Training a Japanese Maple Into A Single Stemmed Tree

Single stemmed Japanese Maple

Single stemmed Japanese Maple

To grow this plant into tree form, simply drive a stake into the ground very close to the stem, making sure to not damage too many roots. The stake should ideally be 4-5 feet tall. This will allow you to support the tree as it grows and train it to grow straighter than it would naturally.

The best time to do this pruning is just after the plant goes dormant to minimize any stress on the plant. Some pruning will need to be done during the growing season as well, but doing the majority as the plant is dormant is recommended.

Prune all branches, buds and leaves along the stem, leaving the tip of the plant and any leaves using a quality set of pruners. Removing all of them will force the plant to grow upwards. Remember, removing any branches, leaves, and buds that are growing along the stem will ensure no branches form lower than the desired height. Support the plant along its length by using twist ties or using landscape plant ties. Support the tip also, remember, you are training the plant to grow upwards until your desired height is achieved. At that height you will find pick a branch and leave every branch above it to grow. These branches will form the canopy at the height you chose.

If you receive your plant before or during the growing season, light pruning throughout the growing season to control the number and lengths of branches forming lower than desired is suggested because removing all the branches and leaves during the growing season will affect the plants ability to feed itself. Once the plant goes dormant, removal of those lower branches, leaves and buds can begin. As the next growing season begins, the plant may once again develop leaves along it stem if you missed a bud or two. It is fine to leave them until the plant once again goes dormant..

Once the plant has reached a good height, I like 5-6 feet, you can leave a branch or two to grow and begin to form the tree shape. Don’t go too wild on pruning the branches once it has reached the desired height, they can be pruned at a later date if needed. Occasional removal of leaves and buds may need to be done along the stem to keep your new Japanese Maple tree looking great.

How to prune a Japanese Maple

How To Prune A Japanese Maple

Prune a Japanese maple tree like a pro!

How to prune a Japanese maple

How to prune a Japanese maple

Properly pruning your Japanese Maple tree is essential for a healthy, great looking tree. Most homeowners fail to properly care for their maples, often resulting in unhealthy looking and unsightly trees. For this reason, I have written a small guide to help you prune a Japanese maple tree. This Japanese Maple pruning guide will walk you through the pruning process and many illustrations are included so you can be confident in your pruning skills. Grab your copy right now and you will have full access to the PDF after payment! Only $2.99!

PLEASE NOTE: You must click the “Return to this website” link to get immediate access. If you do not click the link, look in your mailbox for your access details.

How to grow and prune a Japanese maple

Who wants to know what it takes to grow a Japanese Maple tree from seed? How about learning to prune the tree as well?

Well, good news! This PDF will show you what you need to get started in the right direction.

Japanese Maple seeds

From this

Japanese Maple Acer palmatum dissectum Inaba Shidare

To this

Here is what the PDF covers:

  • How to stratify the seeds
  • What to prune
  • When to prune
  • The proper way to make cuts
  • Pruning tools
  • How NOT to prune
  • Pruning small branches and limbs
  • Thinning
  • Pruning large branches

And the best part? It is only $1.99!

No, that is not a typo, it is less than $2! Why? well to be honest, I hope you enjoy it so much you consider purchasing other PDF’s or books I have written. Don’t want to purchase anything else? No problem!

So grab your copy of “How to grow and prune a Japanese maple” right now for only $1.99.



How to start a plant propagation nursery

Who wants to know what it takes to start a plant propagation nursery?

Well, good news! This PDF will show you what you need to get started in the right direction.

Here is what the PDF covers:

  • Why grow plants?
  • Chapter 1 Knowledge
  • Chapter 2 Plants
  • Chapter 3 Space
  • Chapter 4 Rooting Media
  • Chapter 5 Propagation Beds
  • Chapter 6 Licensing
  • Conclusion
  • Bonus Information

And the best part? It is only $1.99!

No, that is not a typo, it is less than $2! Why? well to be honest, I hope you enjoy it so much you consider purchasing other PDF’s or books I have written. Don’t want to purchase anything else? No problem!

So grab your copy of “How to start a plant propagation nursery” right now for only $1.99.



Using an intermittent misting system to root cuttings

Why use intermittent mist?

Using intermittent mist to root cuttings of woody ornamentals and perennials is one of the most efficient means of asexually reproducing large quantities of plants. Intermittent mist offers a means of automatically supplying moisture during the critical periods of propagation by using timers that control the delivery of the misting water on a precise schedule. Without intermittent mist, cuttings need to be kept in a humidity and temperature controlled environment to keep them from wilting and dying from overheating and transpiration. Transpiration is the evaporation of moisture from a plants leaves, stems, flowers, and roots. Intermittent mist raises the humidity level around the cuttings, which lessens the transpiration process and allows the cuttings to form a callus and root, and reduces the temperature around the cuttings. All this can be accomplished without the need of an expensive greenhouse which requires temperature and humidity controls.

Under ideal conditions, certain softwood cuttings can root under intermittent mist in as little as 2-3 weeks, allowing you to root multiple batches of cuttings in a single growing season.

Outdoor Misting

There are many variations on misting facilities, and one style does not fit all. Large propagators may use large misting houses with elaborate lighting and plumbing, while smaller family owned nurseries may use simple hoophouses or root the cuttings in sand beds right outdoors using simple misting systems and natural lighting.

Proper location of an outdoors misting area is extremely important for success. Too much sun or wind can be very detrimental to the cuttings. Filtered shade throughout the day is best, as is a location out of direct wind, but these can be overcome with artificial shade and baffles to deflect the wind. A simple structure can be built around the misting area and shade cloth or lattice can be used with great success to reduce the sun and wind.

Rooting medium

The proper rooting media is critical when rooting cuttings under intermittent mist. Sand has been used with great success for many years, however, a mixture of peat moss with an equal amount of perlite, vermiculite, or sand is an even better rooting medium. The peat/perlite, peat/vermiculite, or even a peat/sand mixture is superior to sand alone because it will be more porous, well aerated and better drained than sand alone.

Mist duration

The correct duration and interval of mist is critical to the ability of the cuttings survival and success at rooting. Too little mist or too much time between mists will result in the cuttings drying out, wilting and dying. Too little mist will also result in the cuttings overheating which will also result in the cuttings dying. Too much mist or too little time between mists will result in a constantly wet cutting and constantly wet rooting medium. This will result in leaf drop, stem rot, and fungus and diseases. A good basic starting point is a 5 to 10 second misting period every 5 to 10 minutes.

Temperature

One factor often overlooked while rooting cuttings is the temperature around the cuttings. Air temperature should be kept between 50°F and 69°F. Slightly higher air temperatures will not harm the cuttings, but lower temperatures can be detrimental to the cuttings. The rooting medium ideally should be kept between 65°F and 75°F to promote callusing and root development. One way of maintaining proper medium temperature is through soil warming cables placed under the medium. These cables will automatically maintain the proper temperature of the medium, creating ideal conditions for callus forming and root development. A plant develops roots as long as the medium temperature is above 45°F, so maintaining the temperature of the medium above 45°F can greatly increase the ability of the cuttings to form roots.

Care of a rooted cutting

After the cuttings have developed roots, the frequency of mist should be gradually reduced to begin hardening off the cuttings and to get them accustomed to normal growing conditions. Over the period of a month or so, the water should be reduced to a once a day watering. The cutting are now ready to be transplanted into pots, grow beds, or planted into the landscape. Potted plants should continue to be watered once a day. The new plants in grow beds or planted in the landscape should be watered once a day for a few weeks, then once every two or three days for a few weeks. After about a month, the plants should established enough to be watered only during long dry spells.

Removing rooted cuttings from the mist

Successfully removing rooted cuttings from intermittent mist

What do I do after the softwood cuttings have roots?

Is this a question you find yourself asking? Well, fear not! I will explain what needs to be done to help the cuttings survive.

After the cuttings have rooted, you must decide what you are going to do with them. Will they be potted up to be sold retail or given to friends or relatives, planted in a grow bed to continue growing for a year or two and then sold bareroot or as a liner, or simply planted in your landscape for you to enjoy?

Gently remove the rooted cutting from the rooting medium. Lightly shake off any medium that is clinging to the plant. Getting all the material off is not important, but saving as much as you can will allow you to continue rooting cuttings with the same rooting media.

If the cutting will be potted up to be sold retail, pot up the cutting in an appropriate sized nursery pot. Appropriate sized means large enough for the roots to grow, but not so large that the roots get lost in the pot. Usually, with a small rooted cutting of 6 inches or so, a 1 quart pot is sufficient. Potted plants lose moisture at alarming rates, and should be watered twice a day, but you may find that you can water them only once per day with no detrimental effect on the plant.

If being planted in the landscape, they need to be acclimated to normal growing conditions. When using intermittent mist, this means gradually reducing the frequency the cuttings get water. You can safely reduce the watering frequency to twice a day for the first week. Notice I said watering frequency and not misting frequency. You are acclimating them to being watered, and weaning them from the mist. I water mine in the morning before the sun gets too intense, and in the afternoon as the sun begins to lose it’s intensity. Be sure you do not water too late in the evening or you may promote the growth of fungus and other diseases. After the first week, the cuttings can be watered once a day for a week. After the week has passed, reduce the frequency to once per week for two weeks. At this point, the plants should be established and you really should only have to water the plant during droughts.

Bareroot cuttings and liners require special handling. Look for my separate article on handling bareroot cuttings.

Following these steps with your newly rooted cuttings will improve their odds at survival.

Pruning and Training Harry Lauders Walking Stick

Harry Lauder’s usually grow in a twisted, contorted shrub form. It is an erratic but interesting shape as a shrub, but for a more interesting specimen, pruning and training it into a tree is required. So how do you train a Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick into a tree?

First you should get the proper plant to begin with. Buying a plant with multiple stems already established is not the type of plant to start with. Yes, you can probably prune and train it, but it will require much more work and severe pruning. The best type of plant to purchase is a single stemmed liner.

A liner is a cutting taken from the parent plant which has developed roots and grown on for a year or two. The liner will usually have a single stem which is a great start for your tree. A liner of a Corylus avellana ‘Contorta’ is more desirable than a grafted one because it is growing on it’s own root system. A grafted Contorted Hazel will form suckers at it’s base, requiring constant pruning where the rooted cutting will not. The following picture shows a single stemmed liner that was rooted from a softwood cutting that is a great candidate for training into a tree. Notice how it has already begun to twist and contort?

Pruning and training Harry Lauder's Walking Sticks

As you can see, the plant already has begun to grow as we want it; a single stem with no significant lower branches. The reason we don’t want any branches low is to force the plant to grow upwards.

To grow this plant into tree form, simply drive a stake into the ground very close to the stem, making sure to not damage too many roots. The stake should ideally be 4-5 feet tall. This will allow you to support the tree as it grows and train it to grow straighter than it would naturally.

The best time to do this pruning is just after the plant goes dormant to minimize any stress on the plant. Some pruning will need to be done during the growing season as well, but doing the majority as the plant is dormant is recommended.

Prune all branches, buds and leaves along the stem, leaving the tip of the plant and any leaves using a quality set of hand pruners. Removing all of them will force the plant to grow upwards. Remember, removing any branches, leaves, and buds that are growing along the stem will ensure no branches form lower than the desired height. Support the plant along its length by using Luster Leaf Rapiclip Garden Plant Twist Ties or Velcro Plant Ties. Support the tip also, remember, you are training the plant to grow upwards until your desired height is achieved.

If you receive your plant before or during the growing season, light pruning throughout the growing season to control the number and lengths of branches forming lower than desired is suggested because removing all the branches and leaves during the growing season will affect the plants ability to feed itself. Once the plant goes dormant, removal of those lower branches, leaves and buds can begin. As the next growing season begins, the plant may once again develop leaves along it stem if you missed a bud or two. It is fine to leave them until the plant once again goes dormant..

Once the plant has reached a good height, like 5-6 feet, you can leave a branch or two to grow and begin to form the tree shape. Don’t go too wild on pruning the branches once it has reached the desired height, they can be pruned at a later date if needed. Occasional removal of leaves and buds may need to be done along the stem to keep your new Harry Lauders tree looking great.

Emerald Arborvitae

Emerald Arborvitae

Arborvitae Emerald Green

Emerald Arborvitae is one of those plants that at times can be overused in the landscape. However, it makes a great stately plant that is very easy to care for.

Botanical Name Thuja occidentalis ‘Emerald”
Common name Emerald Arborvitae, Emerald Green Arborvitae, Smaragd, Eastern Arborvitae, American Arborvitae, White Cedar
Habit Pyramidal tree
Size 40-60 feet high but typically 20-30.
Hardiness Zones 3-7
Uses in the landscape Great for hedges, specimen plants, and foundation plants.
Diseases Bagworm, heartrot, leaf miner, spider mites. Deer tend to like browsing on them.
Propagation methods Cuttings from current years wood.
Pruning Information
Additional Information
Where you can purchase one  Amazon.com, local garden supply centers

What is nutrient leaching when rooting cuttings with intermittent mist?

Intermittent mist was a great revolution in propagating plants. It enabled the propagator to quickly and cost effectively produce many plants at a time. However, with the benefits comes negative impacts on the nutrients that are within the cuttings. Not knowing how your cuttings are performing can cause them to form roots very slowly, not form roots at all, or cause them to die.

Unrooted cuttings rely on their reserves of nutrients to help the cutting survive until they form roots. Until the cuttings actually form roots, they do not absorb new nutrients from the rooting media. The cuttings get these reserves from the parent stock plant the cutting was originally taken from.

Cuttings absorb nutrients from the rooting media or potting media once the roots have formed, but until the formation of roots has completed, leaching of the nutrients from within the cutting is possible. Hardwood cuttings tend to be more susceptible to leaching than softwood cuttings because the softwood cuttings retain more nutrients in their cell walls which make the nutrients harder to leach out. The level of nutrients in the cuttings is highest when first taken from the stock plant, declines as the cutting is rooted, and increases again once roots develop.

Nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and boron are the most likely nutrients to be leached out of cuttings while they are under mist. The result usually will be first seen as foliar deficiencies. These deficiencies may be yellowing of the leaves, spotting, and other symptoms.

Most small plant propagation nurseries do not have the facilities to properly test for nutrient leaching. So what should you do?

  • Be sure the stock plant you will be taking your cuttings from is healthy and well fed with fertilizer before actually taking the cuttings. This will ensure that the cuttings you do take will have the maximum amount of nutrients in them. Ensuring the cuttings have high nutrient levels will increase your odds of them surviving past the critical stage of when the unrooted cutting turns into a cutting with roots that is able to absorb new nutrients from the soil.
  • Do small scale tests and record your findings. Add a small amount of slow release fertilizer to your rooting media. This will ensure the cutting will have nutrients available when it needs them. Too little fertilizer is better than too much! Note which plants do best and the amount of fertilizer you used. Good record keeping will enable you to duplicate the process when you find the one that works. Your records will also keep you from making the same mistakes over and over again!
  • Do not over mist. Over misting will leach the nutrients from the cuttings much faster. You want to keep the leaves of the cutting moist but not too wet. On the other hand, never let the cuttings wilt during the misting process.

Ok, I can hear you thinking…why not use liquid water-soluble fertilizer like Miracle Grow? A few reasons.

  • It leaches out of the rooting media quickly.
  • Some cuttings do not do well when the fertilizer is applied to the leaves or stems.

Paying careful attention to your stock plants nutritional health before taking cuttings is one of the easiest methods you can do to be sure your cuttings have the nutrients available to them during the rooting process.

Favorite Discover the secrets of Misting Systems used to propagate plants

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This PDF was written using my many years of designing, building, and selling misting systems for plant propagators.

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Here is what this PDF covers:
1) What is a misting system
2) 10 reasons you should own a misting system
3) Why a misting system is important when rooting softwood cuttings
4) Misting beds
5) Rooting media
6) Do you have enough water for your system?
7) Can you use softened water for misting?
a) 11 reasons NOT to use softened water
8) Can you use rainbarrels to provide the water?
9) What parts are needed for a misting system?
a) Tools required
b) Misting timers
i) Mechanical
(1) Wiring the timers
ii) Electronic/Digital
(1) Electric timers
(2) Battery timers
c) Solenoid valves
i) Typical irrigation solenoids
ii) Misting solenoids
d) Filters
i) Individual zone filter
ii) Whole system filter
e) Wire
i) Single zone
ii) Multiple zone
f) Misting nozzles
i) Common types of nozzles
ii) Freestanding
iii) Overhead/Risers
iv) Calculating nozzle spacing
g) Protecting your investment
i) Timer cabinets
ii) Protecting the solenoid valves
10) How to assemble the misting system
a) Single zone
b) Multiple zones
i) Building a manifold for the multiple solenoids
ii) Wiring the digital timer for multiple zones
11) How to take a cutting
12) Why providing shade is important
a) How to provide shade for your misting bed
13) Tips about electronic leaves and rain sensors
a) Nutrient leaching
14) Routine maintenance
a) Troubleshooting
b) Minor repairs
15) Spare parts that you should have
a) Fittings
b) Solenoid valve
c) Filter
d) Misting nozzles
e) Timer
16) When do I prepare the system for winter?
17) Winterizing your misting system
a) Quick 5 step winterizing description
b) Draining with gravity
c) Using compressed air
18) Setting your system up in the spring
19) Power outages
20) And more!
***Also included is exactly what propagation timer to purchase and WHERE!
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