Friday, April 9, 2010

Japanese Maple

Japanese Maple (Acer Palmatum 'Bloodgood')

Delicate Trees.  The Japanese maples are in their best appearance right now.  The leaves are still young and sharp in their color.  There is no better time to take their pictures than this time.  When the temperatures rise to remind us that we live in El Dorado Hills - meaning hot, the color of the leaves begin to take on a grayish tint and some of the leaves will be scorched.
Making Use of Volunteers.  Every year Japanese maple seedlings (baby plants) grow around the trees.  They are the seeds that had fallen there last year.  We call these plants "volunteers".  My daughter, Shannon, likes transplanting them into pots and she takes care of them.  She now has trees that are four feet tall in pots.  She started them from three-inch seedlings two years ago.  She is responsible in doing all the
necessary management practices (watering, fertilizing, staking and making sure that they are situated to get enough sunlight) with a little technical support from me.  This year, I noticed that there are a lot more seedlings around the trees compared to previous years.  Shannon is getting ready to transfer these volunteers into small pots.  Even if the seedlings are from the same parents, the genetic makeup of each little tree is different from the other.  Who knows someday she might be able to select one that is unique enough to deserve a name.

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