Monday, March 22, 2010

Oto Hime Japanese Maple

This was my first tree breaking dormancy this year and has been leafed out for nearly a month now. I’d imagine it’s still adjusting to the shorter Midwest growing season, as it spent its previous life as an apex in Savannah. Last year, I let it grow wild to develop the root system, then after leaf drop, I thinned it out a bit and did some wiring to broaden the spread of the integrated crown. I decided to use a vertical branch from the largest tree to simulate another tree in the grouping. Naturally, this branch’s growth is behind that of the others since this tree is focusing its effort on the apex, but I expect it to catch up. I’m doing considerable pinching to promote some 3-D growth since the front and back are pretty barren. I managed to flatten the root ball enough to plant this piece in a shallow Sara Rayner tray and to lessen the stress of this transplant, I’ve covered the soil surface in a new moss I picked up referred to as Yamagoke, I believe. This stuff rocks – it maintains a nice, even moisture, sits firmly on the surface and is nearly stickless.