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bonsai_enthusiast
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Possible branches and root questions

I recently started planting a bunch of maple seeds that I found a few blocks from where I live, soaked them for 24 hours, stratified them in the refrigerator for approx. 3 months and planted them all (total of about 46 seeds, 37 germinated, 9 not germinated). In a matter of 1 week most of them are approx. 2" in length with their first set of leaves! :D

A few of them are more advanced than the others and I've noticed they have bumps on their stems and their root(s) are pushing out of their pellets. Are these bumps possible branches? And should I transplant them into bigger containers or are the exposed roots not harmful for my seedlings? Thanks so much to anyone that can help answer my questions.

-I also live in an apartment with limited space so i cannot plant them in the ground only in pots. Below are some pictures I took to show the things I mentioned above. The last picture is my biggest of them all.

[img]https://img525.imageshack.us/img525/2033/img14313.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img19.imageshack.us/img19/1954/img14333.jpg[/img]
[img]https://img9.imageshack.us/img9/276/img1425.jpg[/img]

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Gnome
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bonsai_enthusiast,

Your seedlings are OK for now, yes you will need to pot up but I don't see any urgency yet. Having roots grow through the mesh of the peat pellets is to be expected. The ones that emerge will die back but this encourages new roots to form along the portion of the root that is still covered. The roots will be more branched or ramified.

I usually start seeds in a small flat and transplant after a few weeks to individual pots. I use a more open mix that contains no peat, this allows me to easily remove the initial soil mix and make any necessary cuts to the roots. Usually this is very minor at this time. I may nip the taproot or trim the ends of any overly long roots. Every time you re-pot is an opportunity to begin to shape the future nebari.

The bumps you noted are not branches. Future branches will form at the junction of the leaves and the stem, known as the axil. The structure may be a remnant of the germination process. I'll be doing some more soon and I'll try to be more observant.

All this overlooks your biggest problem though. Maples are a poor choice for indoor culture and I'm afraid you are going to have a rough time growing them inside.

Seedlings need a fair amount of light or they will grow tall and spindly. Unless you have a southern exposure I suggest you get a cheap shop-light with 4ft bulbs if you intend to have a serious go at this. Also, as you pot them up they will take an increasing amount of space and more effort to keep watered. You can probably get by the first season but come next fall you will have trouble providing the dormancy that Maples require.

How about a nice Ficus? :wink:

Norm

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bonsai_enthusiast
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Thank you for replying to my post. My windows are south facing; I did realize that maples are hard to grow indoors since they need a dormancy period. I guess it was just a spur of the moment idea. It will be sad to see all my hard work die off but I guess thats the challenges we face when we live in the middle of a big city. I do know that ficus trees do well indoors and thank you for your suggestion :). It doesn't look like this will be the hobby for me. :P Thanks again for your expertise! :D

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uzeyr
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well i would advice u to actually go and at least see some ready bonsai trust me it may motivate u to get one :D and then ur bonsai hobby wouldnt die out :D

Kenshin14435
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Location: Northern VA USDA Zone 7A

Instead of just letting them die off, maybe you could sell them to some locals for a cheap price 25-50 cents per seedling. Possibly a dollar. If you are able to sell some, don't foget to include a care hand-out on how to take care of your tree. You might even be able to give them to a local park or something. At least then they'll have a chance at a very nice life.

Take Care
~ Ken ~

kdodds
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If I were to attempt an "indoor" maple, I would want a south facing window, and a garden box, something to keep humidity levels fairly high. I've tried maples indoors a loooong time ago, seedlings, as you have. Keeping them watered and humid enough was the issue that did them all in eventually, I think. I never was able to get any past summer.

Gareth
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Location: Surrey, UK

Kudos to Norm for finding this thread for me!

Just to confirm Bonsai_enthusiast, after you soaked the seeds, you placed them into the refrigerator for 100 days or so.

Now my question is, did you put them in a zip bag with peat/loam/vermiculite/sphagnum moss etc? Or did you put them straight into the peat pellets with the biodegradable mesh surrounding them?

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bonsai_enthusiast
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Gareth, I put them in a Ziploc bag with peat moss, sprayed it down until it was moist but not saturated, added the seeds, zip locked the bag, and poked some holes on the top for ventilation.

I checked them once a week or so just to make sure it was still moist and to check for mold, etc. once the seeds germinate you can plant them. :)



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