Transplanting maples in Autumn/ Spring

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Acerholic, Oct 10, 2020.

  1. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good morning, I have in the past few minutes had a PM request fom J @zfrittz to start a new thread on how everyone transplants their maples in the Autumn or Spring. To include preparation of pots, medium used, root pruning and any other comments on this. I know there are some excellent processes out there.
    I will leave it open and not add my procedure atm. But will post this later.
    Hope everyone contributes, as it could be very useful for new owners of maples. ( J @zfrittz words not mine). An excellent idea by J .
     
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  2. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Ok,I'll start with a method I now use for smaller maples which kinda goes against the grain.
    In my area I used to have a large number of fatalities due to our late winter/spring rainfall when growing new grafts up to say a 2-3 litre size.
    I used to use the commonly used 50% bark/compost mix but this was tedious having to chop the bark etc.
    Now I just use compost,put a layer at the bottom,rest the plant on top and fill around the rootball.However I do not compact the compost in any way,just a slap to the sides of the pot.I then water gently for it's first watering so as not to compact the compost and that's it.Once it's dried out a bit it doesn't suddenly collapse and as the roots grow holds it's volume quite well.
    Over the course of a season or two the whole lot does sink down as you'd expect but this is when they would need re-potting anyway.Sometimes the level has sunk enough to repot into the same pot again.
    For me this has worked just as well as any method I've used before with no fatalities but does require a rootball (not bare-rooted) and a gradual increase in pot size to prevent rocking in the wind.
    I'd still recommend a more 'complicated' mixture for larger plants as they'd rock too much but for potting large no.s of small maples,this is what I now do.
     
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  3. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Houzi , isn't it funny J how we all have our methods and mostly every one works. There are some who have very secretive mixtures, but I think that is a bit silly tbh.
    The one thing I hope with this thread after discussing with J zfritz is that people can view the postings and work out what is right for them from the information given.
    'NO RIGHTS OR WRONGS', just what we all do over the years that works for us.
     
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  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    OK, this is my method carried out in September/October.
    1. All pots are sterilised by way of a thorough wash with water and a cap full of Bleech. This ensures no diseases are spread.
    2. My pots are then stored ready to take any new maple.
    3. The size of the pot used is totally dependent on what is to be transplanted, ie I only use the very next size up every time.
    4. Do I place a crock in the bottom to stop the compost draining out ever time I water, the answer is Yes.
    5. Checking the maple I think is ready to be transplanted. Can I see the roots coming out of tbe bottom of the pot !!? If yes then it's ready to be moved up to the next size. ( I usually know tbh, as they normally need a repot every two years). I keep a calender for this Lol.
    6. Preparing my mix, this is put together on my potting bench before I remove any maple from it's old pot.
    7. My mix, shhhh keep this a secret !!!!! Lol. No really, it is a simple to do mixture. I use John Innes no2 or 3 compost depending on the age of the maple, Horticultural potting bark, Horticultural potting grit and Peat. So that's 50% compost, 20%, bark, 20% grit and 10% peat.
    8. Additives, yes I use an additive, it's Mycorrhizal to aid root growth. This is dusted over the root ball before potting up.
    9. How deep in my pots !!? well I ensure that there is enough medium at the bottom for the root flare to be noticeable near the top of the inside rim of the pot. There will be sinkage over the next two years but this allows for this.
    10. Trimming the roots. I trim all exessive roots before planting and lossen any compacted soil. This is also a good time to check for larvae and root rot etc.
    11. Repotting, I place the maple in the center of the pot and backfill around the roots and give it a light bang on my shelve to ensure the medium is nicely around all the roots.
    12. Water thoroughly and re label. So many trees have unreadable or lost labels, so this is a good time to do this.
    13. I place my newly potted maples in a covered protected area away from full sun, 'even at this time of the year' and leave them alone.
    14. Watering over the Winter, this is done by feel, ie the weight of the pot. It does not take long to realise when a maple needs some water. But I hardly give them anything as they are going into dormancy. A gradual increase in Spring is all they need. And I really mean gradual. Overwatering is a killer to young maples.
    15. Look forward to seeing them leaf out in the Spring and the joy this brings.

    So this is what I do, others will be different, but it works for me.

    Just a footnote, I do not like to trim the tops of my young maples, ie under 3 years. But I will tidy the tops on my older trees in February.
    All dead,diseased or dying I remove at any time of the year.

    Hope I've done what J @zfrittz was hoping for.
     
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  5. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    Well that's a full on description D...have to absorb that thanks.
    Just a thing to think about wrt 'rootgrow'....Whilst some people swear they see improvements using it in pots,I queried this when we had a training session from the manufacturers.Did you know you need a different fungi for Rhodies,Azaleas&Camelias...nothing to do with the acid soil,just they won't be accepted by these plants.Also it's no use with Brassicas as they have inbuilt fungus inhibitors.
    Anyway I put it to them that you don't get something for nothing in this world and that the fungus may consume nutrients you intended to go to the plant.They said whilst it'll do absolutely no harm using it,if the plant is being fed properly there's probably little benefit using it in a container....ya pays ya money and takes ya choice :)
     
  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Houzi, I have tried with and without and after two years I have found a better root ball with. But that is very interesting about if to use it or not in pots as there maybe no benefits. I would say if you have some then try it out with a 2 year experiment next to a pot without. Nothing to lose !!! I don't feed my small pots but do add a slow release pellet in the Spring to larger and older trees.
    Regarding the type, I should have said I do use the Mycorrhizal for 'acidic' plants. Thanks for highlighting the omission in the text.
     
  7. zfrittz

    zfrittz Well-Known Member

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    @Houzi, @Acerholic, thanks for sharing.
    For the transplant of a nursery maple, in which I have a special interest, I will explain how I do it.
    I always transplant in early spring, when the shoots are about to come out.
    The flower pot-
    To do this I prepare the pot by making several drainage holes of about 4 cm. in diameter, in which I place a grid of 0.5 cm x 0.5 cm.
    Drain-
    For drainage I place a first layer of volcanic stone about 3 cm. thick, which will allow the water to pass to the bottom very quickly.
    Then I put another layer of pine bark 1.5 cm to 2 cm thick that covers the volcanic rock.
    And then a third layer covering the previous ones, made with pine bark 1 cm thick and akadama in equal parts. This would be the bottom to ensure good drainage.
    Plant-
    When I have the above prepared, it is time to prepare the plant.
    To do this, I let the root ball dry enough, then I take it out of the pot and shake off all the earth that I can, trying not to break roots.
    Then in a large pot with water I wash the roots completely until there is no dirt left.
    Already seeing the structure of the roots, this is when I decide which roots I am going to cut, trying to cut very high roots, very low and those that are very rolled, I always try to leave a base of radial roots, that is, horizontal and same level, flat, as if it were the wheel of a cart.
    The plantation-
    Then I put more akadama in the pot, making a mound in the center, I place the maple on top and push it down until it stands on its own, then I add more akadama to cover the roots, with about 2 cm of akadama , and with a bamboo stick I introduce the akadama between the roots so that there are no air pockets;
    When the tree has grown and established, I remove that last layer until the roots are seen.
    Irrigation-
    To reduce transplant shock and promote new root growth, I use 3 ml. of GRO-ROOT (IBA 0.50% NAA 0.25) in 4 liters of water and with this mixture I water until the water comes out clean and carries away all the dust.
    Then I make two applications every 15 days to water using 1.5 ml for every 4 liters of water.
    This causes an explosive growth of the root.

    I have used mycorrhizae a few times but I have not noticed a difference in not using them, I am not sure if the ones I have used were the correct ones, however with GRO-ROOT there is enough difference.
    I hope it helps, we each have our own way of planting and I think that if something suits you, it is better not to make too drastic changes, just add some details and try.
    When I do a transplant I will post photos and I encourage you to post photos of your transplants.
    Greetings.
     
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  8. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @zfrittz excellent and detailed as always J. Gro - Root I have found is very good also. Glad to hear you have positive results with it as well.
    This has the makings of an excellent thread for new and old growers alike. Great idea by you.
     
  9. Houzi

    Houzi Active Member 10 Years

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    D...The 'Rootgrow' most places stock is Mycorrhizal fungus.It's no good for the plants I mentioned.They do produce the other type for those plants but I can't remember if it's another type of Mycorrhizal or something else. I've never seen anyone selling it at garden centres.We've never stocked it..guess it's a demand thing.
    That's certainly a lot of care&effort you & zfrittz are putting into your repotting.You certainly deserve the wonderful results you're getting.
    Glad to see both you zfrittz&Acerholic are doing all your work when not completely dormant,quite contrary to advice often put out on the interweb.I just think it's too risky these days with the mild winters letting bacteria etc. rip thru plants unchallenged.
    I think I'll be doing my work in spring this time,got too much other stuff to sort out though I've usually done it now....good luck with yet another MEGA thread :)
     
  10. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Houzi this is the one I use J.
    Google Image Result for https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51AsCigwqvL._AC_.jpg
    Thanks for the comment on the thread, it was J zfritz idea not mine.
    Yes we all have our methods that work for us. The reason I carry out in September and October is that the medium is still warm enough for the roots to establish a little before full dormancy. But I have friends who have also been successful in Spring as you have.
    Is there a right way !!!!??? And if it works for the individual then everyone should continue with success IMO.
    But hopefully new growers will get an idea from enthusiasts on here and make an informed decision.
     
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  11. zfrittz

    zfrittz Well-Known Member

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    I believe that a transplant that does not need a very drastic pruning of roots, that is, if we are only going to untangle them and cut the longest ones a little to open the root ball and settle it in its new pot, as long as it has good soil, the transplant will You can do a little before you throw the leaf, in the fall, and you will have no problem recovering.

    But when you have to wash the earth root ball and carry out a great root pruning, I think it is much better in spring when the shoots are about to open, since the force accumulated in the tree will cause the wounds to heal very Quick.
    This is the root stimulator that I use, although I have not been able to find it here in Spain for a long time and in the end I am doing it with
    Indole-3-butyric ............................................. .. 0.85%
    Naphthalene Acetic Acid (NAA) ...................... 0.20%
    Kinetin ................................................. .......... 0.15%
     

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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2020
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  12. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @zfrittz good morning J and if there is anyone on this forum that knows about roots 'its you'. Interesting post. Thankyou.
     
  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    As promised after a couple of PM's last night, here are photos I just took to show what I use for my maples in pots. The percentage I use I listed on a previous thread. Hope this helps.
     

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  14. zfrittz

    zfrittz Well-Known Member

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    Here are my materials:
     

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  15. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @zfrittz I've never used volcanic rock before J , are you using this as a base or mixed with the other ingredients ?
     
  16. zfrittz

    zfrittz Well-Known Member

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    This is what I use as the first layer of drainage at the bottom of the pot, in trees that are special to me and I don't want to take any risks.
    In normal transplants I also use it as a background, but mixed with expanded clay also called, arlite, ripiolite, Agroclay, Leca Hydro etc.
    I also use it mixed in the substrate when I want to give it extra drainage and it also weighs very little due to its great porosity.
    It is very good to mix with any substrate.
    Another advantage is very cheap.
     
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  17. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @zfrittz thankyou for that J, I will definitely give it a try as a base and a mix. I see why it is for special trees as it's very expensive.
     
  18. zfrittz

    zfrittz Well-Known Member

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    It is not expensive, it is very cheap, the problem is that many times I cannot find it in small bags around here, what if there is is in large bags of 180 kg at a price of € 62, but for a few pots for me it is a lot quantity.
     
  19. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @zfrittz yes buying in bulk is always the better option. That is where local groups of enthusiasts who get together and purchase large amounts and then share it out works best.
     

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