maple saplings?

Discussion in 'Maples' started by bailey570, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    my girl and i were out on the deck today, and she said to me "hey that's a tree there". i looked in one of the pots that's been outside forever, and indeed it was a maple sapling with 2 little leaves on it. i want to grow it so i transplanted it in an empty can of cat food. i left it outside right now as it is getting cold. the winters up here are brutal, but the trees somehow manage. my question is should i bring this sapling in for the winter, or let it retain its natural dormancy stage of winter and snow? will it survive outside? if i bring it inside will it make it a week tree that is unable to survive. i need your help please. thanks

    there was actually 2 saplings that i found in the same pot. the second one had no leaves, but was surely the same maple sapling as the other,and very healthy. i transplanted both. what should i do to grow these plants? should i leave them outside for the dormancy period to get snowed on, or take them inside and nurse them? please help. thanks

    i forgot to mention that they are only about 4" tall and had 1 main root that was about 3" long. please help
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  2. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    can this thread be moved to the general ask and answer section? maybe it would get more views there
     
  3. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    sorry but i can't post picks
     
  4. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi bailey. It's a little hard to give specific advice without knowing what species of maple it is and how cold your winters are exactly (although the word "brutal" gives a pretty good idea of the winter).

    In general potted maples that need protection over the winter to prevent root damage need to go somewhere cold, but not as cold as outside. Don't bring it in to the house, somewhere like an unheated garage or cellar is ideal. You want to be aiming for minimum temperatures near to (above or below) freezing, maybe down to about 15 F, and it doesn't matter if it is dark in there because the sapling will have no leaves.

    Also, if you are using a cat food can as container make sure you have plenty of holes in the base for drainage.

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    i live in northeast Pennsylvania so it has to be a native type and not a Japanese type. the winters here do get below freezing, but we only heat half of the house, so i feel it will be fine in the unheated part. i will take it in before it gets cold, but will leave it out till then. thanks for the reply, and info! i will try and give it the best conditions possible, and yes i put drainage holes in the bottom of the cat food can. later
     
  6. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

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    Maple seedlings are really cute so I imagine your daughter and you can make a good experience of
    this find and have real fun with it. She can learn about how trees grow and grow up with these 2
    lovelies. Have fun with them and keep them somewhat on the drier side so they don't get too much
    moisture and rot the roots. Enjoy them!
     
  7. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    that's so funny! i ment my girlfriend and not my daughter (don't have a daughter), but i can see your enthusiasm on the subject, as it would be something great to share with your daughter. i would definitely share with my daughter if i had one. that would be so cute! i will make sure they are not over watered. thank you very much for the reply
     
  8. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Bailey, one other point: some of your native maples put out roots fast and won't be happy going through next year in such a small container. If I were you I'd move to a bigger pot this winter while they're dormant. That will also give the roots some more protection against freezing. In a larger pot, under the snow, they'd probably be fine (although Maf's solution is safer).

    Good luck with them. If you're lucky maybe they'll turn out to be the snake-barked type that is native there, although all your native maples are much appreciated trees.

    -E
     
  9. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    they are not dormant yet right? when are they dormant? how often is safe to transplant most plants if you are careful of the roots? could i just transplant again when i have the pots, or should i wait. i just planted them 2 days ago. i have these 2 pots my mother gave me, but they are the kind that the roots eventually work right through. those would only be good if i were planting in the ground right? they are about the same size as the cans. the next size pot that i have is 4.5" wide (at bottom. they are 5.25" wide at the top), and 4.25" deep. would these pots be too big. if i have to i will purchase new pots. so basically, as long as the soil does not freeze, they will be ok? i would imagine that i would need a fairly large pot for that with the winter winds and temps we have here (i live at a high elevation so wind chill can really freeze things up here) if i were to keep them outside. will i water them as usual in the winter (letting the soil dry all the way out), or keep the soil relatively dry? i just watered them 2 days ago when i planted them, and the soil is still very wet. thanks again for all the help! oh yea, we had snow flurries this morning! sorry for all the questions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  10. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Those are a lot of questions! :)

    Dormant is when the leaves have fallen. But with saplings like these you could do it any time. I would go for the next size up from the 4.5 diameter, they'll outgrow those quickly especially if it turns out they're silver or red maples. It's OK for the soil to freeze, but not super hard; snow protects the soil and keeps it warmer, so if you can get them under the snow they'll probably be OK outside, otherwise put them in the garage. Don't water over the winter except perhaps every 4 weeks if they're in an unheated garage.

    Snow flurries already, seems too early for that! :)

    -E
     
  11. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    yes, snow flurries this morning (the first of the year)! im in the Poconos and the winters here are no joke. i will transplant today into a larger pot and make sure they do not get rained on. i have 2 larger pots. one pot is 11" deep by 12" wide at the top, and the other pot (the pot i found them in) is 8.5" deep by 13" wide at the top. would these be good, and then i could just leave them outside most of the time? should i just plant one in each of the pots (leaving outside), or plant both of them in the pot i found them in? i think that it would be enough medium for them to survive (not get too cold), but i am not a pro here. would it be bad for them to be in the same pot? they were all in the one pot that was under the big maple tree in the yard, and not on the deck. i think there's actually one more in the original pot that would total 3 saplings. i also have pots that are 9.25" wide and 6" deep. would these be to small, and allow the soil to freeze? thanks

    awaiting transplant instructions on what sized pot to plant in.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 22, 2010
  12. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    i'm in zone 5b, maybe 6a, but i doubt 6a with the high elevation. there is no light for them in the unheated part of the house, but that's fine when they're dormant right? can they grow without direct sunlight? inside or outside? that's my question
     
  13. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    They will be fine without light once the leaves have dropped untill they leaf out again in the spring.

    Another option for you could be to bury the pots up to the rim in the garden for the winter and dig them up next spring. Should provide enough protection for the roots. Not sure what size pot is best, depends how well developed the roots are, but if you decide to bury it maybe the 9 x 6 one you mentioned?
     
  14. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    these roots are small. maybe one 3" root from each (very delicate and tiny babies/saplings) thank you i will try.
     
  15. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    the one maple just lost 1 of it's 2 leaves (dormancy). it's amazing how much moisture these catfood cans may retain(watered 4-5 days ago). they are still saturated. i think im using the same cactus soil as my aloe, yet the aloes soil is drying, while these are not. my aloe vera is in a plastic container. i feel the catfood can not a good starting point. they have all got the same sun, but the catfood cans (maples), have remained outside, but only when conditions were right(not raining). any ideas? transplant, or let dry out?
     
  16. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    Carefully transplant asap, get them out of the wet. Make sure in the new receptacle the water will drain right out the bottom when you water, and of course don't use an saucer-thingie under the pot to catch the liquid.

    -E
     
  17. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    do i have to water after the transplant, or can i let it dry out a bit for the roots?
     
  18. bailey570

    bailey570 Active Member

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    i gave them just a bit of water after the transplant to set the roots (not much). the root's look really healthy and have doubled in size since first transplant (2 weeks ago). i guess the roots on maples do grow fast! i put them in 4 3/4" wide pots, so they should be ok for the winter. i guess i could transplant next fall or something. thanks for all the help. i love this site! very good site!
     

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