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A Journal for following the development of Containerized Maples

posted by: peapod13 on 05.14.2011 at 01:33 pm in Container Gardening Forum

As the name implies, I want to start a thread to Journalize the development of Containerized Maples. Specifically, my first 5 Japanese Maples. (I'm sure to add additional trees over time. I currently have about 10 on my wish list to add to my current 5.) However, I'd like to encourage anyone to post photos and updates on their Maples. The idea is to provide a place where all of us can learn together and follow the progress of each others containerized Maple trees. My trees are just beginning life in a container. Others out there I'm sure have trees that are at various stages of development.

I'll start with where this new found passion began for me (as briefly as I can ;-)). I have written about this in another thread, so if you've read it before and want to get on to the trees, please feel free to skip to the next paragraph. Unlike many on these threads, I'm not a gardener, having only recently uncovered a part of gardening that intrigues me. Last fall looking for an area in the Puget Sound region that would have the beautiful fall colors of the Smoky Mountains (where I grew up), my wife and I began visiting public gardens in the region. I finally found an amazing variety and depth of color and shape in the Seattle Parks and Recreation: Japanese Garden, a smallish sub area of the UW Botanical Gardens at Washington Park Arboretum. This was the first time I'd ever seen what I later learned is called Niwaki. I found the brilliant reds, oranges, purples and yellows in the Maples and Ginkos in this garden, but I also found interesting shapes in the Pinus, Rhododendron and Azalea species found in the garden. After visiting the garden I began to research on the web and in the library to find out what these trees where called. What I found was a new hobby. I developed an excel spreadsheet to group all the Maples I found on the web and more specifically in the 4th edition of Vertrees' "Japanese Maples..." I found at the local library. I narrowed this list of approximately 600 trees to around 100 that were for the most part less than 10 feet (a few less than 15 feet) at maturity that had interesting leaf shape and color. My wife then helped me narrow that list down to about 15, and I bought my first 5 this late winter and early spring.

That brings us to buying the trees. I bought 3 from a local nursery in January (Tamukeyama, Sensu, and one labled as Fjellheim but I'm not sure what it is). The other two were from a list of 4 that a Landscape Architect friend with whom I work, was helping me to track down (Fireglow and Corallinum).

I found Gardenweb during the search for information on trees and found Al's (tapla) posts on soils, water retention, trees in containers, fertilizer program and how plant growth is limited very educational. I've since found Al to be not only knowledable but very nice and willing to share his expertice with anyone who asks.

At this point (May 14, 2011) all 5 of my trees have been bare rooted, root pruned, planted in Al's "gritty mix", and they've all had their first spring pruning and bud pinching.

For those interested in the timing and process of these events the following threads document those processes.
"Sensu Repot"
"Tamukeyama Repot"
"Fireglow and Corallinum Repot"

From now on all updates to these 5 trees will occur in this thread.

I hope you all will follow along on my journey and post pictures, updates and links to your containerized Maples as well.



Use for the full moon maple tree. It needs repotting......
clipped on: 07.27.2014 at 11:16 am    last updated on: 07.27.2014 at 11:17 am

RE: little bluestem question (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: john_blakeman on 08.06.2006 at 09:28 pm in Meadows & Prairies Forum


The best time to divide and transplant (here in Ohio, at least) is in late March through mid April, before any new growth starts.

But frankly, the plant can be divided and transplanted just about any time, even now in the middle of the growing season, if you are sure to slice off the leaves and take a good chunk of root and set the new division firmly in the soil. Keep it happy with moderate watering. It's just like a bison eating the top of the plant. It's adapted to being nipped off at the base.

Those of us with experience with this species know that it grows slowly when young (first two or three years), or when transplanted. The species grows on root reserves, not just on leaf photosynthesis, so the plant can take a few years getting a massive root system in place to store energy. It's greatly helped with fertilization in the first three years. For small plantings, a general plant fertilizer like Miracle Grow is good. Don't over do it.

Keep us posted on how things work out.

--John Blakeman


Good info on transplanting little bluestem grass. Try this in 2014.
clipped on: 01.01.2014 at 12:22 pm    last updated on: 01.01.2014 at 12:22 pm

RE: Suggestions for Flavorful Fig Varieties? (Follow-Up #17)

posted by: stevec on 02.24.2012 at 01:35 pm in Fig Forum

For our area (flavor & adaptability to the weather) my current favorites include:

. Fracazzano Bianco
. Celeste
. Italian Honey
. Alma

All do well surviving the winters outdoors after a few years of bringing containers indoors for winter (garage) and burying the containers in the garden in the summer.

For pictures see the link on this post.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fig Orchard


More fig suggestions....
clipped on: 01.01.2014 at 09:42 am    last updated on: 01.01.2014 at 09:42 am

RE: Reputable Online Nurseries for Fig Trees (Follow-Up #39)

posted by: xnrgx on 10.08.2010 at 07:28 am in Fig Forum

Hi all, Just a list of most all the locations mentioned in this link and a few others I added all in one post hope this is helpful.
Bay Flora

Burnt Ridge

Edible Landscaping

Encanto Farms

Fig Trees net

Grimo Nut

Itilian Figtrees

Just Fruit and Exotics

Land of Enfigment

Michals Fig Trees

Agricultural Research Service

Petals from the past


Rolling River

Trees of Antiquity

Trees of Joy

Wills Orchards Trees


Check this out for fig trees later in 2014.
Look for Celeste VdB and Peter's Honey
clipped on: 01.01.2014 at 09:26 am    last updated on: 01.01.2014 at 09:27 am

RE: Patriot Hybrid Blueberries (Follow-Up #3)

posted by: mamuang on 12.26.2012 at 08:06 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I planted Patriot since 2009. It sets a lot of fruit every year but fruits are small. You may need to thin fruitlets to increase size. It tastes OK with some tartness to it. I happen to like blueberries that are sweeter than tart.

I also have Duke, Elliot, Toro, Bluejay, Blueray and Chandler.

Like Brady said, you should look into having different varieties. This will help with cross pollination which will increase production and help to extend the season.

Plan your planting rows well so you can convenient cover blueberry bushes. Without protection against birds (and squirrels), you may not have anything left.

Good luck.


A later post in this thread mentioned that Patriot didn't do well in high summer temps. Also a popular planting mix is 50/50 peat moss and pine bark mulch.
clipped on: 01.05.2013 at 12:10 pm    last updated on: 01.05.2013 at 12:11 pm

RE: Looking for Backyard Orchard growers in Central Ohio (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: lsoh on 12.17.2012 at 08:51 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

Welcome Kimberly,
I'm probably a couple of hours north of you. Unfortunately, I'm just learning too. But I can share a few thoughts.

1) If you can't find a local mentor, this forum is probably the single best resource. There are a number of knowledgeable and helpful members.
2) The search function doesn't work well. Seems to limit to most recent posts only. Try this. Go to In the search field type "" (without the quotes) and then whatever search string you want. For example, on, enter into the search box currants
or "dwarfing root stock"
3) You can grow a whole lot of fruit trees in a small space if you keep your trees small. No taller than you can reach. Dwarfing root stock helps. Then prune to keep them small. (There are ways to encourage low branching when you first plant the tree.) Makes them easier to care for. Allows you to fit more trees.
4) Check out backyard orchard culture concepts presented by
Good ideas about successive ripening and about keeping trees small. 4 trees in one hole may be going further than most of us need, but the ideas are helpful. Also search for backyard orchard culture or davewilsontrees.
5) I have no experience with commercial 4-in-1 trees. From what I read, the concept is legitimate. Sounds like many of the experts on this forum routinely graft different varieties of fruit onto the same tree. But I gather that can create maintenance issues too.
6) To get the varieties I want, I've mail ordered bare root trees from nurseries recommended on this forum. I suggest that you take your time researching the varieties you want. But once you know what you want, order early in the calendar year. Nurseries take orders and sell out their stock early. They will wait to ship when the weather is more appropriate for planting.

I'm new at this too. I have only a tiny planting area. So far I'm happy with my strawberries and blueberries. Most of my other stuff is too young to bear. Because I too would appreciate a local gardening mentor, I'm sorry that I don't have more information to share. But if you can't find a local mentor, this forum is the next best thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: backyard orchard culture


use this as basis for research on backyard fruit trees......
clipped on: 01.01.2013 at 12:56 pm    last updated on: 01.01.2013 at 12:56 pm

RE: Trash can composter question... (Follow-Up #4)

posted by: sea3663 on 05.03.2011 at 10:57 pm in Soil Forum

Hi all!
Composting in trash can is a wonderful idea. It's portable, contained, and efficient. Turning may be an issue. Here is what I would suggest:
Start with 8-10 inches of harder to breakdown carbon material such as wood chips, whole leaf, twigs, sweet gum balls etc. Then start mixing 2-3 inches of shredded leaves and grass clipping, add a few sweet gum balls between layers of carbon and nitrogen mixture and 3-4 handfuls of used coffee ground or organic fertilizer. Compact this layers and repeat until you reach about 6 inches from the top, then cover with 6 inches of shredded leaves. Water well! Let the heap heats up for a couple of weeks, then start adding your kitchen scrap by scrapping the top leaf layers and bury the scrap within the carbon/nitrogen mixture. You'll have a continuous hot compost without the need to turn until you see soil like mixture and you bury your scrap. You could dump the whole thing and sort them out and start over.


Try this to use sweetgum balls!!!!
clipped on: 12.04.2011 at 02:07 pm    last updated on: 12.04.2011 at 02:13 pm

RE: Aluminum Sulfate for Blueberries (Follow-Up #10)

posted by: juniorpilot on 03.16.2009 at 02:02 am in Fruit & Orchards Forum


I have four different varieties of blueberries in 18 inch pots. These are big pots. I'll estimate (roughly) they hold 24 gallons by comparing them visually with the volume of a 15 gallon pot.

I put a small handful of elemental sulfur into each pot twice a year, once in the spring and once in the summer. I'll estimate this small handful is 4 to 5 tablespoons. Additionally, and at the same time, I add another small handful of organic Azalea/Camellia food to supply nitrogen.

This regimen, which I don't strictly follow, keeps my blueberry soil in the pots at about pH 5.5. My blueberries do well. Nice growth and lots of berries.

Open ground soil is a powerful buffer. That is, it can absorb and negate the pH effects of things we add to alter the pH. Potted soil provides far less buffer than open ground soil. So my opinion is that you have a sizeable latitude in the amounts of sulfur you add to your soil.

I am going to go where angels fear to tread and say that 5 tablespoons of elemental sulfur evenly spread in an 18 inch diameter circle around your blueberry plant is a safe starting point. As thisbud4u pointed out, it takes longer for elemental sulfur to act. So you may not see a change in pH reading for a month or so. The plants themselves may respond within two weeks, one way or another, as fruitnut pointed out. I had a similar experience when I first started with blueberries in that I had leaf burn (not severe) within three weeks when I put a big handful of sulfur and a big handful of Azalea/Camellia food in the pot.

With this 5 tablespoon amount, I think you should see a slight change in pH within a month or so. And you can build from there with your own experience.

His (thisbud4u) post is very informative. I think it is worth reading a couple of times to absorb what it has to offer.



clipped on: 02.26.2011 at 12:19 pm    last updated on: 02.26.2011 at 12:20 pm

RE: Tim Chapman's article about growing ginger (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: alchemyacres on 11.27.2006 at 05:17 pm in Ginger Forum

Try this......

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Edible Ginger.....


link to Tim's article
clipped on: 01.31.2011 at 11:17 pm    last updated on: 01.31.2011 at 11:18 pm

Online nursery review guide w/ photos (finishing up)

posted by: firefightergardener on 03.19.2009 at 12:44 am in Conifers Forum

This week I'll post reviews on the last four online nursery sources I have made purchases with this Spring.
If you're unfamiliar with my reviews or how I am grading each merchant, please feel free to check out the link at the end of this post(highlighted in blue).

To this point I have completed reviews for:

Greer Gardens
Bloom River Gardens
Coenosium Gardens
Ebay Merchant: Bonzai Bob
Porterhowse Farms
Ebay Merchant: Plantspluspines
Wayside Gardens/Perfectplant
Stanley and Sons

Coming this week are reviews for:

Whistling Gardens(Canada)
Cloud Mountain Farms
Singing Tree Nursery (conifers and heaths)
Girard Nursery(later this week - maybe early next week)


Whistling gardens is a 56-acre piece of land in Ontario, Canada covered with rare conifers and other trees and plants. Darren Heimbecker is the owner and their nursery stock covers an extensive range of trees and over 1,000 different conifers.

Inventory: ****
Whistling gardens has an impressive catalog. Plants range from the rare to the unheard of with a large variety of sizes amongst them offered as well. Darren told me that the largest plants he can realistically ship are 5 gallon sized, but for the price, there is certainly some rationale to collectors living close enough to making a visit with a wad of cash and a moving van. Some of the larger stock are 10, 15, and 20 gallon plants, probably 10+ years old or more. Also, for the harcore collector, Whistling gardens offers 'liners' which are smaller plants, usually 1 or 2 year grafts of some very hard to find varieties for sale as well. If you've 'Gotta have' a particular plant, this may be a good route for you.

Stock Quality/Size: ***
Stock size is listed pretty descriptively in the catalog, listing 'age' for most plants offered. I was pleased with the size and quality of the plants I received. The 5 gallon tree I ordered(listed below) was a very nice sized plant for less then $50 U.S.

Customer Service/General experience: ****
Darren was both patient and helpful during the order process. The plants had to undergo a 'customs' check which required a before-shipping check for pests, I presume. This cost about $10 U.S. but in an order of a few hundred, the price is insignifigant. Shipping overall was actually pretty quick, about a week from Canada to the West coast U.S. The plants were sent 'partially bare-root' which I found to be fine considering it is still winter/early spring and the plants are dormant. It helped save on shipping which was also quite reasonable.

Value: ****
Whistling gardens has very affordable prices - and even better - there is an immediate 20-25% knockdown of the price from U.S. to Canadian currency. The liners came down to about $10-12 each and most gallons were very inexpensive as well.

Overall, Whistling gardens is a great find. A source that has both extremely rare conifers rarely seen elsewhere and at a very affordable price. At a minimum, check out their catalogs, you'll probably find yourself placing an order soon after!

Picea omorika x pungens 'Kosteri' 5-Gal ~$50 U.S.
A nice enough plant that I gave it the honor of my center circle.

Picea abies Ohlendorfii Broom 3-Gal ~$28 U.S.

An example of a few of the 1-gallon and 'liner' sized plants.


Cloud Mountain Farms is a family owned nursery out of the NW part of Washington state. With 20 acres of nursery lands, they started with apple trees thirty years ago and have now extended into other areas, including conifers.

Inventory: ***
Cloudmountain has a pretty nice selection of conifers, with heavy inventories of dwarf and miniature conifers. The quirk is that more then half of their conifers are strangely not offered online. You might expect larger, full-sized uprights to be excluded from online purchases, but there are also miniatures also listed as 'in-person' only. Even more curious is since my purchase a few months ago, one of the plants I purchased online is no longer listed as available for online orders - it's now listed as 'nursery only'.

Stock size/quality: ****
I found the stock size to be very impressive, on par with some of the best I've seen amongst online nurseries. The Cedrus atlantica 'Uwe' that I ordered was a nice full plant, at least four or five years old. I also found the plants to be very healthy and well grown. A definite plus.

Customer service/General experience: ****
I only made one order with Cloudmountain farm, but their packaging, shipping and business acumen was great.

Value: ***
While some plants were very large, for a very reasonable price, I paid a small randsom for the Cedrus atlantica 'Uwe' that I coveted. For it's size, I wasn't disappointed, but in this economy, or any other for that matter, most people may balk at spending upwards of $90 on a 1-gallon plant.

Cloud Mountain Farm is another good option for collectors or garden enthusiasts looking to pepper their landscape with some cool plants.

Abies procera 'Hupp Compact' $35

Cedrus atlantica 'Uwe' $88

Cedrus deodara 'Feelin Blue' $20

Tsuga mertensiana 'Bump's Blue' $20

I'll give a small review for Singing Tree garden later this week(I only ordered one conifer and a half dozen heaths), and Girard Nursery as soon as the order arrives.

Below are also links to the previous review threads.

Hope this was helpful to you! Also feel free to add input here or your own reviews. I'm sure people would love to hear what you've found out there.


Here is a link that might be useful: Original review thread


clipped on: 04.12.2009 at 11:39 am    last updated on: 04.12.2009 at 11:40 am

RE: Red alder- Alnus rubra (Follow-Up #7)

posted by: kman04 on 05.04.2008 at 03:09 am in Trees Forum

I was able to grow Red Alder here in Kansas for a few years, but my seed strain originated from Northern coastal California and it never prospered for me and died after about 3 years. It didn't seem to mind the clay loam soil and soggy ground it was planted in, but did obviously struggle with the heat. I never saw any winter damage from the 2 winters it made it through. It would look good until about early to mid June and then it would just barely survive until the fall.

European Black Alder(Alnus glutinosa) seems to do fine here and doesn't seem to mind the heat much. It also seems to grow just fine in average soil moisture conditions as well as wet soil areas. The native(to Kansas) Hazel Alder(Alnus serrulata) grows well here also and doesn't mind the heat at all, but it tends to grow as a very large shrub rather than a tree. It gets to maybe 20' tall. It's also almost never sold in the nursery trade for some reason. Other than those 2, I don't think I've seen any other species of Alder in Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, or Missouri(the areas I'm most traveling through).


check out hazel alder
clipped on: 04.05.2009 at 09:17 am    last updated on: 04.05.2009 at 09:17 am

RE: Corn Meal? (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: dchall_san_antonio on 01.01.2009 at 05:23 pm in Soil Forum

Corn meal is not corn meal but almost.

FOOD grade corn meal is sold in grocery stores. It has been stored under ideal conditions since it was harvested. It also has been finely ground for baking.

FEED grade corn meal is sold in feed stores. It has been stored outdoors under conditions that are not allowed for food grade corn. It has the same nutritional value as food grade but is not ground as evenly and could carry disease. Feed grade corn is used to feed deer, cattle, hogs, chickens, and pets. This is what I use regularly in my garden.

Corn GLUTEN meal is the remains of the corn after the outer edges of the kernel have been removed to make corn syrup. That leaves a higher protein material suitable for animal feed. It is a very fine, dark yellow, dusty material. It has considerably more protein than ordinary corn meal. Corn GLUTEN meal has been patented for use as an organic pre-emergent weed control. If you buy it labeled for weed control you pay the extra license fee. If you buy it in plain brown bags then you don't pay the license fee.


Check for corn meal at OK Hatchery.
clipped on: 01.03.2009 at 08:10 am    last updated on: 01.03.2009 at 08:10 am

Osage orange (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: greenman28 on 10.28.2008 at 07:31 pm in Woodlands Forum

Good for you!
In the past couple years, I've been growing osage, too.
I grow them in containers, but I plan on putting two of them out in the yard - one for a landscape tree, the other for a walking-stick (eventually).

My osages are shedding their leaves right now, and it's time to collect fruit for next year's seedlings. In my zone, I find it a waste of time to sow seeds before the last week of April. Like clockwork, my seedlings sprout with the start of May, whether they're planted one, two, or three weeks prior....

Propagation couldn't be easier. Toss them into something with drainage (so they don't sit in water if they get rained on), and then allow them to freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw throughout the winter. Whether they're black mush or just dried green mummy balls, you can hack into them and remove the best seed from the heart. Of course, if you're hedge-planting, you'll probably want to make a slurry to pour - and save you valuable time. Plant as many seeds as you want....but be advised that most of them will germinate. You might want to start a few in containers, as well, to be planted out in the yard as specimen trees when they're bigger.



clipped on: 11.09.2008 at 10:02 am    last updated on: 11.09.2008 at 10:02 am

RE: Preparing soil for blueberries (Follow-Up #6)

posted by: sherryls on 02.24.2008 at 09:15 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum

I have 268 plants myself. I tend to start out with a mix when I plant. Dig a good hole. Put the dirt is a big yard bucket. Add some ammonium sulfate - about 4 tabespoons. Then add about four or five double fists full of peat moss. Then I add about 2-4 cups of cottonseed meal. If you have manure available - toss in a half pail of season old manure too. Mix it all together then plant the blueberry bush into that. The mix is acidic enough to start out the plant in an environment it likes without having to pre-prepare the planting area. Multch with LOTS of Pine needles and top dress the plants with some extra cotton seed meal each year and new pine needles. I sometimes give them a shot of Miracle Grow for Acid Plants. But always be careful of potash. Blueberries dont like it. And becareful to top dressing the ground around the plants with the ammonium sulfate because you can burn the plant if it rains and splashes back onto the leaves of the plant. I did that once! Took half the year to get them back to normal!!!!!!!!!


also think about using Cottonseed meal.....
clipped on: 06.01.2008 at 08:16 am    last updated on: 06.01.2008 at 08:17 am

RE: Preparing soil for blueberries (Follow-Up #2)

posted by: jellyman on 03.29.2007 at 06:26 pm in Fruit & Orchards Forum


If I had a nickel for every time this question has been asked I could retire from Gardenweb.

It's not rocket science. Buy a bale of peat moss. Mix it well into the soil with a little compost if you like. Add garden sulphur for long-term acidification, and iron sulphate for a short-term acidic bang and a nice greenup. After the first season, fertilize with pure ammonium sulphate.

Check your Ph as Gardengirl suggests. If it is still too high, add more iron sulphate. But make sure you do not overdo any of one thing, and check the soil after your first amendments. Blueberries like a nice light, well-drained soil, and don't cotton much to solid clay. Mulch around the plants with something like pine needles helps retain moisture and gradually feeds the plants as it breaks down.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA


Try this technique.....
clipped on: 06.01.2008 at 08:15 am    last updated on: 06.01.2008 at 08:16 am