Budburst! How early Spring is connected to last Summer

Discussion in 'Maples' started by JT1, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    I came across a very short and sweet article: Budburst
    by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
    April 23, 2016

    Budburst! » Arnold Arboretum

    Not only does the article give us some clarity to discussions on what is bud break by showing pictures of Acer palmatum during budburst while providing a definition. But the article also talks about the storage of energy 7 to 8 months before budburst in mid to late Summer during the previous season.

    The timing of mid to late Summer is a bit subjective and is different depending on the region of the world you live and micro climate influence. The information ("eruption of leaves and flowers that have been tightly packed into each and every bud for the last seven or eight months") gives us each a solid timeline that we can work back from the time of year our budburst.

    For my area my Japanese maples budburst between mid April to May 1st. Not sure, just go back through your photos and check out the date as I just did as I write this thread. So if we work back 7 or 8 months from that date we come up with a time in which next year's buds are being formed. For me this is about August to September 1st. Given it takes a couple of weeks for buds to form, I would say late July would begin that critical time for next year's budburst.

    Why am I making such a big deal about mid to late Summer when I am sharing an article about budburst? Good question!

    How we care for our maples in August has a direct impact on their health and vigor come next Spring. I know for me August is hot, dry, and almost always in the middle of seasonal drought. It's a time where people have gardening fatigue and begin to neglect their gardens and watering.

    My food for thought is we must keep up with caring for our maples in late Summer as it is a critical time for next year's leaf development and vigor. Also in the short term, I have found keeping up with your maples through August and into September is the difference between having a short fall show with damaged leaves and having a brilliant fall showing with picture perfect leaves!

    Putting forth an effort into the late Summer care of Japanese maples pays dividends come next season and ensures a great fall show that is longer lasting in my experience! Next season when you start to get gardening fatigue come late Summer, remember this article, dig deep and get re-motivated, and remember that next seasons Spring show and the health of your maples depends on action and efforts!

    Next time you have a maple with poor performance or decline during early Spring; remember to look back to the previous Summer. Then you can identify and reach conclusions on why your tree has declined based on history. Learn from it to prevent further loss and develop a better mid to late Summer care program.

    I use a slow release organic starter fertilizer in mid July for container grown and landscape maples. I water container grown maples every morning and ensure that landscape grown maples get 1" of water a week. Also late June to early July is a good time to add mulch to areas that have settled or disrupted by wildlife to help keep roots moist and cool before the hottest and driest part of Summer sets in.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
    Michigander and AlainK like this.
  2. thanrose

    thanrose Active Member

    Messages:
    800
    Likes Received:
    54
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL USA USDA Zone 9
    Excellent advice. While I don't deliberately grow any maples, I noted that another early spring harbinger is beginning to bloom. In November. Admittedly, we did have a cold snap for us. Zero chill hours as they are calculated, but a few days where we didn't need air conditioning. I don't like Bradford pear for a host of reasons, but several in my area are actually covered in white buds and flowers.

    Mainly, it's just Acer rubrum around here. I've seen a few others.

    Related to the novel concept of thinking ahead for your best displays, my relatives shear their azaleas into box shape with monthly trims. They rake the pine needles out from under them. And they lament the sparse blooming in spring. They don't know that I water them when I can. I've pretty much always kept in mind that they form the intent to bud somewhere by mid summer.
     
  3. HMBrown

    HMBrown Member

    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    Hants, UK
    I am no gardener, but I have an Acer tataricum subsp ginnala 'Flame' in a clay pot on my front lawn in Hampshire, UK. This was propagated by Hillier Gardens, UK, presumably from a plant they have in the Gardens, and put in a plant sale for Volunteers/Members a decade or so ago. The plant has several times burst its buds on or about Valentines Day, 14FEB, but sometimes into March.

    Currently Hillier Gardens has four listed 2003.0025 A/B/D/E all in WG820, Winter Gardens, the west side of the roundabout outside the Visitor Centre (presumably C was lost), last measured in JAN2016 at 3 metres or less. (Mine is much smaller).
     
  4. Michigander

    Michigander Member

    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan, USA
    I would add one small tidbit to this: leaves, that is the overall size and quality of the leaf, is a function of the building materials available in the roots and in the soil at budburst. Yes, having a good foundation from the previous late summer is critical, but feeding with a full strength liquid fertilizer a week or two weeks or so just before leafing out will utilize those great buds to grow great leaves. This is a lot like feeding a football player a big plate of pasta the evening before a big game. His body has been built with the right foods and adding a large volume of carbs at that exact time will give him an extra boost of available energy to use in the game, all the way to the end. Like pouring gasoline on a fire. The same practices at other times would be worse than counterproductive.

    I have two main interests in gardening: bonsai and Hosta. I use the above theory two different ways. In bonsai, want small bonsai leaves, but healthy trees, so I do not feed until all leaves have expanded and matured, as in stopped growing. That is approximately ~June 1st. I continue to feed once in July for second flush, and August for bud and root building. I water everyday in season. My other love is Hosta, where I want leaves big enough to block out the sun! I broadcast 20-20-20 in late autumn after cleanup, because it takes substantial time for pellets to break down and actually enter the soil/food chain and be entirely available next spring, and again in spring, for the same reason: to be available throughout early summer. I use a high N liquid at full strength ~April 1st and ~May 1st. I never let my Hosta suffer from drought from mid-April through mid-June when they stop growing. My leaves are second to none.

    Gasoline on a fire... works every time!
     
  5. AlainK

    AlainK Well-Known Member Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    736
    Likes Received:
    144
    Location:
    nr Orléans, France (E.U.)
    That's good advice: I do the same! ;-)

    For seedlings that don't plan tu work as bonsaï, I fertilize just after budbreak, with a fertilizer high in nitrogen, or I use 6-6-6 Osmocote (slow-release fert) when repotting in late February, then I use liquid 6-6-6 every two weeks until the end of June, and at least once a fertilizer with chelated iron (my water is very hard). Then I fertilize again a couple of times before leaf fall.

    As for Hosta, I only have one species, a mini-hosta - actually I have several: it's easy to divide it, and I've already given some to friends. The only problem is slugs and snails, if I don't put them (the plants) in a secure place, they eat all the leaves in one night.
     
    Michigander likes this.
  6. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

    Messages:
    1,240
    Likes Received:
    310
    Location:
    Euclid, OH USA
    We have lots of dwarf hosta and over 30+ (lost count) hosta cultivars in our garden.

    The best product to fight slugs (we get no damage now that we use it) Slug Magic by Bonide, link:
    Garden Naturals* Collection

    The other thing that helps is corn gluten. We use it as a weed preventer but it also kills the slugs when they eat it. Also slow weak fertilizer, so it's kind of a 3 in one product.

    Lastly, but it's been a long time since we have done it. Get salad dressing cups usually given with carry out foods for dressing or sauce and fill with beer. Cup should be dug into mulch/dirt so that the rim is at surface level. Slugs love beer, drink too much and fall into the cup.

    Like I said above, slug magic is the best and only thing we use now. That combined with corn gluten used as weed preventer but also helps with slugs as bonus. The beer thing works great but it gets pretty funky after a day or so. Slug magic is so effective we really don't use beer in the garden anymore. We used to have a massive slug problem when we first started gardening, but now we have none!
     

Share This Page