growth rate

Discussion in 'Maples' started by bigjohn33, May 18, 2011.

  1. bigjohn33

    bigjohn33 Active Member

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    france (gironde)
    hi
    i was wondering about the factors impacting growth rate of our JM
    Like many of us, i use a very litte fertilizer (osmocote slow release) even if my soil is poor (acid sandy soil) and the growth rate is vey different between the maples

    And now, i believe that age is the main factor
    The older the maple, the quickest growth rate
    DO you agree with this result ?
    Can you share your experience ?
    I d like my maples to grow a bit faster, but they look disgracious and unbalanced when at the beginning of my passion i gave them too much fertilizer
    Thanks for all !
     
  2. Gomero

    Gomero Well-Known Member Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    1,382
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    Southwest France
    Hi Bigjohn33,

    I can tell you what, based in my experience, determines growth rate for palmatum/japonicum/shirasawanum cultivars (and in general for all grafted maples) in order of importance:

    1) Chance
    2) Quality of scion used
    3) Quality/type of understock used
    4) Fertilizer

    I have not found that age, beyond the 1st year, plays an important role.
    Seedlings are a different story: you delete points 2) and 3)

    Gomero
     
  3. bigjohn33

    bigjohn33 Active Member

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    france (gironde)
    thx for this first answer
    what about watering ?
    do you think you can accelerate the growth rate with more watering but with the same low amount of fertiliser ?
    thx again
     
  4. maf

    maf Generous Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    2,009
    Likes Received:
    1,518
    Location:
    Northamptonshire, England
    That would depend if lack of water was the limiting factor on growth or not. Certainly if there is a drought the maple in question may slow down it's growth or even stop growing temporarily, but if one were to artificially irrigate the same plant then the growth should continue unchecked. The risk of watering your maples too much is that the roots may develop more shallowly than they would otherwise which may not be ideal from a long term point of view.

    Some cultivars will obviously grow faster than others, it is simply in their genetic make up to do so. But one should not underestimate the importance of the rootstock; in fruit tree growing the same scion can be grafted onto one standardised rootstock and grow to 1m high or be grafted onto another and grow to 10m. Japanese maples are generally grafted onto strong growing rootstock, so that they can be grown to saleable size quickly, but to my knowledge there is no standardisation of rootstock and one example of the same scion wood could grow much quicker than another, depending on the random chance of which rootstock it was grafted on to.
     
  5. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Beaverton, Oregon
    Aside from the first year or two, I think they grow a bit more vigorous when young, pertaining to elongation.

    Personally, I avoid fertilizer like the plague if there are no identifiable nutrient deficiencies that are outstanding. Some fertilizers seem to alter the natural characteristics unless the doses are miniscule.

    I tend to under-water a little bit, keeping the soil barely moist.
     
  6. emery

    emery Renowned Contributor Maple Society 10 Years

    Messages:
    3,154
    Likes Received:
    2,598
    Location:
    Normandie, France
    I find Gomero's list is about what I would have said, although hard to know which of 2) or 3) is more important, and I'm guessing "chance" has something to do with local conditions (one spot vs another). And of course in gardening in general, there are some plants that thrive and others, for reasons that are seldom clear, just don't. (Someone said "Plants are like children...")

    I suspect seeing accelerated growth in larger plants is more a question of them getting their roots established in the landscape (or pot I suppose) so that they need more foliage to balance and grow faster generally.

    I don't use more fertilizer than you, a little slow release osmocote or algae based powder product spread on the surface. I sometimes give young grafts or seedlings in pots a little juice of very diluted (10/1) liquid citrus feed. I once tried that blue nitrogen from the Orcal, and nicknamed it "The Blue Death..." :/ Oh, and sequestrine equivalent where the very heavy soil seems to cause some chlorosis on a few maples.

    Maples in my landscape get what water they get naturally, because the garden is too large to water except the first year after planting. I have found that some maples simply stop, put out a few leaves but no long stems at all. This is probably due to lack of water, if I take them out and put them in pots (which get regular water) they start to put on growth.

    I also feel that understock quality is vitally important and underestimated. Maf, I think the reason that growers use vigorous understock is because it is the cheapest to produce quickly. But I also guess that many pay no heed at all to the tenderness or bark-toughness of the stock, which is why I've had understock die in the cold where the graft lived (for a while) or the understock much more susceptible to bacterial infection. (We know for example that Sango kaku germinates like mad and produces many vigorous seedlings, but is there any parent worse for the robustness of the bark?)

    Plants from certain producers establish themselves quickly in my garden (generally) and put on a lot of growth, while those from others sit there for years without budging.

    For seedlings, of course there are simply different growth rates to some extent.

    -E
     

Share This Page