Acer palmatum 'Ryusen'

Discussion in 'Acer palmatum cultivars (photos)' started by mapledia, May 10, 2007.

  1. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice. If you get a chance please post some pictures of yours, I'd love to see what it looks like growing like that.

    That's funny about the price. Around here $20 will get you a 1 year bloodgood from home depot and that's about it. Even at home depot, a tree this size goes for around $79 but they never have cool cultivars, just the everyday red japanese maples. Although I did find one that had a few shirazz. Most expensive tree I've purchased from home depot, $49, but it's small. I'm still waiting for it to leaf out to see if it is even what it's suposed to be. That's the best thing about getting trees from home depot or lowes, you have a full year to get a full refund.
     
  2. mapledia

    mapledia Active Member

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    Yes, I do plan to post some photos. My current problem is that we live at a relatively high elevation for Oregon, and so while Ryusen has huge leaf buds, it hasn't leafed out yet, nor have 98% of my JMs at this time. I think in about 2 weeks, though, we'll have an explosion of growth when the evening temps get above freezing. We're just not there yet. I think anything one can do -- staking up the plant or placing it in a very tall pot or on a steep hillside -- all will take advantage of this cultivar's cascading growth habit. It's a beautiful cultivar, and I applaud you for trying to get it to grow upright, even for a short period of time. Trust me, it will cascade DOWN given the first opportunity and it will look fantastic, unlike anything else in your garden.

    There are so many fabulous growers of JMs in the Pacific NW and their prices are generally very reasonable that I feel quite lucky. I actually have been able to purchase some 5-gallon plants for around $40, which I thought was almost a steal. This is not a normal price, however. Normally I'm able to buy relatively rare 2-year cultivars for around $20-25, but of course I have to hunt for such deals, as we all do. Oregon grows more JMs than anywhere else in the world, and so I think the extensive supply plays into the prices here.

    In a month or so, I'll try to post some photos of my Ryusen so you can see how it looks in a tall urn. I think it's pretty cool.
     
  3. Thumblessprimate

    Thumblessprimate Member

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    What an interesting discussion. I had a chance to see a Ryusen up close this past Friday. It was about 5-6 ft tall. It had a single trunk; very straight. I can't tell if that's from the nursery training it that way. It appears to want to keep growing upwards on it's own, but weep downward at the tips. I can't really tell if that's the case though unless I had one to observe over some time.

    If I were to have one in my possession, I'd likely do some heavy thinning out of the branches over time. It grows very thick. Also, I'd put a several bends in the trunk like I do all of my cut-leaf weeping habit maples that were straight as bamboo when I got them.

    What I also notice with the Ryusen is that is doesn't seem to want to get very wide. Have some of you observed this in your specimen? The form looks sort of conical, because the new layers at the top would grow over the old layer of branches below.
     
  4. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Rufretic,personally I think you've got a great tree,the hard work's done for you,a good basis to 'sculpt' the tree to your desire.
    This is a little cutting grown example bought locally.It'll be a long project though it looks fairly vigorous so I am going to stake it up like yours but as you and Thumbless have noted,I also would like to get some width into it before cascading.Does anyone who's used bonsai wire think it could be used to keep the branches horizontal until the desired width is obtained? only I've never used it before.
     

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  5. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    Thanks.

    I'm thinking about trying to get a few of the upper branches to spread a little as well. I'm pretty much at the point where I should do it soon. I don't need it to get any taller but I would like the spread a little wider before the branches go straight down. I'm hoping someone has experience with bonsai wire and can chime in because I also have never used it.
     
  6. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I am by no means an expert, but I have been dabbling with bonsai for a few years, and this is what I have learned:

    - Firstly, you want to make sure that you use proper wire; buy bonsai-specific wire locally, or online, from a dedicated bonsai shop - if you don't use the right type of wire, you could damage the branch. (Dallasbonsai.com is a good source, though there are many others out there.)

    - In general, the wire should be roughly half the width of the branch being wired, and you don't just wire the branch - you wrap the wire around the trunk as well to provide support to the wire and branch. Some of the thicker wire can be difficult to work with, especially on branches prone to breaking (like JMs); you may want to use 2 or more lengths of a thinner wire wrapped side by side instead.

    - The wire is typically wrapped around the branch at a 45 degree angle. Some bonsai experts insist on wiring the whole branch involved, some don't feel it's necessary. Also, if your branch is still really thin and soft, you probably want to wait until its a little thicker before wiring it, or you could very easily damage the soft bark, etc.

    - You also want to wrap the wire tight enough around the branch to hold it in the desired position, but not so tight that it cuts into the branch leaving scars - and remember, as the tree/branch grows, you need to keep an eye on it, and remove the wire*** before it starts cutting in; if the branch does not maintain the position desired, you may have to wire it again, possibly a few times. (*** Sometimes, wire can be unwound from a branch without damaging it, but with a maple I probably wouldn't chance it. The best way to remove wire is to use a wire-cutter, but not just any wire-cutter - you want a bonsai-specific cutter because those can get right up close to the branch in order to cut it, without cutting or damaging the branch itself. If you don't believe me, compare pictures of typical wire cutters with bonsai-specific ones; it will readily become apparent.)

    - Depending on the growth habit of the maple, ie placement of the internodes/leaves, wiring a leafed-out maple can be a a PITA, and as well all know, maple branches have the potential to be brittle and snap easily, so TAKE YOUR TIME. If you have never wired before, practice either on an old branch/stick, a chopstick, something to get a feel for the wire and technique. If I remember correctly, Dallas Bonsai has some videos on their site regarding wiring, one specifically on a JM. You never use the branch as your fulcrum for wrapping the wire; its a sure fire way to break a branch. Brace the branch with your hand as you are wiring it... It's hard to explain, seeing is so much better. Either watch a video online or, if possible, if there is a local bonsai club, go to a meeting or meet with someone who can show you the proper wiring technique.

    I've attached pictures of some of my maples, and other trees, to hopefully give you a bit of an idea how wiring should look.
     

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  7. NJACER

    NJACER Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    All,

    The attached file has a photo of the original plant of Ryusen taken in Japan. This is from the 2009 All Things Acer catalog. I have seen plants at their nursery that are about 20 feet tall. These were not staked straight up like is typical with many dissectum plants but were allowed to twist and turn as they were trained upright. The leaves are out on my plants so I cannot get a picture of the branch structure until the fall.

    I have been growing this plant for a few years and it can be used to create different forms. My garden area is flat land so I have this planted in a tall pot growing about 18 inches tall and then cascading over the sides to see the full weeping effect. I have also allowed the plant that is trained up to about eight feet to cascade over the stone wall but that is only about one foot.

    Ed
     

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  8. Thumblessprimate

    Thumblessprimate Member

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    Ed,

    I'm really liking what I see in the top right photo. Still If I had the means, I'd put a few bends in the trunk. But yeah. I think that I can see the potential of a Ryusen. I appreciate the photo.

    -Martin
     
  9. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Geesh Ed 20' tall!....this plant hasn't been around all that long,must be quite vigorous.As you&Thumbless say,I think i won't rigidly tie the plant to a stake,but let it curve or introduce some if needed.How's your little self layered baby coming along?
    Thanks for all the info&advice Andrea,most helpful.I'll definately look into it more deeply.I've got quite a while yet though before even growing my first permanent branch but it sounds like it could be useful to me to attain the picture I've got in my head :)
     
  10. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Ed !!WOW really stunning!many thanks for show this pics!:)
     
  11. Kaitain4

    Kaitain4 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Well, the plant has been around quite a while at All Things Acer. They were one of the original importers of that cultivar.
     
  12. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    It is a fast grower but surely it was staked to obtain that height. I often see 3 to 4 foot long shoots in a season here in SC.
     
  13. karen stever

    karen stever Member

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    If your Ryusen (US Plant Patent #18501) is the height you want it now, then remove the stake. If you want it to be taller, continue staking the central leader NOW. Very soon it will be too woody to stake straight up, though you may be able to stake in curves. Your tree will become broader and MUCH fuller over time as your as the main branches fill out with side branches. By selective pruning of interior branches, you can 'open' it up so that the structure is obvious in year round. Ryusen is very vigorous and very forgiving of pruning errors, so just have fun! The trees in the first photo have not been thinned, but have been staked to 6 ft. The second photo is a low graft, unstaked. The third is taken from under the canopy of a staked tree in fall.
     

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  14. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Finally got my hands on one from Sam - had the option of going with a 1, 2 or 3 gallon tree, but somehow the small 1 gallon just looked better than the larger two. Looks a little worse for wear after being in the FedEx truck for 5 days, but still pretty with good trunk movement. I plan to stake it a bit more, but then let it do it's thing; can't wait to see what it does over the next few years. :)
     

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  15. karen stever

    karen stever Member

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    I think you'll love it. Nice structure to start with.
     
  16. rufretic

    rufretic Active Member

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    I like mine so far. This fall is the first for me and I was quite impressed, a lot of different colors as it changes. It went from dark purple tips to yellows, oranges and reds to a full dark red. Here are a couple pics when it was just starting to color up.
     

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  17. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    New leaves! :)
     

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  18. karen stever

    karen stever Member

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    The Ryusen here are leafed out brilliant green and blooming very heavy this year, North of Atlanta. Beautiful right now.
     
  19. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I really am liking this tree a lot, the fresh green on the new leaves is wonderful, and just the way they are held on the branches is quite attractive too. I am at a crossroads, though; don't know whether to continue staking it for a while longer, or just let it do it's thing... What are the preferred light conditions for this cultivar (ie, more or less sun)?
     

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  20. mattlwfowler

    mattlwfowler Active Member Maple Society

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    I would stake it if you plan to put it in the ground at some point. Mine are in partial shade, but it holds up in full sun fairly well. The biggest concern is that you may get some sunburn on the top of the arching branches in full sun (this can be winter sun I suppose). It is certainly strong and can heal this rather quickly, but I prefer to stay on the safe side.
     
  21. karen stever

    karen stever Member

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    Matt's reply is right on. If you want it to trail over a landscape feature or a pot edge, let it go unstaked. In the ground, a staked specimen is spectacular. I quite staking at 9 ft. on a 10 ft stake. Wish I had gone a little higher. Fall color is often better when grown in a little shade.
     
  22. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Here is a picture of our container grown Ryusen from one of our picture windows. The second is a close up shot, taken earlier, of the leaves making the fall transition.
     

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  23. Atapi

    Atapi Well-Known Member

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    Hi, since we are talking about the weeping Ryusen here, I was wondered if any one has any experience or comment about the new Acer Palmatum cultivar called 'Dragon Tears'.
    http://www.heritageseedlings.com/PDF/heritage_seedlings_catalog.pdf (page 10 in the catalog).

    This one was fpound by Ray & Cindy Jackson and it was advertized as a red weeping. It was exclusively distributed by 'Heritage seedling' in Oregon. If it is indeed similar to Ryusen then I think it would be nice to have one of each side-by-side. Thanks,
     
  24. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    I am hoping to pick one of these (Dragon's Tears) up next spring as well - I currently have one on order, but not from Heritage - so we'll see if it lives up to the description. That was my thought exactly, have the two side by side...
     
  25. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Re: Acer palmatum 'Ryusen'; breeding and genetics

    It is interesting to think about the likes of 'Ryusen' and 'Dragon Tears' from a plant breeding and genetics viewpoint. The weeping form of this plant seems to be the exact same habit as observed in the dissectum cultivars, albeit more vigorous due to the regular palmatum style leaves which are a more efficient design than dissected leaves.

    The weeping and dissected traits have historically always been associated together which suggests genetic linkage between the two traits. In other words the association between the two mutations indicate two genes that are located proximal to each other on a chromosome and therefore tend to be inherited together during meiosis. (DNA tends to be inherited in discrete chunks meaning close neighbours usually stay together.)

    I suggest that 'Ryusen' and similar cultivars represent a breaking of this linkage in the form of a plant that inherited the weeping mutation without the dissected one. Since the mutations involved with these two traits are most likely recessive genes, 'Ryusen' could not have expressed itself in the first generation of a cross between a regular palmatum and a dissectum, but would have manifested itself from a second (or later) generation from a mother that looked like a normal upright palmatum but was carrying the unexpressed mutation for a weeping habit.

    It is a shame that the cycle from seed to seed-producing plant is so long in maples, as it severely limits the possibility for directed breeding efforts. In order to grow out several generations from a specific cross it would take longer than a human being's working lifetime. Compare that to annual type plants where several generations can be grown per year making it relatively easy to find and fix specific traits.
     

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