How to propagate Japanese maples


Wells, J.S.

American Nurseryman 151(9): 14, 117-120

1980


Japanese maple, Acer palmatum, has produced a number of mutations that have become firmly established in the horticultural world in their own right. Dark purple-colored forms, such as A. p. 'Bloodgood', types with serrated foliage, such as A. p. 'Dissectum', and pendulous forms have been selected, grown and appreciated for a long time. The standard method of propagating has been to graft these selected forms onto seedlings of the original A. palmatum. This method is quite satisfactory; excellent plants have been produced in this way. If seed has been taken from a vigorous growing form of A. palmatum, the resulting understocks tend to transmit their vigorous outgrowth to the grafted variety. With the greatly increased interest in plants of limited size for the small modern garden, A. palmatum and some of the grafted varieties can prove to be a little too vigorous.

14
AMERICAN
NURSER
How
to
propagate
Japanese
maples
By
James
S.
Wells
JAPANESE
MAPLE,
Acer
palma-
tum,
has
produced
a
number
of
muta-
tions
that
have
become
firmly
established
in
the
horticultural
world
in
their
own
right.
Dark
purple
-colored
forms,
such
as
A.
p.
'Bloodgood'
,
types
with
serrated
foliage,
such
as
A.
p.
`Dis-
sectum*,
and
pendulous
forms
have
been
selected,
grown
and
appreciated
for
a
long
time.
The
standard
method
of
propagating
has
been
to
graft
these
selected
forms
onto
seedlings
of
the
original
A.
palma-
tum.
This
method
is
quite
satisfactory;
excellent
plants
have
been
produced
in
this
way.
If
seed
has
been
taken
from
a
vigorous
growing
form
of
A.
palmatum,
the
resulting
understocks
tend
to
trans-
mit
their
vigorous
outgrowth
to
the
grafted
variety.
With
the
greatly
increased
interest
in
plants
of
limited
size
for
the
small
mod-
ern
garden,
A.
palmatum
and
some
of
the
grafted
varieties
can
prove
to
be
a
little
too
vigorous.
Rooting
One
way
in
which
the
sizes
could
be
reduced
without
upsetting
the
innate
quality
of
the
plant
is
rooting
these
cultivars
from
cuttings.
Plants
on
their
own
roots
grow
more
slowly.
With
plants
grown
from
bonsai
treatment,
it
is
even
more
desirable
to
have
them
on
their
own
roots.
However,
rooting
Japanese
maple
cuttings
has
not
proven
to
be
quite
as
simple
as
one
might
wish.
Many
at-
tempts
have
been
made,
sometimes
with
indifferent
results.
According
to
the
conventional
wis-
dom,
even
someone
who
manages
to
root
a
few
will
not
likely
get
good
qual-
ity
plants.
Recent
research,
however,
has
shown
that
it
is
possible
to
root
many
of
the
selected
forms
of
A.
palmatum
suc-
cessfully
and
to
produce
good
plants
with
first-class
root
systems.
They
can
develop
at
a
reasonable
rate
into
first-
class
specimens.
For
this
method
of
propagation
to
be
successful,
close
at-
tention
to
a
number
of
related
details
is
essential.
James
S.
Wells
is
affiliated
with
Wells
Nursery
Inc.,
Penrose,
NC.
Timing
Timing
is
of
prime
importance
in
pro-
pagating
any
plant.
When
is
the
best
time
to
take
cuttings?
Let
us
use
A.
p.
`13loodgood'
as
a
typical
example.
In
New
Jersey,
the
optimum
time
would
be
about
May
20,
plus
or
minus
a
week
or
two.
Cuttings
can
be
rooted
up
to
mid
-June
but,
as
will
be
seen
later,
rooting
cuttings
later
presents
an
addi-
tional
hazard.
Types
of
Cuttings
The
best
cutting
is
a
strong,
thick,
vigorous
shoot
of
the
current
season's
growth.
The
thicker
and
stronger
the
shoot,
the
better.
Ideally,
the
caliper
of
the
stem
should
be
close
to
that
of
a
pencil.
Thick
stems
of
this
type
may
not
be
easy
to
find,
but
the
thickest,
strongest
terminal
shoots
should
be
used
for
best
results.
Thin
shoots,
even
if
taken
from
the
side
of
a
strong
central
growth,
will
not
root
nearly
as
rapidly
or
as
well
as
the
heavier
grade.
Thin
shoots
from
old,
slow
-growing,
mature
plants
are
even
less
satisfactory,
for
they
will
root
indif-
ferently
or
not
at
all.
Therefore,
it
may
be
necessary
to
cut
back
an
old
plant
drastically
in
order
to
induce
the
kind
of
strong,
vigorous
shoots
needed
for
the
best
type
of
cut-
tings.
Handling
The
Cuttings
Cuttings
should
be
removed
from
the
stock
plants
early
in
the
morning,
when
the
growths
are
fully
turgid.
Without
a
moment's
delay,
they
should
be
sub-
merged
in
a
bucket
of
water.
It
is
essential
that
cuttings
not
dry
out,
even
for
an
instant,
during
the
time
they
are
being
gathered,
made
and
in-
serted
in
the
propagation
bench.
Cut-
tings
should
therefore
be
immediately
damped
down
as
they
are
gathered
and
then
placed
in
a
box
lined
with
wet
bur-
lap
and
covered
with
the
same
material.
Making
The
Cuttings
Ideally,
the
thickest
shoot,
six
to
eight
inches
long,
should
be
used.
It
should
have
at
least
two
or
three
nodes.
Any
thin
tip
should
be
removed,
and
the
A
two
-year
-old
Acer
palmatum
'
Blood
-
good'
on
its
own
roots.
two
lower
leaves
should
be
removed
at
the
base
of
the
cutting.
The
cuttings
should
then
receive
a
heavy
wound.
This
is
made
by
remov-
ing
a
thin
slice
from
one
side
of
the
cut-
ting.
It
should
be
1
to
1
1/2
inches
long
and
sufficiently
deep
to
remove
the
outer
bark
and
just
reveal
—but
not
to
cut
into
—the
central
woody
tissue.
The
thickness
of
such
a
slice,
when
removed,
would
probably
be
no
more
than
a
sixteenth
of
an
inch.
A
single
heavy
wound
of
this
type
is
sufficient
for
most
maples.
40
Hormone
Treatment
A
hormone
treatment
is
essential
for
success.
A.
p.
`Bloodgood'
responds
to
a
two
percent
mixture
of
indolebutyric
acid
in
talc.
The
mixture
should
also
in-
clude
five
percent
Benlate.
This
is
a
relatively
standard
formula,
but
it
is
nearly
three
times
as
strong
as
Hormodin
No.
3,
which
is
the
most
widely
available
mixture.
Hormodin
No.
3
has
a
modest
effect;
the
stronger
powder
is
greatly
superior.
Cuttings
should
be
dipped
into
the
powder
immediately
after
wounding,
covering
the
bottom
of
the
cutting
up
to
the
top
of
the
wound.
The
treated
cat"
tings
should
be
covered
immediately
with
the
damp
burlap
until
enough
W
a-
ter
has
been
accumulated
to
insert
the
cutting
in
the
propagating
bench.
Rooting
Medium
The
best
rooting
medium
is
a
mixtu
re
of
half
relatively
coarse,
acid
Canad
ian
peat
moss
and
half
medium
gra
de
perlite.
A
similar
mixture
of
pea
t
an
[Continued
on
page
1171
d
MAY
1.
1980
117
Introducing
the
new
EASY
DIGGER
(
P
atent
P
endin
g
)
This
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easily
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by
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All
hydraulic
controls
are
mounted
at
the
digger.
It
rolls
on
a
9
ft.
beam
and
swings
in
a
300
degree
radius.
Loosening
3
bolts
will
exchange
the
2
blades
to
dig
root
balls
from
12"-24"
with
2"
intervals.
The
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from
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ft.
evergreen.
a
For
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information
write:
QUEENSWOOD
NURSERIES
LTD.
577
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Road
Victoria,
B.C.
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V8Z
3K1
Phone:
604-658-8821
Japanese
Maple
Propagation
[Continued
from
page
14]
sharp
sand
is
equally
satisfactory.
As
they
are
made,
the
cuttings
should
be
inserted
into
the
rooting
medium
so
that
the
bottom
two
inches
of
the
cut-
ting
is
buried.
It
is
not
necessary
to
tamp
in
the
cuttings
firmly.
In
fact,
a
loose,
open,
porous
medium
is
pre-
ferred.
Misting
and
Heat
Some
form
of
automatic
misting
is
al-
most
essential
if
the
cuttings
are
being
rooted in
a
conventional
propagating
house.
The
only
exception
to
this
might
be
an
attempt
to
root
the
cuttings
in
a
well
-constructed
tight
frame
with
bot-
tom
heat
provided
by
electric
cables,
where
the
frame
is
on
the
north
side
of
a
building
so
no
direct
sunlight
falls
on
it.
The
importance
of
keeping
the
cut-
tings
and
the
foliage
moist
from
the
mo-
ment
they
are
gathered
is
vital.
The
only
time
they
can
be
allowed
to
dry
out
to
a
modest
degree
is
at
night.
From
sunrise
to
sunset,
the
leaves
of
the
cut-
tings
must
be
kept
moist.
A
good
high
temperature
in
both
the
house
and
the
bench
is
beneficial;
it
will
induce
rapid
rooting.
Custom
sets
the
optimum
bench
temperature
at
70
°
,
but
if
sun's
heat
builds
up,
the
air
tempera-
ture
in
the
house
may
reach
80
°
or
even
90
°
.
As
long
as
the
cuttings
are
kept
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Driver
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a
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Material
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Res.:
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118
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moist
by
frequent
misting,
these
high
temperatures
help
more
than
they
hurt.
However,
reason
and
judgment
should
always
prevail.
With
exces-
sively
high
temperatures
or
light
inten-
sity,
shading
the
propagating
structure
may
be
necessary.
Under
such
conditions,
cuttings
start
to
root
quite
rapidly.
If
everything
is
as
it
should
be,
the
cuttings
may
be
strongly
rooted
in
three
weeks.
As
soon
as
the
root
system
is
well
developed,
with
roots
two
to
three
inches
long,
the
cuttings
should
be
lifted
and
potted.
A
mixture
of
30
percent
perlite
and
70
percent
peat
is
good
for
potting.
Cut-
tings
should
be
handled
very
carefully
to
avoid
damage
to
the
roots
and,
above
all,
handled
swiftly
so
they
do
not
dry
out.
At
the
time
of
potting,
one
leaf
should
be
removed
from
the
middle
node.
Two
leaves
are
usually
remaining
on
the
top
node
and
one
on
the
intermediate
node.
Removing
the
leaf
encourages
rapid
de-
velopment
of
the
latent
growth
bud
at
that
point.
Once
the
cuttings
have
been
potted,
they
should
be
returned
immediately
to
the
area
from
which
they
were
lifted.
They
should
remain
under
rooting
con-
ditions
until
the
roots
start
to
circle
the
pot
and
strong
root
growth
can
be
clearly
seen.
Only
then
can
the
young
plants
be
gently
weaned
by
slowly
reducing
the
frequency
of
misting
and
giving
them
a
little
more
air
when
outside
conditions
allow
it.
This
slow
hardening
up
pro-
cess,
to
bring
the
cuttings
from
abnor-
mal
to
normal
conditions,
may
take
two
or
three
weeks.
Supplementary
Light
Once
the
cuttings
have
become
hard-
ened
and
root
growth
is
evident,
they
should
be
removed
from
the
propagat-
ing
area,
placed
in
a
shaded
greenhouse
and
immediately
provided
with
supple-
mentary
light.
This
move
may
also
re-
quire
that
the
plants
be
syringed
by
hand
quite
regularly
and
frequently
for
a
day
or
two,
thus
providing
a
further
period
of
slow
transition
from
the
prop-
agation
house
to
normal
growing
condi-
tions.
The
secret
of
bringing
many
plants
through
the
first
winter
as
rooted
cut-
tings
is
to
induce
new
growth
on
the
cut-
tings
immediately
after
rooting.
If
such
new
growth
can
be
induced,
the
sur-
vival
of
the
cuttings
is
more
or
less
as-
sured.
Cuttings
rooted
late
in
the
season,
which
may
be
well
rooted
but
which
have
not
made
that
movement
to-
ward
new
growth,
may
very
well
die
no
matter
how
carefully
they
are
stored
during
the
first
winter.
Japanese
maples
are
quite
sensitive
to
additional
light.
Providing
about
300
footcandles
of
supplementary
light
most
of
the
night
stimulates
the
plants
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Redi-Spray
con.
For
more
information
call
or
write
Dept.
AN
Trees,
shrubs
and
plants
suffer
root
damage
when
dug
but
NURSERY
SPECIALTY
PRODUCTS
P.O.
Box
4280,
GREENWICH,
CONNECTICUT
06830
From
the
makers
or
SPRAY
-STAY
Sticker
-Extender
ANTI-TRANSPIRANT
f
R411
into
immediate
growth.
Cyclic
lighting
is
quite
satisfactory
also,
with
a
third
of
the
time
lit
and
two
thirds
dark
from
9
pm
until
4
am.
Under
these
conditions,
the
newly
potted,
actively
rooting
cuttings
start
new
growth.
The
most
likely
source
of
the
first
shoot
is
the
bud
that
was
in
the
axil
of
the
leaf
removed
when
potting.
A
strong,
vigorous
shoot
may
arise
from
the
base,
or
new
growth
may
start
at
the
top
of
the
cutting.
Wherever
it
grows,
every
effort
should
be
made
to
encourage
the
devel-
oPment
of
the
new
shoot.
The
plants
should
be
gently
fed
with
a
liquid
fertil-
izer
(such
as
20-20-20)
and
maintained
under
these
conditions
throughout
the
rest
of
the
summer
to
encourage
max-
imum
top
growth.
Overwintering
About
the
first
of
October,
supple-
mentary
light
can
be
discontinued.
The
Plants
can
be
allowed
to
come
to
normal
d
ormancy.
They
should
be
held
through
winter
under
conditions
that
allow
the
a
lr
temperature
to
come
close
to
about
11
This
brings
the
plants
to
dormancy.
le
aves
are
dropped
and
the
plants
go
thr
ough
their
normal
winter
dormant
Pe
riod,
which
is
essential
if
they
are
to
grow
properly
the
following
year.
The
Young
plants
should
be
repotted
FOR
MIST
PROPAGATION
FOGGER
gal
owntlia.
78c
A
wi
OUANTITy
DISCOUNTS
AVAILABLE
Effu,
NO.
300
Patented
Write
for
FREE
brochure
rF
A
PRACTICAL,
LOW
COST
WAY
TO
PROVIDE
MOISTURE
OR
PLANT
PROPAGATION
AND
HUMIDITY
CONTROL
Simple
in
design
Only
three
parts
ALL
BRASS
Produces
a
flat
circle
of
fog
-like
spray
Little
or
no
maintenance
required
Field
-Tested
for
effectiveness
REED
S.
KOFFORD
COMPANY
P.O.
BOX
5361
WALNUT
CREEK,
CA
94596
415/935-0603
Please
mention
AMERICAN
NURSERYMAN
when
writing
advertisers.
120
AMERICAN
NURSERYMAN
K
r
_
41‘....
7.4711116
LINN
Agik
-4
411111111
t"
f
Feature
this!
Sandyland
Nursery
of
Carpenteria,
California
applauds
the
per-
formance
of
Smith
MEASUREMIX
injectors
in
their
Green
Rooms.
These
mEASUREmix
injectors
have
a
starring
role
in
Sandyland's
thrilling
profit
picture.
Their
mEASUREm
ix
injectors
are
silent
as
they
feed
the
lines
to
a
cast
of
millions
of
plants.
Precisely
pro-
grammed
amounts
of
liquid
fertilizer
are
directed
to
all
roots.
Special
effects
are
easily
obtained
at
any
stage
of
growth
be-
cause
the
mEASUREmix
injectors
are
versatile
performers.
SMITH
PUMPS
Telephone:
805/498-6616
SMITH
PRECISION
PRODUCTS
COMPANY
1299
Lawrence
Drive,
Newbury
Park,
California
91320
"Para
la
mayor
convencia
de
ustedes,
esta
compatia
se
complace
en
tratar
toda
communicacien
de
negocios
e
informes
tdcnicos,
on
ospaAol."
eneenueovior--
8111111111nomppail
CUT
TIRE
LOSSES!
TYPE
ALT
MAGNETIC
SWEEPER
Designed
for
ground
or
road
clearance
up
to
3"
and
for
suspension
from
yard
or
shop
vehicle
bumper
or
frame.
Eliminate
damage
to
tires
and
personnel
from
nails,
spikes,
rods,
wire,
and
other
sharp
and
damaging
steel
pieces.
Permanent
Magnet
construction.
24"
wide
$96;
36"
wide
—$138;
48"
wide
—$183;
60"
wide
—$220.
SHIELDS
COMPANY
P.O.
Box
11345
Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania
15238
Phone
412/471-6946
Unique
ion
Write
today
to
find
out
more
about
the
Beck
unique
green-
house
construction.
We'll
be
glad
to
send
you
complete
specifications
along
with
in-
formation
about
avai
labi
l
ity
and
our
competitive
prices.
BECK
Manufacturing
Co.
P.O.
Box
2014
Auburn,
Ala.
36830
or
planted
out
in
early
spring,
bef
ore
new
growth
commences
—not
later
than
mid
-March.
New
growth
from
the
pre-
vious
summer
should
be
cut
back
to
half
its
length
and
the
plants
left
to
grow
nor-
mally.
Usually,
they
break
into
new
growth
at
the
normal
time,
producing
sound
root
systems
and
good
branch
systems
by
the
end
of
the
growing
season,
fairly
dense
and
perhaps
12
to
15
inches
tall.
Once
a
plant
is
well
established
it
can
be
handled
in
an
orthodox
manner.
These
methods
appear
to
work
most
cultivars
of
Acer
palmatum,
b
with
varying
percentages
of
rooting
cording
to
variety.
The
pendulou
forms
of
A.
p.
`Dissectum'
do
not
ap-
pear
to
root
quite
as
readily,
but
with
the
basic
method
perfected
and
under-
stood,
most
propagators
should
be
able
to
produce
reasonable
percentages
of
any
clone.
Horticulture
Conference
[Continued
from
page
12]
cap
and
shake.
Rinse
the
inside
of
the
container
with
water
and
allow
it
to
drain
for
30
seconds.
This
procedure
should
be
repeated
three
times.
After
doing
this,
one
should
punch
holes
in
the
top
and
bottom
of
the
con-
tainer.
It
should
then
be
crushed
and
disposed
of
in
an
approved
dump
or
authorized
scrap
collection
point.
A
container
should
never
be
reused
for
any
purpose.
Glass
containers
should
be
rinsed
and
then
broken;
the
remains
should
be
put
in
special
barrels.
Plastic
bottles
should
be
crushed
or
broken
into
pieces.
Pesticide
users
should
never
drain
containers
on
open
ground
or
into
sewers.
The
remnant
chemicals
could
adversely
affect
underground
or
sur-
face
water
supplies.
Pesticide
Storage
Pesticide
storage
was
another
area
of
emphasis.
Hicks
said
it
is
critical
that
pesticides
are
not
mixed
with
each
other
while
in
storage.
In
addition,
con-
tainers
should
not
be
stacked
more
than
five
high.
They
should
be
stacked
neatly
to
prevent
tipping
or
falling
and
have
their
labels
readily
visible.
Many
of
these
chemicals
are
fl
amma
-
ble,
so
fire
lanes
and
stations
should
al-
ways
be
kept
clear
and
well
marked.
Smoking
should
be
forbidden
in
the
area.
Hygiene
is
also
critical.
No
eating
or
drinking
should
be
allowed
in
the
stor
-
age
area.
Furthermore,
special
areas
should
be
designated
for
damaged
or
leaking
containers.
These
areas
should
be
clearly
marked.
Emergency
Procedures
Pesticides
can
be
very
harmful.
TheY
can
be
absorbed
into
the
body
through