Thread: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

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  1. #31
    Oak
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Knoxville,Tn
    Posts
    356

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Does look like a silver maple, I didn't know they grew that far north as they are almost an invasive here. Since they are native they can invade all they want!! Ayy Whaat?

  2. #32
    Seedling
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    New Berlin, WI
    Posts
    31

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Thank you. I read your responses and immediately placed the tree in the fridge for replacement into the hole tomorrow. The pot never really got all that warm, so it should be ok. Somehow soil seems to have an increadible capacity to resist changes in temperature... and I thought that water is better in this field

    So now I'm much happier about the fate of my tree, but there's still something worrying me: what about the apical bud? Will there be a new one coming from underneath the soil, or will there be many lateral buds coming from... somewhere? I'd like to think that it'll end up with one strong trunk again (sprouting from the trunk... sideways??) and not end up like a bush or something because of one friggin' rabbit. Sometimes I wish that they made automatic machine sentries like in Perfect Dark that would target any threat that came anywhere near my tree.

    Thanks again for the help.

  3. #33

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    A important thing to remember since the tree has been in the pot for so long is to cut any circling roots or try to untangle them etc. before you plant (but there will likely be some circling roots inside the root ball also that will need to be cut).

    Why it's bad for a tree:
    http://www.tlcfortrees.info/mulching_staking.htm
    http://www.extension.umn.edu/distrib...es/DD7501.html
    http://www.umass.edu/urbantree/facts...lingroots.html
    http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1139.html

  4. #34
    Oak
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now
    Posts
    548

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Silvers have very vigorous roots, so just keep it potted for now - stick whole pot in ground, and when temps start to warm, remove pot, cut back looong encircling roots (as treeman is saying) and cut 'em back fearlessly (don't worry, OK?). The other roots will be plenty able to take over the job once you place back in ground - and kinda spread roots out evenly and such, but you do not have to get super-technical with it.

    The tree will resprout from base of trunk most likely, and probably with more than one sprout - normal for maples. Let 'em all grow for this season for better root establishment - ignore the fear of it becoming a bush as it won't even if it looks as such this next growing season. Then, after next year's growth, come Spring (again), you can start cutting the lower less vigorous stuff off to 'shape' if so desired. You will see one of the sprouts becoming 'more dominant' (thicker/faster-of-height) during next growing season most likely, and that is the one to keep/focus on *after* roots are well-set from free-growth (!!!). If any/all sprouts seem to be looking bushy, that's OK...tree *will* do as it is programmed eventually - one limb will become more vertical and fill in at the crotch of the branch and over time you will not even be able to tell that tree has been 'chopped', but it takes at least a few years for full 'recovery'. And by leaving multiple limbs through next winter, any rabbit/rodentia damage will be a lot more tolerable, and they'll go for the weaker and smaller of the limbs most likely Its what happens naturally, and better to stick with Nature's ways than to force a young tree to try and act old. All that make sense? It will likely 'bush' this next year, but not for very long when many years of growth are figured in... A note - folks see lots of maple bonsai with single trunks and such, but what they do not usually see is those trees 'in-training' before being displayed. There's *always* a lot of lower branches that are kept on tree for thickening of trunk and to get tree/roots much more vigorous -> ie a bushy-looking young tree grows much better/healthier, and is meant to be that way in certain situations Only when tree is close to 'final design' are the bushy limbs removed to give shaped. I tell you this so you do not think that your very-young maple should look like an adult tree, OK?

    Ferts (so you don't have to ask) ->if ground is even mildly fertile, don't add anything to soil other than some bark mulch around tree, and/or break up sticks/twigs and kinda lay 'em around tree base to let 'em 'rot' (jsut keep trunk clear for a couple inches, of course to prevent a 'perpetually-wet' trunk situation (!). If you/whoever regularly bags lawn clippings or keeps the area to be planted very debris-free, may be a decent idea to kinda dig-in some mulch/twigs *now* to let 'em rot over the winter; best way to do so, IMO. And I am talking about mixing it in just a couple inches deep - no need to go excavating to China for it Maples do not like super-fertile soil as it will give them over-vigorous growth and can make them kinda mal-shaped overall; just a basic woody-forest soil with decomposing organics (leaves/twigs and such generally) is what they prefer and is very easy to give to them with stuff underfoot, IME. Make sense?

    HTH,
    Alex

  5. #35
    Seedling
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    New Berlin, WI
    Posts
    31

    Re: RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    Quote Originally Posted by alexinoklahoma
    Silvers have very vigorous roots, so just keep it potted for now - stick whole pot in ground, and when temps start to warm, remove pot, cut back looong encircling roots (as treeman is saying) and cut 'em back fearlessly (don't worry, OK?). The other roots will be plenty able to take over the job once you place back in ground - and kinda spread roots out evenly and such, but you do not have to get super-technical with it.
    So should I remove the soil around the roots when it's time to plant and make it a bare-root kind of operation? I guess that this is the best way to find if the roots are girdling or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by alexinoklahoma
    If you/whoever regularly bags lawn clippings or keeps the area to be planted very debris-free, may be a decent idea to kinda dig-in some mulch/twigs *now* to let 'em rot over the winter; best way to do so, IMO.
    No, we (ha, I) have always put it on recycle mode, so I'm pretty sure that it's fertile enough. Plus, we get fertilizer 2-3 times per year.

    Should I put up some fence around the pot now, or is the 1cm left of stump small enough to ensure that no creature would even attempt to eat any more?

    I think that I'll do any pruning next winter (over my first college Christmas break... it's seems so far from now...)to get rid of any bushiness. If memory serves me right, winter is the best time to do pruning.
    EDIT: Too many spaces.

  6. #36
    Oak
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Central Oklahoma - Zone 7 for now
    Posts
    548

    RE: Help a complete newbie with his seedling

    No need to really go all-out bare-root, but yeah, shake some of the soil out to get a decent peek at the root structuring, and also so you can semi-spread those longish 'encircling roots' out a bit so they can spread radially more easily. If you take more than a minute or so to do this, have a little squirt bottle handy to mist the roots - no big deal there, but its an obsessive thing with me whenever I do root-work on any plant.

    As far as that little stump: its likely 'safe', but if you wanted to put an empty coffee can over it or whatever until late-winter, no harm would come from such, IMO. I use coffee ans with bottoms removed (a cylinder essentially) a lot for such a situation - rodents can't get up and over, and other things can't get inside the smaller hole. The plastic coffee containers work REALLY well when some holes are drilled/poked through for air passage, prevents 'too damp' conditions basically. It also shows you where the tree is so it does not get stepped on or driven over by mower/leaf-sucker thingies. Building a fence is overkill for a little 'stump', but it does help to put something there to show where tree is for others to avoid damaging it by accident Not uncommon for grasses to start growing before woody trees, so knowing of tree would help prevent any accidental destruction from Spring 'maintenance' stuff.

    The fert issue sounds fine, but you may want to avoid putting 'grass' ferts around tree from now on as they are usually nitrogen-heavy, and maples dislike high nitrogen as far as shapeliness goes - lots of N will make it grow waaay fast and be lanky sometimes. Some mulch around it, not a lot is needed, will give the 'overall balance' of NPK and other 'micro-ferts' trees need, and should be adequate for this situation, IMO. If not mulch, just break up a bunch of little sticks/twigs/leaves and lay 'em around the base of tree, maybe 6-10" away from trunk, which is where the roots will be growing this next season - make sense?

    And finally, better to prune late winter as it allows tree to heal sooner rather than having an open-wound through wet winter periods - but not a huge issue there, just being 'technical' on that...

    Enjoy the college days, buddy - you *will* miss 'em when school is done. Best days of my life, well, the funnest anyways

    Alex

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