - a mixture of Kings River river bottom silt and ground Pine bark. Ground Fir bark works well also. In ancient posts I have made in this forum I have stated that a mix of ground Pine and Fir bark is my preferred "organic matter" mix.

    By the way your 'Oregon Sunset' Maple was first propagated and sold in California by Henderson Experimental Gardens nursery, currently owned by Belmont nursery I believe, in Fresno.

    Jim
     
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  3. RedBarnNate

    RedBarnNate New Member

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    Thank you for the insightful information Jim! I've decided to hold off my grafting experiments until the weather cools down later this year. Patience is key I suppose.

    I am using a mix of Perlite, Generic Potting Soil, Play Sand, and Peat Moss. I think I went a bit too heavy on the Peet Moss, because the soil is acting like a sponge. As it dries out, the soil inside my pots is shrinking away from the sides of the container quite drastically. Oops. I hope this won't be too hard on the new fragile root systems. I'll try your recipe when they are ready to replant, or maybe sooner if I see excessive moisture issues affect the leaves.

    How were you able to get the information about the origin of my Oregon Sunset? It was given to me by a good friend when he realized he didn't have a great place to plant it in his yard. He purchased it from Paul Jones who lives locally here in Ripon, CA.

    Thanks!
     
  4. AlainK

    AlainK Active Member Forums Moderator Maple Society

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  5. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    How were you able to get the information about the origin of my Oregon Sunset?

    I was well acquainted with Don Kleim, the owner of Henderson Experimental Gardens nursery. There were some significant palmatum type Maples that had their origins, all from selected seedlings, from that "historic" nursery.

    Jim
     

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