propagation by cuttings

Discussion in 'Maples' started by katsura, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. graftedmaplecollector

    graftedmaplecollector Active Member 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    That's ok, thanks for the help
    and those of you that have helped me also. I guess maybe I should just get back to
    doing it the old-fashioned way....falling till I learn to walk. Oh well, the board was worth a shot. Nice meeting you all anyways. Ciao.
  2. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    Southern Oregon
    We will all lose maples--for many reasons. Many of these will be out of our control, and some we will be able to overcome.

    Many of us will not want to talk about it and some will not be truthful about their losses. Many of us will not know why we have lost our plant and others of us will not want to admit the cause. Just take a look at the Bark Related Issues thread to see a group of maples that are in a pretty sad state.

    What we are up against is something I don't feel like outlining at the moment, but the problems with maples can be masked if well cared for. This pretains to the original grower/propagator of the plant. This is not necessarily by intent, but when kept in an ideal environment and well fertilized and watered and shaded, we can keep a diseased plant very happy. Some diseases are quick acting and some that are in the plant act very slowly and in combination.

    If we are buying fresh grafts and 1-2 year plants, they are not established enought and can be lost at anytime for any number of reasons. If we spend the money to buy larger plants we have better chances. If we are lucky enought to grow our small plants on to larger plants, it is often around the 5-8 year mark where our plants can begin to show the signs of an interal disease that they have carried with them all along. At this point, the plant by have many more years ahead, but then we have to be careful not to stress or risk exacerbating the situation or losing. In essence, we are stuck with a plant we now need to baby. In all cases, it seems to be most critial to get maples in the ground as soon as possible as the quality of stock we are seeing these days is not suited to long-term container growing.

    I bought a fair number of fresh grafts last year that I lost this summer. Maybe 8. I also lost two 3 year plants last spring shortly after receving them and then I lost a 3-4 year variegated dissectum recently. It had been declining since summer and I was unable to save it no matter what I tried. I have others that I consider persistent stanating plants that I have had for 3-4 years buy are always on the edge. They are just weak. They came to me that way and I have not found the recepie to turn them into good maples.

    I will say, that if I take the time to find a maple with a good healthy root system from the start, a maple with roots that are white and healthy and fill a one gallon can, I can expect to have a good maple. When I buy a maple with weak feet from the start, I can guarantee it will trouble me. The mystery isn't so much how to grow a maple as that is really pretty easy, what it hard is how to find a good healthy clean one to grow. And what we seem to be confusing is that we cannot complicate the growing process to indefinately make up for a weak plant. If we give our maple good drainage with good aerated soil and consitent moisture with periodic low nitrogen fertilization at the right times of the year at the correct age, then it should be a snap.

    In addition to weak and diseased maples, I think you touched on the fact that we don't know much about many of the new names and how they will grow. When we buy a new unproven maple, we risk it being a bomb, a dud. It might have pretty foliage but it might not tolerate our growing conditions or climate. There is a good chance that a new unproven maple my have a shortened lifespan. There are nursery standard plants and maples that have proven the test of time-many of the others may just be novelties that we get to enjoy for a short time.

    Unfortunately, you, like many of us, will have to learn from experience. This forum can help you along some, but you have to balance you knowledge with the risk you take growing plants. I have taken a great risk in accumlating a large collection relatively quickly. In doing that, I expect loss (although I do not want it) and I realize that I will not have taken the time to find the best and cleanest--they will not live forever. That is the price I pay for buying the names not the plants.

    I hope you are able to find some enjoyment and conquer your frustrations. --Now back to the original topic.
  3. Dave Burns

    Dave Burns Member Maple Society

    Likes Received:
    Fla panhandle
    Hey Katsura I've only been tending maples about 8 yrs. and as maple folk go, that just getting started. So I'll be glad to share my beginerishness with you.
    I read somewhere that the best time to take cuttings is when you , a sharp knife,a limb are in close proximity to each other. Sounds good to me.
    So starting when the buds start swelling until fall ( except the hot part of summer), if I'm trimming a maple , and I have time, I will try to take some cuttings.
    I use a razor sharp knife , and make the final cut under water .I use any kind of soil that is handy. Nothing scientific about me , I stick um in the soil , if they leaf out , and turn green, I pot them up the next spring. I keep them in the shade the first year, and try to keep the leaves moistened
    I have had best luck with plain green maple.
    I'm probably only saving about 20-30 percent of those I try, but thats better than throwing them all on the trash heap, at least to my way of thinking.
    Airlayering late spring, early summer with green maple is allmost 100%, or close.
    Hope this helps you get started. Just jump in , nothing to lose.
    Good Luck.
  4. katsura

    katsura Active Member 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    Novato, California
    Much appreciate the kind advice and rich humor, Dave.

Share This Page