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Discussion in 'Maples' started by LoverOfMaples, Feb 7, 2022.
The problem with fertilizing Acer seedlings in the first year is that they put on too much soft growth, which doesn't get a chance to ripen properly before the end of the season. (If they make it that far at all, it can sometimes just cause them to damp off). This soft growth can (and here, does) die back over winter or during early spring, introducing fungus or bacteria into the small plant, which isn't strong enough to resist it.
Like Alain, I give a little osmocote (but a very little) just to encourage them, in the repot of year 2. If they're really slow, I might give them a little liquid seaweed boost in the spring of year 2, since they won't be repotted until the following year anyway.
OK, these were seeds that I got in December 2019 (UBC), but I hope you won't mind.
The two on the right were first labelled Acer oliverianum ssp. formosana. Now, they're Acer serrulatum (much shorter to write). I also put photos of last year (05/09/11) : they actually look a lot like Acer palmatum :
The one on the left is supposed to be Acer oliverianum. At first, I was surprised and I had a doubt because the leaflets were very thin compared to what I had seen on the web. But it seems they're "fattening" a bit as the tree grows (March 21st, April 21st, and today) :
These are all the seedlings that have grown from the seeds I sowed in these trays in mid-November 2021
I wanted to pot them earlier but wasn't able to. In the end, they are easy to pick out of the tray and put into pots.
However, it takes forever! Making the pot soil, mixing, pricking the seedlings, putting in pot etc :-)
In the end, I've so far done only between 1/2 and 3/4 or the top left tray... which for now give me the following pots (they're 7cm pots)
Amongst all the seedlings, I've found one that I really like! It's a bit white/pink variegated and a bit of weird shape. I wonder if this one will survive,
I now need to order more pots :-)
I didn't have quite such a good crop of Nomura seedlings this year but the regular palmatum have pretty much all germinated again.
Better than me Chris, I sowed whole tray of Acer pictum ssp. mono Now known only as Acer mono and not one has come up.
Some years you win others you.... well you get my point. Lol
Those Nomura seedlings look nice, not a huge number of them but everyone always wants red palmatums (or better yet, amoenums; I can't remember which Nomura is). You'll make a dozen or so friends happy in a couple of years!
They may well come up next year. Minor correction, A. pictum ssp. mono is correct. Although a lot of botanists preferred A. mono, suspecting that the initial, earlier report of A. pictum was actually Kalopanax, the pictum name was given precedence. I guess this was around 25 years ago now, but you still hear plenty of references to A. mono, in part because the entire A. pictum complex is rather poorly understood.
I didn't do a lot of seedlings this year, and I haven't had great success either. I picked a bumch of A. schneiderianum, but knew I was quite late; I had picked for others earlier, that I expect will be more successful. I have a few up, will probably get more next year from this batch. I rec'd a batch of serrulatum from Taiwan, but the seed was very old and hasn't germinated at all. I was given a few apparently authentic (I hope!) A. henryi -- almost impossible to source a real one, they are all cissifolium -- and have one little seedling. My best success was the most unexpected: @LoverOfMaples surprised me with a bag of A. floridanum from the Arnold. I have very good germination with these and can't wait to see what they look like! Once again, thanks so much D.
One reason I held back on the seed was, aside from having a huge amount from last year, another friend sent me a huge selection of tiny seedlings; only a few maples in the lot, but some great stuff otherwise, like the collection of Rowans in the 3rd picture. I really love Rowans and some of these are very rare, to boot. So getting them all potted and cared for took a lot of time.
The first picture is also a 2022 seedling, an adventurous sycamore I saw yesterday while up in a cherry tree. Can't be very good for the cherry, but I'll leave it anyway...
No problem E. I'm glad you had great success.
I'd just say : Wow !
What do you do with all the "extra" ones ? I can't make the decision to let them die, and my friends now say "Er, no, thanks, I don't have any more room..."
I have no idea yet! :( It takes forever to pot them up, and I am not sure I would have space for all of them! I didn't think I would get that many, with no much effort (soaking in water, putting in tray outside over winter and that's it)!
It's a shame I'll have to wait probably 2 more years?, but I want to try grafting, but even those from last year are still too young it seems for trying it.. oh well, I'll learn patience :-D
But yes, friends are not that bothered yet as those maples are too small :-) sure you can't really plant them in a garden at this stage ;)
I've learned a few "lessons" this year:
1. There's no need to remove the wings. I had two trays full of seeds with wings, and other trays where I cut the wings (took ages)! It made no difference. So next time, I'll leave the wings :)
2. Extremely good germination rate with the seeds of basic Acer Palmatums (green & atropurporeum)
3. the seeds from an Osakazuki, Nicholsonii et some other fancy ones barely germinated at all
4. Not a great yield with the seeds from disectums
5. I had a few acer griseum seeds, none have germinated so far. Quite disappointed
That's an interesting journey!
Right, yes, aye...
Don't blame yourself, they're very hard to germinate. Have a look at this thread :
Most efficient, fast way to germinate maple seeds?
If you have a spot you can leave the tray for another year it may be worth just leaving it to sit out again. It can take a couple of years apparently for the natural stratification cycle to trigger Griseum germination!
This is a great idea! I'll keep them, and see what happens next year. I'd like to have at least one of those