Acer palmatum 'Orion'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by mjh1676, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Here is one of the most dwarf maples I am growing. It was sent to me in a trade last winter and the parent tree having come, only one removed, from Red Maple Nursery in Media, PA. This plant was named by Dick Wolf and from what I understand, nearly lost to cultivation.

    While not so unique in its leaf shape (although small), the size of this tree, or lack there of, makes it quite stunning and exciting. The scion I received was grafted to a very large understock, the scion itself being very small in calliper. It had died back to only two nodes, but has pulled through showing itself as a very hardy and tough tree. I received it dormant in the winter, likely a summer graft in 2004, and I overwintered it completely exposed.

    According to Vertrees Appendix C, this tree is a sport, but which tree he does not say. I suspect it might be a sport of Suminagashi, but I have not confirmed. Its growth is limited to just a couple inches a year and therefore not likely to be seen in cultivation in large numbers, but I think worth having. I can't wait to see it as it grows older.

    The photos shown rage from 04/05/05 to 05/25/2005, showing that the little tree was pretty late to leaf out, at least as far as our spring goes. Maybe it just took those few buds a long time to build up enough steam to open.

    MJH
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2005
  2. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Michael,
    Interesting cultivar, there are not many red dwarfs. I was not familiar with it and, after checking, it is not in the catalog of the largest suppliers over here in Europe. It would be interesting to see its size in ten years!!

    Gomero
     
  3. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I acquired an A.P. ‘Orion’ from Richard Wolff in July of 1994 in a 5 gal container which was about 2 feet tall. It is not listed in his Summer 1993 – Spring 1994 catalog but was assigned his maple # 535 in his stock. He gave me this tree as a gift and told me it was one of only two plants of this cultivar he had at that time. The tree did not have a graft date on the tag when I received it but I think it was quite old to reach this size. It dose not have a noticeable graft mark and is definitely not a high graft. The plant is currently about 3 feet in height and 2 feet wide. It is not a low growing shrub type dwarf but more like a miniature tree with an open base and branch structure at the top.

    I think that this is listed as a green dwarf in the latest edition of Vertrees but the tree that I have opens red in the spring, fades to green over the summer and has mostly yellow fall color.

    I am new to this site and will attempt to post some photos of my Orion for you to see that I have had for over 11 years.

    Ed
     

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  4. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Ed,

    I am sure that my tree originated from your tree, but I believe once removed. Thanks for posting photos and I look forward to more. It makes for a much nicer photo when you show a large mature plant.

    I think the plant has great potential and I remember it staying red here for quite some time before fading to green with some red overtones.

    Thanks,
    Michael
     
  5. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Michael,

    I have to go through my photos and look for some better photos of Orion in fall color. The photo below shows my south garden this past fall. Orion is on the far right looking mostly pale orange to yellow. I have many pictures of larger established maples and now need to shrink these so they can be viewed easier.
     

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  6. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Below are some updated photos of Orion in Spring and Fall of 2006 and a picture from 17 Feb 2007 that shows the branch structure.
     

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  7. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    These are some updated pictures of Orion in spring of 2007. I think all were taken 05 May.
     

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  8. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The last snow storm we had on Wednesday took a tool on my maples. I lost 2/3 of my Acer palmatum ‘Orion’ pictured below. I am hoping that the last part will survive. I was able to graft 100 Orions today and I am very happy that I had sent scion wood out to others. I will have to wait for the snow to melt before I can determine how many losses I have. I would be happy never to see snow again.

    Ed
     

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  9. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Ouch, that looks painful Ed. Sorry to see damage like that. I know your grafts will be successful. (please put my name on one of those)


    I had plenty of snapped and cracked branches here in Philly. I haven't made it Cape May garden yet.
     
  10. AlainK

    AlainK Renowned Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Isn't it possible to try "emergency surgery"?

    If there is still a layer of cambium between the bottom of a branch and the trunk, a minimum of possible sap flowing upward, I think it's worth trying to put it back into place, tie the lot with raphioa, and reinforce it with wire. I've done it on several deciduous species, but on smaller specimens, actually it's a kind of self-graft.

    Even if the cuts have dried, they might still fuse in a year or two, depending on the growth of the tree. It it works, it will stay fragile for a few years, if it doesn't, you would have tried at least...
     
  11. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Alain,

    I have done this is the past with two weeping maples and they are both fine more than 10 years later. I attempted to pull these back together and I found that the weight of the branches was too heavy to get a tight bond. The two broken branches are larger that the one that remains and I did not want to risk breaking the last part of the tree. The breaks are such that there is very little left connected to the tree. I may attempt to do a heavy prune on the broken branches to remove some of the weight and see if I can support from the ground. There is not a good area on the tree to provide pressure in the correct direction to keep the wound closed. My first attempt did not work well and I figured I would graft the scions first and make a second attempt today. \

    PTB,

    I hope to have Orions for the spring gathering on 15 May.



    Ed
     
  12. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Perhaps a lag bolt right through the middle? That way you're not depending on something circling the trunk that could ultimately girdle it. Good idea to remove some of the weight.
     
  13. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Wow Kaitan, sounds a little extreme. Have you had success with this method on Acer Palmatum in the past?

    Ed,
    Looks like a two man job to even think about tying those branches back up, good luck. If it was me I'd take off at least 50% of the length to reduce strain.
     
  14. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Maf,

    No, but I've seen some extreme measures taken to save trees that worked - including using iron rods thru the trunk and iron straps. Near my grandmother's house they saved a huge old oak tree using concrete - trowelled it into the cavity left when about 1/3 of the trunk slpit off. The darn thing healed up completely!! After all, the only growing part of the plant is the Cambium. The wood is just for structure and liquid storage. If the structure has failed but the Cambium is in tact, then any means to get that structure back is a possibility for saving the tree, IMHO.
     
  15. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    My new Acer palmatum 'Orion' from Oxford UK yesterday 2nd December 2020. I always catalogue my maples and this will have Lukes name in brackets after it. Thankyou Luke.

    I will update the thread in 2021.
     

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  16. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    18th March 2021 and my Orion I purchased for Luke in November has been potted up and wired. It still has the name tag from Lukes collection as promised. I'm very excited to see this one develop over the coming years.
    Orion 705.JPG
     
  17. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Generous Contributor

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    That is quite an honour. Please don’t feel you need to keep the tag if if doesn’t fit in with your style. I actually really like it and have all of mine labelled like this. I haven’t tried wiring for shape etc. I just use bamboo canes and garden string. I must admit though yours does look very good. Is it more of a bonsai technique?
     
  18. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Hi Luke, I'm very happy to keep your tag, a nice reminder, (I understand it is only nice for me).
    Regarding bonsai and wiring, this is all new for me, due to no more room. Although I do wire some of my trees that are in the ground occasionally, but I am enjoying it and I'm watching the experts on the forum for tips to hopefully make sure I don't kill them. I won't go any shallower than these training pots, but I think they are quite nice.
     
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  19. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    15th May 2021 and as promised to Luke, here is my Orion this morning.
    Orion 227.JPG
     
  20. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Generous Contributor

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    It may not be breathtaking during spring and summer but Autumn is when this cultivar will have you staring at it for hours ;-)
     
  21. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Thanks Luke, but I am happy with these colours as well. And as for the leaf shapes, I'm more than pleased. I can see why you were drawn to it.
     
  22. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    21st May 2021 and here is my new Orion putting out lots of new growth.
    Orion 235.JPG
     
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  23. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Generous Contributor

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    Very nice indeed. Just wait till Autumn Derek, then you’ll really see why I was drawn drawn to it.
     
  24. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    But those leaves now Luke, they are amazing. I will chop it back a bit next month to get some back budding to thicken it out.
     
  25. Luke’s Maples

    Luke’s Maples Generous Contributor

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    Sounds like a man who knows his stuff. I have no idea about that side of things lol. I just chop of anything that doesn’t look quite right lol
     

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