Poor timing Maple Seedlings

Discussion in 'Maples' started by uhlawstu1, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. uhlawstu1

    uhlawstu1 Member

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    About two months ago I bought some japanese maple seeds. I immediately pretreated them and started cold moist stratification. I checked them today and several had started to germinate so I planted them.

    Of course I now realize that this wasnt good timing on my part because the growing season is winding down. Don't days start shortening later this month? So my question is - Are these trees going to go dormant immediately after they start growing? What should I do?

    I have indoor grow lights should I gave them artificially long days? will these trees ever be back on schedule.
     
  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Bad timing... good luck.
     
  3. Walid

    Walid Member

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    just curious Rima, how did u do ur pretreatment and cold moist stratification?
     
  4. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    You would start them in late summer or fall, keep them in the fridge (barely moist paper towel in a baggie) for 3 months, coddle the babies indoors (cool bright place) til all danger of frost has passed in the spring, then plant them outside (or in a container out of the worst wind, in a fast draining sandy mix in somewhat filtered sunlight.
     
  5. uhlawstu1

    uhlawstu1 Member

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    I soaked my seed in hot water for two days, placed seed in ziploc baggie with moist perlite and coconut husks (hint of diluted fungicide). waited about 70 days and looked at them and some had small roots poking out. I potted them up in 5 inch untility bands.

    Surely someone else had made this goof before....The more I think about it - I actually think they'll be fine. My plan is to artifically extend their growing season indoors for a while - just untill they are large enough to store up some evergy for next year. I have a 400w HID light inside - And plants flourish under it - the light is intense but the plants stay relatively cool. Then I'll force them into a dormancy period. There are only two flats of 36 containers each, so I could just shorten the days and even put the entire flat in the frig at night - then after they are dormant put outside for the rest of the winter. We dont get many hard freezes - I live in central Texas.

    Actually this was probably better than waiting until winter to start the cold stratification because this way at the end of next summer, some of the trees will have 1.5 growing seasons instead of one - and overall more should germinate becuase they will have gone through two cold moist periods.

    I bet I can make this work, any takers? Any insights or suggestions.

    The seed was from different cultivated varities - bloodgood, atroliniare (I know I misspeslled that), Osakazuki. If I get one or two nice trees and some grafting understock out of it I'll consider it a success.
     
  6. webwolf

    webwolf Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi,
    Like Rima said: bad timing, good luck.
    But with the proper care you should be able to nurse your plants through the "wrong" season.
    I bought 5 bare rooted plants this year from a much colder part of Australia. All of them started to shoot in winter rather than spring as if they need time to adjust to their new temperture zone. I am shure next year they will be adjusted and shoot in spring. So may be your seedlings will do the same.
    regards
    Wolf
     
  7. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    There's another matter - he's in southern Texas (I must have missed that before) - what's he doing trying to grow maple trees to begin with - or does it get a lot colder there for months during winter than I imagine?
     
  8. uhlawstu1

    uhlawstu1 Member

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    "....what's he doing trying to grow maple trees to begin with - or does it get a lot colder there for months during winter than I imagine?" Am I the only person who thought that was rude?

    I can't answer that without knowing how cold you think it gets. I live north of San Antonio, which is just slightly south of the center of the state. I can count the times that it has snowed here during my life on one hand. But having said that, we do get a mild winter every year. Maple trees do in fact go dormant here. Texas has at least one native maple (big tooth) which occurs naturally in fairly significant numbers less than an hour from my house. Another non-native maple does very well, the shantung maple.

    I can tell from your posts that you're really passionate about giving maples a nice long dormancy period. I get it. I can also tell you that really isn't the big problem here, and probably only is in the southern most part of the state.

    I think the reason you don't see many japanese maples in landscapes here has nothing to do with dormancy. The biggest thing is the heat that makes them a little crispy and unattrative around August. Alkaline soil, poor water quality, and relative cost don't help either. Also, competition from other products is a big reason. There are plenty of deciduous trees that grow very easily here and that can tolerate heat. Numerous broadleaf evergreens and conifers grow well here too. And since winters are mild I think more people are inclined to try and adapt more tropical material to their uses than adapt material that is better suited for more temperate zones.

    In other words, most people where I live are more willing to nurse a citrus tree or tropical hibiscus through winter than they are to pamper a delicate japanese maple through a very hot summer. I think this August the high temperature exceed 100 degrees Farenheit 20 times or so. Im just not one of those people. IS that a crime? If so please don't call the mounties I'll stop immediately.

    'What am I doing growing maple trees here?' you ask. Well, it isn't for the syrup Rima. Probably the same reason everyone else does: to look at them. But I assure you it can be done. So lighten up already. I get it. I have noted your expert advice: Rima thinks maples need a nice long dormancy period....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2006
  9. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hey uhlawstu1,

    I see how you might be offended by Rima's comment, because it was about you, but did not address you personally, but I hope the response was more out of concern than criticism. It is quite dificult to grow Japanese maples in hot climates. The Maple Forum has many posts on this issue. But, many people in hot climates do choose to test the boundaries, just as people in northern areas test the boundaries of cold hardiness.

    uhlawstu1, I am removing the last sentence and half from you post. Let's not get personal--let's talk about maples. I hope the regulars on the Maple Forum can give you helpful advice, especially those who grow maples in hot areas. Your timing may have been bad to start, but some are likely to adapt and may turn out to be the best seedlings. We learn with each new planting and season.
     
  10. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Eric - thank you! U - I guess I could have worded that a bit differently, but I really was just pondering to myself (or others, not you) about it... To me, up here in snow 8 mos. of the yr, SC Texas would seem to be inhospitable to most maples just because it's Texas - our perception of it is pretty hot, dry and full of mesquite and those rolling shrubby things (forget the name!), so please forgive me.
     
  11. GreenGoose

    GreenGoose Active Member

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    It is almost certin that you will need to convince the seedlings that there is no winter until it occurs again naturally next year if maples in your area normally go dormant soon.
    If you have some time before the dormancy period, you need to flush as much growth on the seedlings as possible before they go dormant.
    Without a natural summer period in which to store some carbs, your seedling will face the dormant period without the resources it needs and you may lose many, if not all.

    On the other hand, you could buy more seeds and plan them for setting outside next spring.
     
  12. jstu

    jstu Member

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    4 foot gro spectrum flourescents

    Start with 12 hours light for vegitative growth and stay static all winter until the equinox. Keep lights roughly in snych with daylight schedule.

    Keep lights as close to canopy as possible.

    After the equinox, scale up your hours 1 hour a week until you get to 18 hours. Run 2 weeks of 18 hours light.

    Harden them off outside on your deck and with some shelter. At this point, light outisde should be roughly close to 18. Transplant with b-1 thrive solution and benificial bugs, such as pirhana from advanced nutrients.
     

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