Flowers

Discussion in 'Maples' started by AlainK, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. AlainK

    AlainK Rising Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi everyone,

    It's the first time I've seen so many of my trees bearing flowers, and in such a quantity. It may be because of the very mild winter we had here in western Europe (we know that it was very different in North America, with all the unfortunate consequences I saw on TV).

    Here are just a couple of pictures, I've just found out at sunset that others are developping flowers too - Koto-no-Ito, Atropurpureum, Katsura, ...

    (Garnet, Palmatum palmatum, Sango kaku, Hana Matoi)

    Since almost all of them are potted, I'll place them close to one another and I hope that not only they will croos-breed, but that I'll get viable seeds. Imagine: a hybrid of Koto-no-Ito and Hana Matoi... ;°)
     

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  2. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Agreed....a very floriferous spring indeed.I don't get many seeds usually so I've been around with a little paint brush in the hope of helping them polinate....probably a waste of time ha,we'll see.Like yourself I imagine all sorts of crossbreeds,hope luck is with us :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2014
  3. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I have found flowers usually occur in abundance after a harsh growing season with heat and drought. If you want seeds, the next step is to keep the trees happy with adequate water to bring the seeds to maturity.

    The flowers also can be used to keep your trees a smaller size in areas where the tree is trying to out grow its space. Growth at the tip will stop and the energy will go to making seeds. For those who want larger trees or are looking for more growth this season, remove the flowers so the tree can use its energy for growing larger or for developing complex branching. For bonsai, I remove the flowers because I do not want the energy going into flowers to weaken the tree.

    Just a kind heads up- Mild winters can contribute to heavy pest outbreaks. If the winter was mild and wet, with above average rainfall into the growing season look out for disease issues.
     
  4. AlainK

    AlainK Rising Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks a lot for the advice, a lot of us should bookmark this ;-)
     
  5. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    2nded...though my usual lack of seeds means I'll be grateful if I see some this year.I think my climate is always hi risk for pathogens with only a short window when they're dormant.
    I'm not entirely sure if I'm viewing them right but could find very few flowers with female parts..only 3trees so far.On Beni Shichihenge I couldn't see any male only flowers..no pollen either so I assume it's gone already.Maybe this is one of many reasons for my lack of seeds?
     
  6. Jaybee63

    Jaybee63 Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I usually see quite a few seeds but last year none of my trees bore seed. This year a few of them are covered in flowers the like of which I've never seen before. Maybe it's the mild winter compared to last years late spring and harsh winter.
    I aim to collect seed this year to germinate.
     
  7. AlainK

    AlainK Rising Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    Good evening,

    That's also what I think.

    So will I : my palmatum palmatum is so covered with flowers that I can't imagine there won't be at least a couple of viable seeds.

    (Acer p. palmatum, Acer p. 'Atropurpureum', Acer p. 'Koto-no-Ito')
     

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  8. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    A couple of mine are showing evidence of flowers too, Ryusen and Aekan Ie's thus far. I'll have to wait a few more days to see if some of the others that are starting to push will also be producing flowers.
     

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  9. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    Not a maple, I know, but I just had to include this picture of my Kojo no mai cherry and it's new growth - I love how the flower buds look like little pendants before they open!
     

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  10. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    I believe the bud is encoded as to whether to produce flowers or not when it is formed during the previous year's growing season, therefore the conditions of the current winter are not taken into account.

    Last year's late harsh spring in the UK may well have been a deciding factor in increasing flower production; it would have increased the stress on the plants and stress events like this, or, for example, heat and drought (as mentioned in a previous post) signal the maple that it might be a good idea to produce some seeds.

    Pollination levels can be very dependant on insect activity as sometimes male and female flowers are not viable on the same tree at the same time. The paintbrush might be a good way of lending a helping hand.
    [I also wonder if this trick works for Japanese maples; I have never tried it on maples but have used it for other plants: A good way of collecting pollen is to hold an old sunglasses lens under the male flower and tap or vibrate the twig to help eject the pollen. the pollen shows up very visibly against the dark colour of the lens and the concave shape helps to keep it in place. Gently rub the stigma of the female flower in the collected pollen on the lens, and you should be able to achieve pollination.]
     
  11. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    I have used a cotton swab or Q-Tip as sold here in the states. The cotton does a nice job of holding pollen, then go play match maker!
     
  12. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Interesting Maf,that could well explain it though it's strange how some trees are covered in flowers one year,and another the next.However most of my maples have produced a bumper crop this year suggesting a common need to produce.
    I like the lense idea though even seeing the stigma on Jms is hard.As I believe they don't produce female only flowers I think rubbing the stigma would most likely pollinate it with it's own pollen.I doubt my paintbrush method was very successful due to close proximity of it's own pollen but I live in hope.
    Glad to say all my maples survived the rain...hope yours did too Maf :)
     
  13. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Yes! Ecstatic to say they did. The twice yearly nematode treatment seems to have eradicated the vine weevil problem, and even some neglected three inch high, two year old seedlings are looking healthy.
     
  14. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    I'll have to look into nematode treatment if you say it works.I've been using Bayer chemical but it works out quite expensive with lots of pots to treat twice a year.How often are nematodes applied?
     
  15. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Thanks for starting a flower thread Alain! I meant to do so myself. I think it one of the lovely features of the genus.

    I'm also seeing a lot of flowers, and some trees are really covered in them for the first time. These pictures were taken 2 weeks ago, I hadn't gotten around to posting.

    Happy to report that my plants seem to have made it through the rains also, or at least by and large. (I'm a little worried about some of the hyrcanums but these are later to come into leaf anyway.) Glad it's the same for you guys. Also the pots, kept in an unheated room over winter, have seemingly come through with the loss of only 1 weak young palmatum graft, 'Red Wood' which might have died anyway, and 6 seedlings out of several hundred. So far so good! :)

    Here are A. negundo 'Kelly's Gold', A. negundo 'Sensation', A. opalus ssp opalus, A. pictum, A. pycnanthum 'Asayake nishiki' and A. rubrum.
     

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  16. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    It's amazing how close up photography reveals the beauties of nature we'd otherwise miss.Pics of caterpillars,insects etc. expose a whole world of colour and your flowers look lovely....yet they're always quoted as 'insignificant'.....only to us blind humans ha
     
  17. opusoculi

    opusoculi Active Member

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    Much alike , but mine is already faded ...

    Here , harakawa, aconitifoium , uenoyama, ozakazuki and palmatum palmatum indeed , are each year used to produce seeds a lot. But Garnet 10 years never had flowers. desosho is unfertile , i think.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  18. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    @houzi: on some trees maple flowers are far from insignificant, on the contrary they're pretty showy! Especially true for the male negundos and ones like diabolicum. I know exactly what you mean though. Hard to say that of a green japonicum full of contrasting red flowers, yet that's just what many books say.

    Here are 2 pics of flowers on Acer monspessulanum, the Montpellier maple. This is the first year for flowers here, although it was planted in 2008 and is a relatively well established tree.
     

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  19. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Agreed,there are some with contrasting flowers which make a nice display.I guess they're saying the trees aren't really meant to be purchased for their flowers.
    On the other hand WOW!...now that tree almost warrants being called a flowering tree...spectacular :)
    On the subject(or maybe not)an orchard near me holds the national fruit collection,'the worlds largest collection of fruiting trees&plants'.They're holding a 'Hanami' event like in Japan.Although I think the trees are lined up orchard style as opposed to the scenic Japanese settings it should make a pleasant day out....no maples though.
     
  20. JT1

    JT1 Contributor

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    Here are some flower photos from a previous Spring.
     

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  21. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member

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    Insignificant my **** lovely JTI.Just seen tiny seeds forming on Beni Shichihenge and Shishigashira so sexual id was correct...just gotta wait and see
     
  22. maplesandpaws

    maplesandpaws Active Member

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    With the exception of only a few maples, mine are loaded with flowers this spring - such a lovely sight to see!

    I love the beautiful contrast of the fresh green leaves and the pink flowers on Ryusen, the furthest along of my trees. Akane is not far behind, with the leaves having a slightly more chartreuse tint and lovely pink edges. It's also very hard to tell which of my red-leafed maples is the darkest, Red Dragon, Aekan Ie's or Nuresagi. Sherwood Elfin and Tsukushigata are also starting to provide their own lovely display... I wish the trees could stay like this! :)
     

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  23. maf

    maf Well-Known Member Maple Society

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    Managed to take a few snappies with the phone today; a couple of them were usable and one was actually quite good. First pic is 'Trompenburg'; second is 'Sango Kaku'; third is a dissectum that was sold to me many years ago as 'Sunset' (but I am not claiming it is that cultivar as I have major doubts as to whether it is genuine):
     

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  24. emery

    emery Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'm down to a phone also for pictures, but it does a surprisingly decent job, even if a PITA to use. (Someone has misplaced the camera's battery charger...)

    Here are a couple of pictures showing the affinity between members of section Lithocarpa series Lithocarpa: A. sterculiaceum ssp sterculiaceum, which flowered for the first time and A. sinopurpurescens, which is full of flowers this year. Both are male (this series is dioecious). No flowers on A. diabolicum or A. sterculiaceum ssp thomsonii to compare with.
     

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  25. AlainK

    AlainK Rising Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    And now, the first samarras ;-)

    I don't know how many will mature, neither if a couple will germinate, but these babies are beautiful on a rather sunny afternoon...

    A. p. 'Atropurpureum' (grafted : saved from a supermarket "bonsai forest" of 5. The only survivor...)
    A. p. 'Atropurpureum dissectum' (grafted : 'Garnet'?...)
    A. p. 'Koto-no-Ito': I was very surprised to see flowers and now samarras on such a cultivar.
     

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