What is 'normal' when losing maples

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Gomero, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Viet,


    "I have 5 of them in the permanent location and they are doing great."

    Which trees have done well using your technique?

    Usually I do not make a giant transition like 4" to 5 gal. I did do it with 'Oridono nishiki.' It has grown more lushly than any other tree I care for. I thought the more vigorous cultivars take advantage of the space because of their robust nature. Same experience with 'Matsugae.'
     
  2. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Gil,

    My standard repotting process is to move up from a 1 gallon to a 2, then a 3 and finally a 5 or larger. As I have a bad back and I am no longer a spring chicken I don't grow them up to 15 gallons. Fall is my blow out time for larger specimens.

    Many, many years ago I thought I would skip the 2 gallon and go from a 1 to a 3. This was before using mycorrhizae which might change my mind, but at that time the maples did not flourish in the larger container. They seemed to be drowning even with holes in the container the amount of water retained in the pot never really allowed the root system to become drier as needed for healthy maples. So I stopped and went back to my 1, 2, 3s. I now think it was the wet weather we have in the Northwest because I have heard from other maple growers that they too go from a 1 gallon to a 5 and all is well.

    This is a good thread and if I wasn't shipping 1 and 2 gallons I would skip the 2 and go to a larger container. With the mycorrhizae it would be an interesting experiment. Sam
     
  3. Viet922

    Viet922 Member

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    All of my maples have done well so far and I haven't seen water clogging in the pot.
    The land that I use for "maple nursery" is heavily amended with top soil, mulch, etc.
    i guess you could transfer them to 1 gal and gradually move up to 5 or 10gals. But that is very time consuming and I plan to have at least 100 Japanese cultivars in my garden.
     
  4. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi viet, Sounds like what you are doing with your maples is working. Right soil, right amount of water, etc. If it isn't broken, don't fix it - as the saying goes. Sam
     
  5. emery

    emery Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I think though that one thing this thread shows is that "what is right" is really dependent on local conditions. Where Sam is, or where I am, gets way too much rain to pot small maples into much larger containers. Heck, I sometimes stick my potted maples inside during the winter just to let them dry out!

    -E
     
  6. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Agree with your observation Emery. Viet is close to me, we get less than an inch of rain a week in these parts and it is fairly evenly distributed through the seasons. We get a deluge every so often (now). My pots get watered from May to October-November.
     
  7. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    I never quite understood the logic behind this widely held practice. Of course I understand that when the pot is root bound you either move up in size or root prune. But here the advice is that you should not jump 2 or 3 sizes.

    If drainage is the reason, water logging may occur in any pot if the mix does not drain well enough for the local conditions. A few seconds after you start watering a container, all pores are filled with water, displacing the air from the pores. Drainage occurs through the holes at the bottom of the container. After you stop watering, drainage continues and the wet profile slowly moves downward while air moves inside the pores at the top. After drainage has stopped, the lower part of the mix remains saturated with water. The height of this saturation layer is not determined by the number and size of the drainage holes. Saturation is determined by the pore sizes of the mix, which is determined by particle size or texture. A pot filled with a coarse mix (with large pores) will have a smaller saturation zone than a pot filled with a fine (smaller pores) mix. Now, suppose we fill different-sized containers with the same hypothetical growing mix and irrigate all of them. After drainage, all pots will have a saturation zone which is practically of the same height in all containers because it is a function of the size of the pores in the growing mix. However you should note that the saturation zone would be a small fraction of the height of a large container and a significant fraction for the smaller pots. Thus in smaller pots the saturation zone represents a higher percentage of total volume that in larger pots. This also means that a broad shallow pot will retain more water than a tall narrow pot of the same volume.

    A first conclusion would be that to have the smallest relative volume for the saturation zone, it is best to choose large, tall, narrow containers.

    However there is the additional, very important, consideration of what happens to the water that remains in the saturation zone. This water is either absorbed by the roots, lost by evaporation or sits there and, eventually creates anaerobic conditions at the bottom of the pot.

    This means, second conclusion, that to get rid of the water in the saturation zone the roots need to get there which means a small, short, wide container. Just the opposite above!!!

    Right choice is probably given by local climate, watering schedules, etc.

    Gomero
     
    Jaybee63 likes this.
  8. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Gomero,

    It does seem like if you use a very porous/fast draining mixture moving from 1 to 5 gal would work fine. I haven't done it much with maples but with Magnolias plants moved into 5's from 1 gal fill the pot nicely in a season. With Maples even if it takes longer than a season it seems like you'd be ahead of the game by avoiding the disturbance caused in potting/pruning. Do you usually make big size jumps like Viet?

    In Viet's case it seems like capillary action is maintaining decent drainage.
     
  9. Maple_Lady

    Maple_Lady Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Gomero,

    Wow, you are knowledgeable about this stuff. Are you a professor or a botanist? I should ask Jim - Mr. Shep the same question. With input like yours I learn alot and I can reconsider my choices.

    But, right now I only know what works best for me. Two years ago we had 30 straight days of rain and I was worried about root rot. Some cultivars are more forgiving of wet conditions, but some like Geisha will either stop growing or die.
     
  10. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Neither, ;-)), my field of activity is Electronics.

    As has been stated several times, local conditions make a big difference. In my area rain is a problem but due to the lack of it ;-)), therefore I am much less concerned by the size of the saturation zone since it (the water there) has time to be either absorbed by the roots (if they get there) or by evaporation. I do not follow any particular routine, I repot freely on whatever pot size I decide the plant should go. For example I love the oak half wine barrels which are about 16 gallons (or 60 litres), well I normally go from 1 gal direct to 16 gal.

    Gomero
     
  11. lhuget

    lhuget Active Member

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    WHEW! Thank you Gomero! This is a great thread for me to learn but I've been thinking there is no way that I can even start with a pot less than 5 gallons due to my dry conditions. Mo matter what mix I use there is going to be alot of evaporation. Good to know you have success potting up in leaps and bounds.

    Les
     
  12. xman

    xman Active Member

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    One thing I noticed in my soil mix was that even though it was fast draining, I did not have to water it frequently. I would have to water only once a week or may be twice a week in the heat of summer. I guess fast draining and fast drying out are two different things. I guessing that since I use a decent amount of turface and expanded shale, two components that are supposed to soak in a lot of water and then release them the soil does not dry out.
    I have hooked drip irrigation to all my containers, and since the soil is fast draining, I do not worry about overwatering (i.e the soil being soaking wet).

    xman
     
  13. Poetry to Burn

    Poetry to Burn Active Member

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    Anyone have updates on losses this past winter?

    Our temps (S.E. PA/S. NJ) didn't get really low this winter. We had short intervals below 10F and probably a few weeks where it dropped into the teens, mostly at night. Most of the season was mild. There was no snow.

    About half of the maples have leaves right now, the rest are swelling their buds on slightly different timetables. I don't think I killed anything this year!

    Katsura leads the pack
     

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  14. ashizuru

    ashizuru Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi,
    I am pleased to say that in my potted trees that there have been no losses this winter, which to has been relatively mild here in Lincolnshire, except for the spell we had up to and including Easter, my first tree to leaf out, has been Acer cratagifolium, although Acer little princess, has been a close second.
    However, I do have a Virdis in my front garden, which has suffered die back since late fall, but I have been treating it with EM these last few weeks, and I seem to have stop its decline as it is starting to leaf out well now.

    Ashizuru.........
     
  15. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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    well, still at 2/10 lost (both munched on by wabbits or deer), but I might amend that. One waterfall seems to be clinging to life with a few buds (and literally 2 branches) remaining. None have leafed out yet here in St. Louis...
     
  16. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Ashizuru,

    I am also using EM but I just can't tell whether or not it makes a difference.

    Gomero
     
  17. whis4ey

    whis4ey Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    EM?????
    Do you guys realise there are people reading these forums who haven't a clue what you are talking about? Including me? .... :)
     
  18. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Sorry Sam,

    A quick Web search will yield many hits. Here is a link you may find useful
    http://www.effectivemicro-organisms.co.uk/

    Gomero
     
  19. paxi

    paxi Active Member

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  20. Dick van der Maat

    Dick van der Maat Member Maple Society

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  21. ashizuru

    ashizuru Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Hi Gomero,

    I am using my own EM made in my yogurt maker, and diluted 1000 to 1, I spray all my trees with that solution, once a fortnight. I also have running 2 number Bokashi Buckets, I use the drain of liquid diluted 100 to 1 with rain water, to water all my trees, in pots and also the ones in the ground, which I do once a week or as required.

    The Bokashi compost from the bucket, after keeping it for 14 days, once it is full, I add to my garden, and compost heap, or as the situation demands. A good example is my runner bean trench.

    I have been using it for about 6 weeks now, and can see the benefits in my plants already,I have also treated my lawn with it, now you can really see the difference there, any thing I'm not sure about I ask Dick!

    If I can help you with any thing don't hesitate to ask.

    Ashizuru......
     
  22. Acer palmatum 'Crazy'

    Acer palmatum 'Crazy' Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Gomero,
    I found your comments about the satuaration zone interesting.
    I recently started switching to what is commonly called here in the states 'Azaela Pots'. Basically wider than deep.

    I started the switch over last spring, and continuing as i repot.
    I do try and keep a very free draining mix, plus we had a 100 year drought last year, so moisture retention was not my concern last year, LOL.

    I was on water restrictions from June til Dec. Only 2 hrs Saturday morning. So Basically i gave each pot a full 10-20 seconds of full water, filling the pot to the rim, and then moving on. Bascially i had no water from mother nature from July on til Oct.

    Everyone did fine. During a 2 week spell in late July we had temps from 100-105 and nor rain for over 14 straight days. I did have some drop leaves, but they leafed back out in August.

    The bad thing is, the summer was not the worst, LOL. We had a temperature drop to 20degF after most had leafed out for more than a month. I lost ~20 from the freeze. Basically you could see where the sap got frozen. I had long black marks up and down the bark of the ones that expired. Bascially anything i couldnt protect in my greenhouse, did not do well. It took about 4 hours to move my 250 pots inside. Out of the ones i had planted out, i propably lost 20/40. The remaing 20 had severe dieback. And then a few for some reason survived quite well.

    I will continue to update and evaluate my wider pots. Basically from 4in, i transfer to just under a gallon with a pot 5"h x 8"w. then my next size up is generally 6"h x 10 or 12" w. Depending on the roots and the height of the tree. One benefit is the wider pot also tends to keep from tipping over as much.

    Mike
     
  23. alex66

    alex66 Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mike please ,write the cultivar that survived quite well...Tanks
    Alessandro
     
  24. richardbeasley@comcast.net

    richardbeasley@comcast.net Active Member Maple Society

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    Re: What is I am a regular maple assassin

    I lose maybe one in eight. I have one now that may have dried out too much, how long does it take to for the leaves to rebound after watering it?
     
  25. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Mike,

    I am sorry to hear about your losses due to the freeze. 20°F (= -6.6°C) is a killer temp for maples that have leafed out. In the GardenWeb maple forum last year there was a lot of information on the subject from people all over the country who were hit by the killer frosts of April. (For Alex) there was plenty of information on cultivars which did well and which did not. But there was no clear pattern since cultivars that did well in one place were killed in another.

    On pots, in addition to the physics (saturation zone and the like), there is aesthetics and, in my case, I pay more attention to the second than the first. There are maples that look best in a wide pot while others, like the weeping dissectums, in tall cylindrical ones.

    Gomero
     

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