Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by michelle, May 24, 2004.

  1. top_cat

    top_cat Member

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    I see from reading the thread that growing maples from cuttings is a highly charged issue, with some people prefering to graft.

    I've not done any grafting or grown anything from a cutting so I'm a real newbie in this area.

    I tried softwood cuttings of Japanese Maples in mid-summer but not a single one rooted. I must have tried about 20 cuttings so I was hoping at least one would work.

    I used a powder root hormone but have got a gel for next year, hopefully that will give me more success.

    Are Japanese Maples known to be hard to grow from cuttings? or am I just getting it all wrong?

    Do you think it's worth taking a cutting now and placing it in the fridge ready for next year? I read somewhere that this method works with some plants (no idea if it works for J. Maples though).

    I'm hoping to get some tips and help on all the issues regarding growing maples from cutting, so if anyone has any tips or advice please post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 29, 2006
  2. globalist1789

    globalist1789 Active Member

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    Re: Growing Maples from Cuttings

    If your going to try cuttings then take them when you are ready to use them. Putting them in the fridge isn't going to help. Some people put cutting in the fridge if the need to store them for some reason, but they store best on the tree ;)

    The best way to get more japanese maples is by seed. Special cultivars are done by grafting because they don't come true from seed. If you really like the tree you have, and want more like it then get yourself some JM seeds, grow those for a couple of years and then graft bits of the tree you have onto the seedlings. If you just want more, then just keep the seedlings.

    Likely the best option for you though is the try "Air Layering" on the tree you have.

    Of course, there isn't any harm in trying--other than getting let down. Perhaps going to the library and getting a book on bonsai might help. They all contain sections on propagating trees and describe doing cuttings. The method is a little more touchy with woody plants than with soft houseplants so a bonsai book might help. And JMs are very common in bonsai so the cutting sections often use them as an example.

    See THIS too.

    M.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Re: Growing Maples from Cuttings

    Actually you can sometimes get seedlings resembling the parent with at least some cultivars. I have seen purpleleaf seedlings among green ones beneath purpleleaf Japanese maples. In fact, there is a problem with seedlings of 'Bloodgood' being sold in its place by nurseries. Stock of 'Atropurpureum', particularly on this side of the Atlantic is often seed strains rather than grafted clones of the original superior type.

    I have also seen similar cutleaf seedlings under fernleaf fullmoon maple. A friend has grown seedlings of a coralbark maple he noticed with abundant fruits on it and gotten a good number of similar seedlings.
     
  4. Dave Burns

    Dave Burns Member Maple Society

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    Re: Growing Maples from Cuttings

    Top Cat
    Try taking your cuttings in the late winter/spring , when the buds are swelling.keep them in the shade . When they leaf out , try to keep them moist enough so the leaves never wilt. I suspose plastic tents, and misters , bottem heat would help , but I don't bother.
    Keep takeing cuttings all year , Hardwood cuttings in the fall probably need extra care overwintering. Keep track of when you take them, and the results. You will find the best time for you, and your conditions.
    BTW are you working with named cultivars, or just " plain " good ol Japanese Green Maple? You'll probably get better results from plain green maples ,and worse results with the more exotic cultivars.
    Regards
    Dave.
     
  5. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Re: Growing Maples from Cuttings

    Acer Palmatum 'Glowing Embers' is reputed to be easier to grow from cuttings than most
    There is an article on this plant at the web site of the University of Georgia which is worth a read
    It is also reputed to be a plant which will withstand much more full sun than most

    http://georgiafaces.caes.uga.edu/getstory.cfm?storyid=2460
     
  6. Dave Burns

    Dave Burns Member Maple Society

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    whis4ey
    Yep, I have a Glowing Embers , growing in the full Gulf Coast sun. It shows no ill effects , unlike my ShinDeshojo who does pretty good, but by fall usually has some crispy edged leaves.
    I've taken a couple of airlayers from the Glowing Embers , good all round rootage.
    Haven't tried cuttings.

    To be truthfull, most of my cuttings and airlayers are taken with Bonsai in mind.
    There won't be any ugly grafting scar , to hide. Or I can approach graft green maple cutting roots , onto a green cultivar ( that won't layer ), and the scar won't show , or it won't be too bad. Seedlings are just as good but they aren't free.
    If I were trying to reproduce a given cultivar on good strong roots,( non- Bonsai ) I think grafting onto seedling stock is probably the easiest and most efficient.
    All the best
    Dave.
     
  7. top_cat

    top_cat Member

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    Dave,

    Do you know where I can get Glowing Embers seeds (do they even come true from seeds?)? I'm in the UK but I can't find anyone selling seeds or seedlings.
     
  8. Dave Burns

    Dave Burns Member Maple Society

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    Top Cat
    I doubt if they will grow true from seeds . I really don't know . Seems like I read the original was just a green maple, that showed a lot of good qualities , good color , heat resistant ect. in coastal GA . Mine has never made seeds.
    Can you not find Glowing Embers in any form in England ? .
    If you can't, I could send you some grafting stock, ( If thats legal ) .
    PM me at burnscreations@yahoo.com .
    All the best.
    Dave.
     
  9. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    TopCat
    Glowing Embers is available from Esvelds in Holland
    Not madly expensive for a small plant
     
  10. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Brian, just saw your note. I have wanted to try rooted cuttings for a few dwarf cultivars that I have not had much sucess in grafting - Kamagata, Coonara Pygmy, and Beni hime to be specific. I agree with others that maples from rooted cuttings are not for landscape, but I am interested in offering bonsai enthusiasts some non-grafted options. I will try the July propagation method you described. Thanks, Sam
     
  11. Nervous

    Nervous Member

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    Here is a photo of some of my Bloodgood Japanese maples from cuttings. Cuttings are the only way that I propagate Japanese maples.

    Nervous

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Hey Nervous they look very vibrant. What other maples do you propagate? When do you take cuttings?

    thanks for info.
     
  13. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    This is a long disussion. Good to see you Scion Swapper my old friend. I believe I owe you scions after not having gone up toward Chicago a few years back. Anyway to all of you. I see the case of this Mr. Shep and I see a lot of nice words from Ping keeping and managing to keep this discussion alive. I suppose I dont have a whole heck of a lot to say about Maple propagation but I can tell you some similar facts (which really occured already in the citrus vigor discussion) concering rootstocks.

    #1 vigor matched with the same vigor (and species to species is always best. Take for example a conifer graft where the scion to be used came from a Picea omorika (Serbian Spruce). Even though we as a whole cannot predict vigor to be the same for all Picea omorika seedlings, it is still, always best to use the same species.

    With Acer palmatum the debate continues in the same fashion as if we continue to discuss grafting at the moment. It occurs to me while reading this discussion that seedlings grown could be monitered and marked for example, "A" "B" & "C" - A meaning vigorous ((as compared to its peers) - B for Intermediate in Growth and C for slower (less roots and less upper wood). These seedlings could be used for determination in matching to the "known" vigor of the scionwood.

    Also, take for example the idea that with a conifer graft of Chamaecyparis obtusa when grown on the roots of Thuja occidentalis does two things (source: Coenosium Gardens online) - 'it provides for speeding up the growth of the scion (like any graft really, in most cases, but the root stock of the Thuja can serve for a second purpose which is now where a normally cutting-grown Chamaecyparis obtusa cannot grow in clay soils -- now can utilize the root system of Thuja occidentalis and now, ... can grow in otherwise impossible conditions for that of the rooted Chamaecyparis obtusa. So while no "juices" may ever increase the hardiness of the wood of the scion, the root system now 'improves' hardiness.

    There's never any question in my mind that a cutting-grown plant will always outlive a grafted plant (you're messing with nature --- it's not natural plain and simple), even to the guy above who now can grow Maples because he either knows or simply did not mention that he now has a larger root system - but cuttings are always stronger because the plant will always 100% have the correct vigor and furthermore, I'm beginning to feel like I'm going into a dead end alleyway because I could continue.

    I guess I'll lastly say that while verticillium root rot was explained very well (thank you very much!) 'the white on the scion' and then 'the black on the understock dying afterwards' very useful information, again thanks, we all need to recognize that a lot of factors play into having 'less stressful trees.' Soil type, nutrients, water, light and temperature (the five essential ingredients for grafting as well), will always be the significant deciding factors for successful landscape plants and as well to successfully grown grafted plants either in a greenhouse or certainly pertaining to field-grafted plants as well.

    There's a lot more to discuss, but I'll leave with these words. By the way, Acer palmatum and all these are interchangeable (for grafting) - Acers: circinatum - pseudosieboldianum - sieboldianum - japonicum - shirasawanum... and possibly others. I do not know much regarding long-term compatibility, but I have been told this in the past.

    Thank you for a long discussion! It was very learned.

    Dax
     
  14. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    One more thing I meant to mention. Grafting of bonsai can also occur directly to the root system so a scar is never seen. If the root system is "woody" - graft right to it.

    Dax
     
  15. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    (I missed page two of this discussion -- don't know the website well enough). I guess I don't know enough about plants (specifically Maples?) on their own roots either but now I do.

    Regards, thanks.

    Dax
     
  16. Nervous

    Nervous Member

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    The reasons that I propagate Japanese maples from cuttings. #1 I can’t see well enough to graft anymore with out wearing glasses that give me a headache. #2 I don’t have to mess with picking seed. #3 Trees that are in the field that are damaged from Deer or a freeze will come back from the roots and they will be what ever cultivar that was rooted, not an unknown root system. #4 Most of my Japanese maple trees 1st growing season after rooting will be 18-24”, I had several that grew to 42-48” this year. #5 I know how to root them.

    Nervous



    [​IMG]
     
  17. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Good reasons, Nervous. Which cultivar is pictured?

    Are they growing tall like that because of the branch choices used for rooting?
    Very nice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2007
  18. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    I see it's 'Bloodgood'. Also noted in Dirr & Heuser: 'rooted cuttings of 'Bloodgood' (were observed by the senior author under lights; 6-8 weeks).' Here's another huge tip that I've gathered: Keeping "mother plants" in a nursery or for the propagator, that is these plants that are pruned to bear large amounts of junenile shoots makes things much easier. This should be true for both the grafter and the cutting propagator. Juvenile wood is always best just as it is true that to get the best shoots off a mature tree such as a 50 foot conifer, it would be best to gather shoots from the top of the tree.

    Here's what Dirr & Heuser further say: "Juvenility strongly influences rooting, for cuttings from a 50-year-old tree rooted 25% while 80% rooting was obtained from 4-year-old seedlings that were forced for 30 days in a greenhouse."

    This book is pretty much it for propagators and hobbyist propagators. There's a ton of information about cuttings.

    Dirr, Michael A and Heuser, Charles, Jr. ‘The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture’; (Second Edition 2006); Varsity Press, Inc. ISBN: 0942375092 or ISBN: 13: 978-0-942375-09-1

    Dax
     
  19. Nervous

    Nervous Member

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    I took a photo of one of the Bloodgood rooted cuttings and I thought I would share it.

    [​IMG]


    "Are they growing tall like that because of the branch choices used for rooting?"

    I have found on a Japanese maple it makes no difference where the cuttings are taken from the tree.

    Nervous
     
  20. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    Cuttings:

    Many individuals root Japanese maples from cuttings. The successs ratio varies from 0 to 100%. In general, softwood cuttings should be 6 to 8" long (smaller in less vigorous cultivars), wounded, 1 to 2% IBA-talc or solution, well drained medium, mist. When rooted they shouldb e left undisturbed until they have gone through a dormant period. Supplemental light can be used to induce the cuttings to produce a new flush of growth. This is accomplished immediately after rooting. Commercial growers use this aproach as a matter of routine. The senior author has observed rooted cuttings of 'Bloodgood' under lights. The plants that produced a new flush of growth survived the overwinter period in greeater percentages than those that did not. Normally rooting takes about 6 to 8 weeks.

    Several nurserymen force plants in the greenhouse and utilize the soft shoots. This can be accomplished as early as February and March. The cuttings can be treated as described above and have a long growing season to accumulate carbohydrates and, thus, survive overwintering. See Wells, J.S., Amer. Nurseryman 151(9):14, 117-120 (1980).

    JUvenility strongly influences rooting, for cuttings from a 50-year-old tree rooted 25%, while 80% rooting was obtained from 4-year-old seedlings that were forced for 30 days in a greenhouse.

    Late June (Tennessee), 3 node, 2.5 to 4.5" long, lower leaves stripped, single 1/2" long wound, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0% IBA-50% ethanol-5 second dip, peat:perlite, 77degree Fahrenheit bottom heat, mist, evaluated after 81 days. For the 3 IBA concentrations 'Bloodgood' rooted 97, 80, 83%: A. palmatum seedling --83, 90, 90%; 'Crimson Queen' 97, 80, 83%; 'Viridis' --100, 90, 97% and 'Ever Red' --37, 53, 57%; respectively. Unfortunatley no mention was made of stock plant age or overwintering success, but the results indicate that, with attention-to-detail, Acer palmatum and cultivars can be rooted in high percentages.

    Timing: 'Bloodgood (May 20, New Jersey) plus or minus a week or two on either side. Cuttings can be roote dup to mid-JUne but this poses problems in overwintering.

    Type: Select strong, thick, vigorous shoots of current season's growth. One specialy grower suggests that shoots should be the size of a pencil. The only feasible way to do this is the maintenance of stock plants that are cut back heavily (thus maintaining juvenility), fertilized and watered on a regular schedule.

    Handeling: Collect in morning from fully turgid plants and do not allow to dry out. Place cuttings in water or moist container.

    Preparation: 6 to 8" long, 2 to 3 nodes, soft tip should be removed, lower two leaves removed, 1 to 1 1/2" long heavy wound on one side.

    Hormone: 2% IBA-talc plus 5% Benlate, This higher concentration is particularly effective for Japanese Maples.

    Medium: Best medium is peat:perlite but peat: sharp sand is also satisfactory, Cuttings should be stuck 2" into the medium.

    Mist: Essential to keep leaf surface moist from sunrise to sunset. Allowing the foliage to dry out for short periods of time can be detrimental. Timed mist is the safest approach for Japanese Maples.

    Bottom Heat: Optimum medium temperature is 70 to 75 Fahrenheit. Air temperature may reach 90 F as long as cuttings are kept moist.

    Cuttings should root in 3 weeks. As soon as the roots reach 2 to 3" in length, lift and pot. A loose, well drained medium is important and during transplanting care should be exercised so the roots are not damaged.

    From the middle node (assuming a 3 node cutting was used), one leaf should be removed. The potted cuttings should be put back under the mist until root growth is evident at the periphery of the root ball. The plants should then be weaned from the mist (reduce misting cycle). This may take 3 weeks.

    Supplementary LIght: Once hardened the cuttings can be moved to a shaded greenhouse or growing area and immediately provided supplementary light. The lights are usually positioned about 3' above the plants and a 60 to 75 watt bulb supplies sufficient illumination to trigger the response. The light may be supplied as an interrupted night treatment from 10 pm to 2 am, 9 pm to 4 am or a cyclic on/off during this period. ONe grower has the lights on a timer and runs them 5 minutes on, 4 minutes off. Shoots will emerge from the nodes where the single leaf was removed. leaves serve a souce of abscisic acid, a growth inhibitor, and when removed a bud is often released from the imposed dormancy and can grow if conditions are correct. The light provides the necessary stimulus. Other buds may also grow. The plants should be lightly fertilzed with liquid fertilzer (20-20-20) or low levels of Osmocote 18-6-12 (1/4 recommended rate) and maintained under these conditions throught the summer to encourage maximum shoot growth. ONe researcher (Scientia Hortic. 27:34100347) says that no fertilizer should be applied during or after the rooting process because plants do not properly acclimate and may die during the oerwintering period.

    Overwintering: Supplementary light should be discontinued in October and the plants allowed to come into natural dormancy. Plants should be held at air temperatures of about 33 F throughout the winter. The plants go through their normal hardening/dormancy phases at these temperatures.

    Post overwintering The young plants can be shifted to containers or lined out in the field. The vigorous growth induced by light treatment should be cut back one-half. Plants will break into new growth and produce a 12 to 18" high, quality plant in the growing season.

    Postscript: These methods work on most cultivars of Acer palmatum, especially the more vigorous clones. All cultivars do not root with equal facility so a range of rooting success is to be expected. The dissectum types are more difficult due to slow growth and small amount of cutting material. The above recipe follows the recommendations of Mr. James Wells who spent a lifetime with this species.

    Dirr, Michael A and Heuser, Charles, Jr. ‘The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation: From Seed to Tissue Culture’; (Second Edition 2006); Varsity Press, Inc. ISBN: 0942375092 or ISBN: 13: 978-0-942375-09-1

    Dax
     
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  21. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Michael Dirr's work is industry standard I think. I just have not much sucess in Washington State, but then again I don't have the winter heating source set up to really make it work. I do use Dirr's information when I propagate my dwarf conifers. Sam
     
  22. conifers

    conifers Active Member

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    Hey Sam. I'd just graft the dang things. That's me personally speaking.

    Dax
     
  23. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Dax. Thanks, LOL
     
  24. Lou midlothian Tx

    Lou midlothian Tx Member

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    Hi,

    I would be interested to see how you do it. Can you provide information how you have successfully propagated JMs by cuttings. I am impressed!
     
  25. LilyISay

    LilyISay Active Member

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    Firstly, I find it hilarious that such dire warnings are being given on a thing like propagating acers. What's going to happen if it goes wrong? No tree. Your house will not blow up, your dog won't die. If you're a hobbyist simply wondering if it can be done, it can. Your chances just aren't great. I'd take a couple hundred cuttings for a few trees. Here's how I've done it. I've done bloodgood, butterfly and good ol' stubby dissectum from cuttings with about 25% success rate overall. Bloodgood was the best rooter, dissectum 2nd, butterfly took last place. I got two "butterfly" out of 50 cuttings that took, and neither of them have displayed the characteristic variegation, but instead reverted to an all-green form. My cuttings were grown in my own starter mix, 1 part sand, 1 part peat, 1 part leaf mould (Acer leaf mould!) They sat in dappled half shade while rooting. I nestle my trays on a bed of hydrated silicone crystal (labeled as water saver, or moisture miser or something like that) That keeps moisture really consistent and lets me monitor by crystal size how wet the bed is. I water with willow-bark water (just shredded salix alba soaked in water and strained off), which contains a natural rooting hormone. The cuttings were taken with hormone powder initially.
    I do not grow for the trade, just my own interest, and I'm simply following the usual guidelines with the exception of the crystals (I just found them very useful in growing moss, and thought I'd give it a try with some other things. They are practically useless when used as a water conserving device in potting mix, so don't bother. They don't readily give up water when it's needed but as a sort of substitute for capillary matting they work pretty well.) Good luck, acer fans.
     

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