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Old May 24th, 2004, 09:43 AM
michelle michelle is offline
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Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

Can I Take Cuttings From My Maple & If So How?
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Old May 24th, 2004, 02:05 PM
graftedmaplecollector graftedmaplecollector is offline
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Maple overlord Vertrees advises in his literature against it, especially in the
the landscape. Im hardheaded though and used rooting powder once to try it anyway. Well they lived long enough for me to fall in love with them (12")
and then.....they died. They werent even in the landscape!!!
Also other considerations apply, such as: Beni shi en is patented and asexual
reproduction is illegal like many roses coming out now.
A non-grafted cultivar will always be weaker than a grafted cultivar, thats
not to say some arent for sale,they are, but let the buyer beware.
Many of the more spectacular cultivars have like an almost zero chance of rooting like the red filigree lace....that thing is hard enough to graft.
And, Im not sure but I dont think theres a list of who does and who doesnt root better anyway.
Basically you get what you pay for, save yourself some stress and heartache
and get the grafts..hey just look at my name :)
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Old June 18th, 2004, 12:41 AM
barbgup barbgup is offline
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Propagation of maples

I have tried several years of maple cuttings in early spring (sterm cuttings) or late spring (stem cuttings with 4-6 leaves) and put them in cold frames. The success rate is very low approx. 1-2% and even rooted cuttings do not survive the following winter.

How can I improve the rooting percentage???

Alos, I was told that growing maple from seeds is the easier way. I collected maple seeds and put them on potting medium in 6" pots and left them outdoor but no germination. Why???

How and when should I collect maple seeds??? How should I plant them???
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Old June 22nd, 2004, 12:08 PM
MtnGato MtnGato is offline
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I'm no expert, but everything I've read says that while you can get beautiful trees from seedlings, they will not reliably grow true to form of their parent and cannot legitimately be labeled as any specific cultivar. If that's not your objective, then go ahead along the seedling route.
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 01:38 PM
jacquot jacquot is offline
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I followed the instructions in Vertrees book for seed propagation last year with good germination. I collected seeds Sept/Oct, tossed them in damp peat moss in plastic bags, put them in the garage over winter, then planted them in the spring. I did not soak them first, but I understand this is a good first step. I really did it to see what kinds of leaves and colors I would discover, knowing it can take several years for the characteristics to show. I have transferred a few to individual containers and they are growing well. I'll bring them into the garage this winter, obviously, and we'll see what happens.

As to cuttings, I was recently told by a grower that they had good results dipping cuttings in rooting hormone and then putting them in perlite. I haven't tried, but when I asked about that on this list, grafting was suggested as a better alternative, which is what the nurseries do.
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Old June 23rd, 2004, 03:48 PM
Dale B. Dale B. is offline
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Japanese Maple seeds should be collected from the tree in the fall before they dry out. Put them in a plastic bag, tossed with moist, not wet, peat moss. Keep the bag in the refrigerator for 90 days before you plant them in the spring. The bag should be kept between 33 and 40 degrees for 90 to 120 days. This process called stratification will give the most uniform germination. With out stratification some seeds can take up to 5 years to germinate.

Even with stratification, I find that some batches of seed do not germinate well. The fix is to collect lots of seed from as many different sources as you can. You just have to live with a lot of bags filled with maple seeds and peat moss in your fridge for the winter.

Japanese Maples from seed are like looking at litters of mixed breed puppies. Some will be prettier than others, some may make better dogs than their pure bred parents, large and small, different colors, different shapes, etc. Most may make great pets. None will be a purebred show dog. All are fun to play with when they are young. I enjoy growing Japanese Maples from seed and watching what develops.

Japanese Maples are difficult to root and even if they root, may not have a root system that will support them when they grow larger. Grafting onto a good rootstock is a better way to insure a healthy adult tree than rooting. That is why most if not all of the cultivars are grafted. Most of the rooted cultivars are sold for use in bonsai rather than to be grown out in the landscape.
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Old March 26th, 2005, 09:32 PM
Segger Segger is offline
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ACER palmatum cultivar propagation

Grafts vs. rooted cuttings. Advantages and disadvantages...
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Old March 27th, 2005, 07:43 PM
mjh1676 mjh1676 is offline
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You answered your own question

Rooted cuttings of palmatum cultivars are certainly desireable, even more so than grafted specimens. Problem being attention has not been given, or is not being given to the best way to propagate all or many of the cultivars in this method. Some that are easy or that are used for bonsai regularly have established availablity by cutting-based propagation, but the list is short.

This is a discussion that has and will continue to spark a very heated debate. One point being the camp that believe that many maple cultivars will not do well on their own roots if not grafted and another that believe that while requiring much more care and attention, the cutting grown plant will evenually "catch up" or exceed the growth and longevity of the grafted specimen.

Second being those that believe cutting grown maples will have a greater longevity and possibly more disease resistance vs. those mainting the belief that cutting grown maples are inferior.

If one was to research, I believe that we would find the Japanese propagated their maples very successfully through cuttings for many generations, we have chosen to graft to preserve our intitial specimens and for more immediate gratification.

Cuttings are far too labor intense for wholesale propagation and likely too labor intensive for many moderate volume collectible propagators. What could be considered is the need or desire to grow stock plants and specimens from cuttings. While scion wood might be limited at first, after grafting the initial stock plant, one might conisder rooting cuttings to maintaing the plant as a higher quality specimen or to offer it for sale or trade in small quantity.

Of course, those of us that are collectors have the opportunity and should take advantage of the opportunity to root cuttings as your initial statement in the thread indicates. As with many plants, some will be much more difficult than others, but hopefully the reward would out weigh the cost--I'll have to find out some day.

As with many woody cuttings, proper attention to temperature and moisture, as well as disease control will be paramount. Maple roots can be hard to establish and will require graduation to different mediums and conditions over time.

Take this with a grain of salt from someone who has not yet grafted or rooted a maple cutting--Just seeds for now. While I cannot support either point of view from experience, let this serve as a summary of the arguements I have read. For a plant purist, it would be hard to deny the legitamacy of cuttings if a proper attempt has not been made to rule out this method of propagation as a primary means.

If you have some maples you intend to propagate this way, it may be more useful to ask about a particular cultivar than stir the general debate about cuttings vs. grafts. There are some experienced individuals here that could help estimate the relative difficulty of a given cultivar. The debate would certainly be more productive in this vein.

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Old March 28th, 2005, 07:34 AM
Segger Segger is offline
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Cutting propagation has been overlooked. As the popular method in north America has been grafts.

Last edited by Andre; December 11th, 2005 at 07:12 AM.
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Old March 28th, 2005, 09:38 AM
Acer palmatum 'Crazy' Acer palmatum 'Crazy' is offline
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Re: ACER palmatum cultivar propigation

Would love to hear what your methods are for rooting cuttings. I am currently trying to develop my procedure. Last year i tried a couple in the typical well drained soils with little sucess, while a pruned clipping, which was on the ground for two months then stuck into my yard Ga red clay) rooted and now has a gorgoues nebari (root system) which i plan on using for Bonsai.
I think since i dont have a nice watering/mist system, and my timing can be quite regular, the well drained soil just dried up on me to much between watering. This year i am trying a mix with some of my yards red clay, which will hold more moisture consistenly. Now i am getting some rotting, so trying to keep the moisture very low. Some Seiryu's, which i think root fairly easily, are growing roots with this method.

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Old March 28th, 2005, 09:14 PM
mjh1676 mjh1676 is offline
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Purpose of thread?

Good to see you visiting the forum again!

You seem to have a good background with this topic, what is the purpose you had in mind for this thread if the question was apparently rhetorical? The advantage really resides in the rooted cutting and knowing the plant well enough to be able to grow it in this manner. As you indicate, there is no simple plan for this process, instead it must be adapted as one goes with its success measured in time.

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Old March 31st, 2005, 08:04 PM
yesheh yesheh is offline
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Re: ACER palmatum cultivar propigation

in our program, we get palmadums in plugs, root prune them, then field bud them with buddy tape, we usually get a pretty good catch too...
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 12:20 AM
Ping Ping is offline
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Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) Cutting propagation

I am very interested in Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) cutting propagation and believe it is a efficient way. I heard some people did some cultivar or even seedlings successfully. I specifically have two questions for Jim or anyone who wants share his ideas:(1) Do you know how many Japanese maple cultivars or seedling have been successfully propagated by cuttings. (2) I know you get cuttings from 'Bloodgood' seedlings and used as rootstocks for some specific slow growing Japanese maples. My questions is why you use Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' seedling rather than directly use 'Bloodgood' cuttings as the rootstocks? Is this because (A) the 'Bloodgood' is not easy to root or (B) you select more vigorous plant than 'Bloodgood' itself from the 'Bloodgood' seedling? In another word, is there and advantage using 'Bloodgood' seedling rather than using 'Bloodgood'?
For the Acer palmatum rootstock, currently almost all the nurseries use Acer palmatum seedlings as the rootstocks. The problem is that the plant (rootstock) came from seed not uniform, after graft the cultivar scion wood or bud, may be worse. If we can find some vigor plant from Acer palmatum, we can produce same genetic rootstocks by clone (cutting propagation). My idea is try to select some possible rootstocks for Japanese maple (Acer palmatum). These rootstocks may select from vigrous Acer palmatum cultivars or their seedlings like Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood' or Acer palmatum 'Osakazuki', etc. (just like what you did). Or select from Acer Circinatum. The target rootstock should be vigor, easy to root, compatible to cultivar, tolerate to major stress conditions. I try to get two different rootstocks: one is green one is red. Do you have any idea which cultivar or seedling has the potential? Any comments are welcome.
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Old September 22nd, 2005, 07:48 AM
growest growest is offline
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Re: Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) Cutting propagation

Ping--an article a few years back in the Plant Propagator's Society annual meeting transcripts covered ***. maple propagation protocols in Europe. I'll have to look it up again to get the year that this report is found.

It contained interesting details of how the society's reporter visited French and British nurseries to survey their propagation methods, and report back. In general, she noted that British nurseries do mostly cutting prop., while the French did grafting like in North America. There was no mention of specific varieties being excluded from the cutting system, but I'll check it again to be sure.

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Old September 22nd, 2005, 08:28 AM
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mr.shep mr.shep is offline
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Re: Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) Cutting propagation

One of the problem areas I have is that I do not know
where the information I will give or have given will
be going. If it is to better the Japanese Maple then
at one time I felt some incentive to write. That is
not the case for me now. I will not divulge trade
secrets we once had, used and learned from others
to a forum that I am no longer officially a member

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Old September 22nd, 2005, 08:29 AM
mjh1676 mjh1676 is offline
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Re: Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) Cutting propagation

As to your question about why cutting-grown rootstocks have not been widely used is probably two-fold.

One: No matter what the method, the overall yield will be greater if we work with seeds. There will also be less labor involved in seed propagation. Both of these factors will make seed-grown understock more economical, not necessarily better.

Two: While I see what you are saying, very few people will agree with you or recognize that a cutting grown maple, understock or variety, is superior. Similarly, you are implying that the cutting-grown understock has some systemic/or at least important effect on the grafted variety, superior to a seedling grown understock, another issue that few will agree with.

So, I am not sure the market (or a large market) for a cutting grown rootstock exists, but I do think there is a market for a new seedling rootstock, especially a vigorous red one. Now, there is nothing that would preclude you from using the cutting-grown process to purify a line of seed, is there? Even if you were to use a particular variety for cuttings, you would still need to clean up the plant, as there are few plants out there now that you could acquire that are of a quality high enough to parent understock without some work.

So, I think there are two things you might want to focus on, depending on your reason and motive for this undertaking. One, develop a pure seedling understock that produces a strong vigorous root system and is hardy under a multitude of condtions. Second, the purification and process and production of cutting-grown plants of named varieties, not as understock, but as saleable plants. Should there be a variety that you could not root, then possible grafting to a cutting-grown understock might be viable.

When you do find a cutting-grown or new seed rootstock, I would be happy to try it! As for more than the advice above, I have little to offer in specific answers. Good Luck.
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Old October 26th, 2005, 02:14 PM
katsura katsura is offline
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Re: Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) Cutting propagation

Please look at page 29 "Cuttings" of D.M. van Gelderen's MAPLES of the WORLD where
the author says in paragraph 5: "A significant disadvantage of propagation by cuttings
is that all the roots are clonal. A number of species and cultivars, including Acer palmatum, do not form vigorous trees on their own roots....Clonal plants on clonal roots
are far more susceptible [to Verticillium dahliae(wilt disease)] than those grafted on
species rootstock. In this author's opinion, commercial propagation of cultivars of
A. palmatum by cuttings is to be avoided, although many growers have a different view."
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Old October 27th, 2005, 12:22 AM
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Re: Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum) Cutting propagation

Hello katsura and all:
Thank you all for all your valuable suggestion and help. I also believe "cutting' propagation rootstocks may not be worth to do. The main reason is (1) More expensive, (2) not easy to find a excellent rootstocks.
Now to me cutting propagate any acer (include acer palmatum) is not a problem. I have the idea as following, but it may not correct:
grafting or cutting which method can enhance tree growth depends on which kind of rootstock you use. If you use a rootstock has stronger growth potential than the scion wood (or bud), it will stimulate the cultivar growth. If the rootstock has similar growth potential as the cultivar, it will not stimulate cultivar growth. If weaker, it will decrease the cultivar growth. If the rootstock has the same growth potential as the cultivar, the advantage of use seedling rootstock may stimulate some growth in comparision with the cutting propagated rootstocks (or cultivars). To me, if cultivar grafted on the same growth potential rootstocks ( like palmatum cultivar grafted on same growth potential palmatum seedling rootstock), I prefer use cutting propagation. I believe it is cheaper. But not yet know the market.
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Old October 27th, 2005, 08:33 AM
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mr.shep mr.shep is offline
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Re: Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

Just a few quick thoughts. A lot of times it
is difficult to answer or reply to a question in
which we do not know what all is entailed in
the question. We've had a few hit and runs in
these forums in which someone comes in out
the blue, asks a pertinent question to them,
hoping that someone will take the bait and
"bite" by giving some insight to the subject
and then we no longer hear from the person
that asked the original question.

I am not going to go into detail about Maples
on their own roots as I've addressed the issue
before in this forum and have seen that few
people want to know this stuff or in some
cases they are way ahead of themselves and
are not ready to know what all is involved
with cuttings, layered and air layered Maples.
A specific question asked about which cultivars
to use for raising cutting grown understock is
one that not even a nurseryman would come
right out and ask another fellow nurseryman.
There are some rules of etiquette involved
with us oldtimers in that much of what we
learned and know is better kept to the vest
as so many people either do not want to know
this information or we have people wanting
to know solely for their own personal gain.
I will not help the latter case any more. I
made that decision a long while back in a
Citrus thread.

So, if people want my input on this issue I
can deal with generalizations but I will not
address specifics. Let me say this much that
there are some "juiced" cuttings coming out
of Japan that some people have been using
as understock for their Maples. I'll let you
people wonder what juiced means. Even a
grower, more than one actually, in this forum
has asked me about which cutlivars to use for
seedling understock and I told them away from
this forum. I am not sure I would do that again
as I end up helping some people I really do
not know or helping people that I have no
interest in helping until they come "clean"
(tell us the real reason they want to know)
with the rest of us..

Glen, it is a mistake to equate that the British
are doing more cuttings with Maples than they
are grafting. It is true that most people in the
US and Europe are grafting their Maples but
there is one big void and that no one is talking
what is going on in Japan, whereby even today
more Maples are on their own roots from rooted
cuttings, layered and air layered than there are
grafted Maples. One reason why we know so
little about these plants is that not many of them
are available for sale yet or to be shipped to
other countries any time soon.

Another bit of oversight is that the specialty
production Maple growers really never have
wanted to let the IPPS know exactly what they
were doing in their operations even though many
of them were members. After the 70’s many
of the long time non grafting propagators just
went into a “no tell” shell. It used to be true that
the people that were propagating Maples on their
own roots were in the forefront but much of that
changed in the late 60's when Maples on their
own roots came into the US and certain locales
in Europe and people wanted to duplicate these
plants fast either to perpetuate the plant in case
they lost the variety, now called cultivar by many,
or there was interest in grafting these plants to be
available rather soon for sale. I've addressed why
the grafting became the more streamlined method
for propagation of Maples in another Maple forum
and that was another of one of my mistakes of
regret for ever doing it and putting it in writing
for others to read..

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Old October 27th, 2005, 12:33 PM
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Re: Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

Hi Jim,
Thank you vey much for your reply and you opinion. I agree with you. Currently in North America grafting propagation is still the most important methods. Much more important than cutting propagation. I working on fruit trees for about 20 years, but for maple just recent years. To my specific conditions, I prefer cutting propagation. it might be cheaper and seems growth not that slow if compare the same year make cuttings and same years you plant the seed. Next years suppose you graft the cultivar on the seedling rootstock and the cutting also have two year growth. The size no much difference. This is not to say grafting not good. For the slowing or weaker cultivar, grafting is also the best choice.
I know in fruit trees, there are many different rootstocks. Some can stimulate cultivar growth very much. That why I hope some day some one can find some excellent rootstocks for Japanese maple.
For Japanese maple propagation back in Japan, I guess most of them use grafting. Some nursery I know they produce good maple use grafting. We know some Japanese nurserimen also mentioned they mentioned they use grafting. One reason is cutting not that sucessful.
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Old October 28th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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Re: Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

Actually most of the non-commercial growers in
Japan are still growing Maples on their own roots.
Why, because the Maples will live longer than
grafted Maples will. That has proved out in Japan
as well as here in the US. To the plantman in Japan
the Maple becomes a sibling, no longer is a plant
per say. Just look how an Apple grower, most of
them being home gardeners nurtures one individual
Apple as if it is a long lost soul that has been recently
found. To them the Apple becomes a treasure and
there is honor in perpetuating the treasure and to do
that we do not incorporate a second genome into
the Maple by grafting it. The Maple no longer
becomes a pure sibling is how the traditionalist
people I knew and know in Japan will look at
things right or wrong.

We grafted most all of our Maples but we did do
cuttings as well. The Achilles heel of the Japanese
Maple has always been the feet, the understock.
People talk about Verticillium as if they know
what they are writing about only because a book
author, a pathologist or someone they trust told
them about the pathogen. What no one wants to
talk about is that there is a slow decline form
found in all Japanese Maples to an extent and
there is the quick decline form that is generally
only seen from grafted Maples. In the last couple
of years I've seen evidence of the old quick decline
form again and we will see it start out as a whitish
discoloration in the rootstock. Then the top will
wilt and quickly die on us, then shortly thereafter
the rootstock turns black in splotches and also dies.
Had that happen to me this year with 8 of the 16
Maples I purchased from an Oregon grower. We
never saw the quick decline form of Verticillium
in our grafted Maples at the nursery. I've never
seen the quick decline form of Verticillium in any
Maple on its own roots anywhere and I've been to
enough places to have seen a few of these things.
I fully agree that Maples on their own roots have
a pre-eminent place in the forefront among Maple

I have a problem with the commercialization
gathered from information in this forum that
is being used away from this forum. Tell you
what, get some more posts in this forum under
your belt and then send me a private message
and we can talk about cutting grown rootstocks
then, how's that?

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Old November 25th, 2005, 02:55 PM
daryl daryl is offline
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Re: Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

hello there all you people. having only just found this site i am amazed to find you all talking about how to propagate Acers. here in New Zealand i have recently finished my apprenticship were i was mainly specialising in acer propagation. At the nursery were i was training we used simple techniques that worked extrememly well.

all the rootstock was from acer. Palmatum taken during the winter months and placed in the ground to be field grown. during spring these cuttings would grow more roots and by summer they would be around 3-5 feet tall. then we would bud these stocks with a vast selection of varieties.


I have heard however that this method is extremely hard to do in other parts of the world because of climate conditions and soil types.

please reply if you have any quaries
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 09:26 PM
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Re: Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

Hello Daryl:
Can you explain more about how then root their cuttings of all the rootstock of Acer Palmatum. What's the cutting status? Is their any treatment? What's the rooting mix or medium.
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Old March 24th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Scion Swapper Scion Swapper is offline
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Re: Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

"Actually most of the non-commercial growers in
Japan are still growing Maples on their own roots.
Why, because the Maples will live longer than
grafted Maples will. That has proved out in Japan
as well as here in the US."

<snip> Where's the reference for <snip> this research?? <snip> I know many nurserymen in this country who grow Japanese Maples and have tried both approaches. I don't know ONE nurseryman in this country that would agree with that statement. Not ONE. People on this forum need to realize that Mr. Sheps opinions regarding the propagation of Japanese maples are highly controversial and counter to the reference information in nearly all of the accepted Japanese Maple literature.


On that note, if you want to root Japanese Maples (again I advise against the practice) heres how you do it:

Take cuttings in early July when the wood has hardened off. Cut three node scions, which should be about 8-10 inches or so long. Keep the cuttings moist. Remove the lower set of leaves with pruners, keeping the petiol on to protect the bud underneath. With a sharp clean knife (keep rubbing alcohol around and periodically disinfect your blade) make a shallow cut into the cambium on two sides of the base of the cuttings. The cuts should be about an inche long. Now dip the base of the cuttings in a 5:1 (Water:hormone) solution of dip-n-grow. Allow the hormone to dry for a couple of minutes, now stick the cuttings in a 50:50 blend of peat:perlite. The cuttings should be in full sun. An intermittent misting system, which keeps the leaves moist but dosn't over saturate the soil media, should be in place. The cuttings will be rooted by late August and can be potted up in early fall. Bloodgood roots easily and you can expect greater than 90% success if you do it right.

Final note to leave off with: If I had an otherwise healthy looking Japanese Maple in my own landscape that was grown on its own root, I would tear it out tomorrow because it is taking up space where a grafted tree could grow. They are not hardy in my climate, they will never "catch up" to a graft, and they will never outlive a graft. And that opinion comes from years of growing rooted cuttings and grafts side-by-side in the field, and also observing similar results at other nearby nurseries. Now, Mr Shep will come back and make assumptions about how we used disease laden cuttings ect and that's why they didn't do well.


Have a nice day.


Last edited by Daniel Mosquin; April 10th, 2006 at 11:29 PM. Reason: Removed parts of message that are curt (with permission of original poster).
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Old April 25th, 2006, 12:07 PM
bkjoe25 bkjoe25 is offline
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Re: Acer palmatum Cutting propagation ?

Has anyone used a Glowing Embers for rootstock?


Towards the bottom....
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