Growing Maple in The Tropic

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Abdussyukur, Sep 5, 2006.

  1. Abdussyukur

    Abdussyukur Member

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    Hi,
    I just joined this forum; this is my first posting.
    I would like to grow Japanese Maple on my garden here in Indonesia which has tropical climate. Is it possible to grow or cultivate maple trees in the tropic?
    Has it been tried before? I ve been searching for this topic without success.
    Can anybody advise me what conditions are needed for maple to grow properly.

    If you think you can help me, please do so. If you think other members don't need this advise, you can email me at: abdussyukur_m@yahoo.com

    Thank you
    Abdussyukur
     
  2. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Cannot be done at all. They need freezing temperatures (very close to or below 32 Fahr.) for months every winter and you can't duplicate that where you live.
     
  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  4. Abdussyukur

    Abdussyukur Member

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    Thank you Rima and Daniel (especially for Acer laurinum info-- I didn't realise that our land also has native Acer)
    For other maples, what if I put the pot of the tree in an air conditioned room for 3 months every year, so it would "feel" like in the northern hemisphere during winter?
     
  5. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    It has to be cold enough for it to go dormant, around the zero mark to 5oc.
     
  6. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Yes, A/C would not get anywhere close to actual freezing, but would dry out the plant horribly (A/C and plants do NOT get along!).
     
  7. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    The tree really only needs 6-8 weeks of dormancy to get by. If you could slowly introduce it do cooler temperatures and work up to near freezing for a short time to get it into dormancy then you would need to hold the temps around 40F or below to maintain it.

    Generally speaking, you could grow a japanese maple in the tropics and let it grow without the rest of dormancy. It would live for an unspecified number of years, maybe 3-6 years depeding on age before it burned itself out. At that time it would require replacement as it done here in the United States in the very warmest areas of southern Californina and Florida where the plants will oftne not go dormant.

    Yes it can be done, but do you want to go to all that trouble knowing the plant will perish? You might get a surprising number of years of enjoyment.
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Rima and mjh1676 - for those 95% of us who do not use US Imperial units, what do "32 Fahr" and "around 40F" mean?

    Please note that the poster is in Indonesia and has likely never used that scale before.
     
  9. Rima

    Rima Active Member

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    Fahrenheit is/was the temp. scale used here and in the U.S. until Canada went metric about 30 yrs ago (and if you were raised like I was with Fahr., it's hard to do off-the-top conversions quickly... I've learned kilometers and weights from necessity, but others can be harder). The U.S. has still not gone metric, and so uses Fahrenheit too. The 95% of you (who?) may not all use this forum as often as we do, so most of us do understand the old system.
     
  10. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    [GOOGLE]32F in C[/GOOGLE]

    [GOOGLE]40F in C[/GOOGLE]

    From Wikipedia:
    I grew up with Celsius, but I suppose that dates me a little.
     
  11. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Unfortunately, the Canadian government only took half measures to convert to metric. Now we have a mishmash of both metric and English systems.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    >The 95% of you (who?) may not all use this forum as often as we do, so most of us do understand the old system.<

    Exactly. When in Rome...the forum is based in Vancouver and not in Indonesia (or ne England).
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Rome uses metric measurements.
    Vancouver is in Canada; Canada uses metric measurements.
    It just seems to be the USA that wants to force the rest of the world to use its imperial stuff.
     
  14. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    My preference is for the metric system on these forums, but I'm not losing any sleep over people using what they are comfortable with - there are much larger things to worry about (endangered species and spaces, climate change, what the world will be like for those who will follow, and so on).
     
  15. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    As has been pointed out elsewhere the Imperial system is not of US origin. The only 'forcing' that is attempted in these discussions is Michael's. It would be quite easy for him to quietly use a converter if he needed to instead of the approach he chooses to take, over and over.
     
  16. neko musume

    neko musume Active Member 10 Years

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    hello abdussyukur,

    i think that if you are dead set on trying to grow a japanese maple in your climate, then by all means, you should go for it.

    unfortunately, sometimes you have to learn the hard way. in my case, it was peonies in los angeles -- quite a dismal experience.

    in my father's case, it was a red japanese maple on the leeward side of oahu -- needless to say, it was wildly unsuccessful. especially as we are 50 feet ( sorry, i don't know the distance in metrics ! ) from the ocean.

    i also think you should heed mjh's advice about life expectancy, and know that the characteristics that you are so enchanted by for any particular maple, are not likely to occur where you are living.

    i'm hoping you won't be making too costly an investment, but please let us know how it goes if you do decide to grow either a japanese maple or, as d. mosquin suggested, an acer laurinum.

    good luck ! ^_^

    n. musume
     
  17. angilbas

    angilbas Active Member

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    In Hawaii, there have been reports of success with Japanese Maple at higher elevations (1,800 meters or so). Sukabumi at 600 m would not seem to be suitable.


    -Tony
     
  18. neko musume

    neko musume Active Member 10 Years

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    growing maple in the near tropics

    hello tony,

    yes, of all the islands in the chain, hawaii, "the big island", would seem best suited for growing japanese maples.

    as you point out, in terms of elevation, there are places on hawaii that do achieve the lower temperatures, but as i've never been there, i don't know what their growing conditions are.

    sincerely,

    n. musume
     
  19. mjh1676

    mjh1676 Active Member Maple Society 10 Years

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    Honestly--and I am certainly not taking this personally, but as Rima pointed out, it is quite difficult to do coversions to Celcius in ones head and I usually do not try especially since we are rarely exosed to that measurement here. I guess when I am writing to someone who is most familiar with Celcius I should try and convert it.

    I am involved in a many forms, projects, a full-time profession, a part-time nursery, and often I am just doing a drive-by here to try to be of assistance. I never really felt I would be chastised for not wanting to take the time to open up a web-based converter to convert temperature measurements. Heck, this form is frequented by a majority of people from the United States of America and this sort of thing has never been a problem.

    When it comes down to it, I figure that if it is important enough to the person seeking and receiving my free and hopefully somewhat learned advice then they can convert if I don't take the time--which I usually do not.

    So, as Ron says--"When in Rome" and this forum is mostly people of Rome at this time so I don't figure I will go out of my way to do conversions when giving advice. If Daniel wants to make the Metric System the official system of measurement in the forum then I guess I would have to conform.

    My last thought on the actual topic in this thread is that even during the growing season maples prefer a nightime temperature drop and we can get that in the hottest areas of the country that I mentioned before. In the tropics the nightime temps often changes very little from the daytime temperatures which will create a bit more of a challenge than I indicated before, but I would think one could keep a maple alive for some amount of time, but how long would be the experiement.
     
  20. Layne Uyeno

    Layne Uyeno Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi,

    I'd guess that if the night time temps drops between 50 and 45 degrees fahrenheit your tree should go dormant. Here in Los Angeles, CA, USA day time temps can get into the high 70s (fahrenheit) and the night time temps will drop into the mid to low 40s for about 2 to 3 months. This is enough to get the tree to go dormant.

    I use this site for metric converions all the time and it's very easy to use.

    http://www.sciencemadesimple.com/conversions.html

    My father said his friend tried to grow a red Japanese maple in Honolulu, HI and the tree never put out any tertiary branches. It remained a trunk with leaves until it died. Tony confirms what I've been thinking for a long while now that maples grown at the higher elevations on the islands of Hawaii (aka, Big Island) and Maui would do quite well. This speaks to the microclimate issue and how general advice can not always be given. A person's microclimate must be taken into consideration.

    If you have access to a large refridgerator (not neccessarily a freezer) you could place the tree in there during the evenings while keeping the tree in part shade during the day. It sounds laughable, but that might work. You could even build a small shed and pump refridgerated air into it. Like MJH said you only need to do this for about a month or two. BTW, MJH I think Ron B was referring to MichaelF in his last post.

    MichaelF, MJH's and Rima's (and my) use of Imperial units isn't meant as inconsideration for the rest of the metric using forum members and to imply we're forcing the rest of the world to comply was rather rude. When I mention the soil I use comes in 12 quart bags am I supposed to convert that to metric when I post here? If I mention that I bought a 1 gal. watering can do I have to convert that to liters here? No. This issue is a non-issue and should never have even been raised. There are any number of online conversion sites and it takes only a few seconds to do it.

    Sorry Daniel I digress....

    Layne
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2006
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    >This issue is a non-issue and should never have even been raised.<

    Exactly.

    Maple probably needs minimum number of nights below 40 degrees F. to fulfill dormancy, this is a general situation with cold climate trees that have dormancy requirements (in the case of orchard fruits referred to as 'chilling hours' and varying in number with cultivar). Hawaii and Maui have towering peaks with actual subalpine barrens, Kula district of Maui known for production of cool climate crops.
     
  22. shelli

    shelli Active Member

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    roughly speaking, 32 F = 0 C

    formulas:

    Fahrenheit to Celsius: C=(F-32) / 1.8
    Celsius to Fahrenheit: F=Cx1.8+32

    I bought a thermometer with Fahrenheit on one side of the mercury and Celsius on the other. Now if you can find a thermometer with mercury in it these days... good luck! :-)
     
  23. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

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    I'd certainly be delighted to be able to grow A. laurinum! I wonder if A. fabri, the related A. laevigatum, or even A. calcaratum which apparently grows in Myanmar might not do the trick.

    As for what units (of temperature) I think we can figure it out, generally. :)

    A trick I learned when I first moved to France is that in the temperate range the formula
    F = 2*C + 30 and its inverse works quite well, and can be done quickly in one's head.

    -E
     

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