Crimson King Maple Tree Pt 2

Apr. 13, 2010

Its just two weeks after the discovery of my little Crimson King Maple seedlings growing all over the front yard, and I’ve already learned new things. It’s true that they don’t all come true from seed, actually just a fraction of the seeds will produce a tree with deep red color. Luckily they’re quick to produce their color. I haven’t yet dug the majority of them up, so now I can pick only the ones I want to raise.

crimson-king-maple-tree-seeds-2-1

Here’s the growth from the first batch of seedlings that were dug up. I’m happy that their color comes in quickly and its easy to tell which ones to keep.


crimson-king-maple-tree-seedling-rootsRoots after 2 weeks.


The newest batch
crimson-king-maple-tree-seeds-2-2


Still in the yard.

Posts in this series:
Crimson King Maple Tree Seeds Part 1
Crimson King Maple Tree Seeds Part 3

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17 Responses to “Crimson King Maple Tree Pt 2”

  1. Ray Guidry says:

    looking to buy Crimson King Maple tree seeds / seedlings

  2. Andrea says:

    I too would be very interested in some seedlings; I want to have one as a bonsai, but every Crimson King I find is 5′ or more in height – a little larger than what I need. 🙂

    • Trisha says:

      Andrea, what a fantastic idea!!! I’ve never seen the Norway Maple as a bonsai before, its usually the Japanese Maples… but I bet they would grow a very interesting trunk.

      I didnt have much luck with the seedlings. They got off to a great start, then when the hot weather came they started to fry in the sun, so I moved them into the greenhouse under mist. They did ok for a while then most of them rotted, so I put them in the ground in part shade and let them fend for themselves. I still have a lot to learn about trees I guess.

      Theyre still looking kind of sickly, hopefully they’ll make it through the winter and do better next season. If they do, I’ll send you one in the spring. I can also grab some seeds for you in the fall if you’re interested.

      • Andrea says:

        Hi Trisha,

        I love the Japanese Maples, but they can be finicky, not to mention pricey. Plus, I like doing things a little different than the norm. 🙂 I first saw them last fall visiting my mother-in-law in NW Pennsylvania (I’m in KS); they’re all over up there, and I just fell in love with them. The color of the Crimson King is so lovely, I just thought it would be perfectly suited to a bonsai.

        That’s too bad about the seedlings, but definitely keep me in the loop as to how things go… I’d say I’m interested in the seeds, but the only problem is that so many of them do not grow true to type, a common situation with maples which is why so many of them are grafted.

        So far, the smallest Norway Maple I can find – and it’s the ‘Royal Red’ cultivar, not the ‘Crimson King’, though they’re supposed to look very similar with the ‘Royal Red’ being more hardy – is about 5′ tall which is bigger than what I need. BUT, since they’re usually grafts, I’m thinking if that’s the smallest I can find, I might just buy one, pot it really, really deep so that *hopefully* it would start to grow roots above the graft. Then, in a year or two, once the new, true Norway roots are established, cut off the trunk below the graft. By that time, the trunk should be nice and thick and it will make a good bonsai. But, that’s a lot of ifs… lol

        Thanks,
        Andrea

        • Trisha says:

          Different than the norm can really pay off when it works! I admire that. It would really be a beautiful bonsai, so i kept searching. Hopefully you’ll get a crimson king without a couple years of if’s 😀

          Looking on google images I found one of the norway maples as a bonsai. Its green but still looks really good…they only have seeds. I did some more searching and found one person on DavesGarden who has cuttings, not sure how large they are though. I did also try cuttings but was clueless as to how and when to cut them. I’ll get this yet.

          I’ll get creative next spring and figure out how to package a seedling when its still young so the mail carrier doesnt smoosh it.

          Best of luck, and if you do get one started I’d love to see how it goes.

  3. Andrea says:

    Trisha,

    I spoke to one of the people at one of our local nurseries that does carry the Crimson King (and bonsai trees/supplies) regarding my desire to have one as a bonsai. According to him, the best time and type of cuttings to take for the norway maples is softwood in June, then to dip it in rooting hormone, plant it in peat and cover it to keep the humidity in (a 2L pop bottle cut in half works well, I read somewhere). Because their trees are for retail sale, I can’t take any cuttings from their trees (boo!!), but maybe this can help you out – and me? 🙂 – next spring.

    His only hesitation with using a norway maple instead of the more popular japanese maples for a bonsai is the leaf size; he wasn’t sure if the leaves would remain their normal size, or if they would naturally be smaller on a small tree. I guess the only way to find out is to give it a try! I am hoping to go by the nursery in the next few days and just have a real close look at their trees so I can get a good feel if this might work, and if it would be worth my time. Either way, if you are able to get some softwood cuttings from your Crimson King next spring, I would definitely be interested in a few of them!! 🙂

    Andrea

    • Trisha says:

      Thank you nurseryman! See, I believe that if you’re going through all the trouble of rooting, babying and nurturing and years and years of waiting for a decent sized tree, you should be able to swipe a cutting or two for your own yard.

      In this photo it looks to me that the leaves are just slightly smaller than full grown, which would be in decent proportion to a bonsai. What I love on this one is the trunk. And imagine it red, oh my.

      Been digging more, but am only finding fragments of information…

      In support of starting from seed… “in the vacant lots where many seedlings that were allowed to grow and all had twisted trunks.” which might be a good thing in this case.

      There are also places that sell whips, and I read this on a bonsai forum about maples “…for good trunk curvature and taper, which I think is best achieved by growing out whips and then cutting them off.” Though the shortest whips I found for sale were 5′ tall. Is that TOO much to cut off????

      I will most definitely try cuttings again next season. I took them in July, stuck them in sharp sand under mist. They didnt root. They looked so odd, as there wasn’t a lot of new soft growth and hardly any with more than one node. I tried a few heel cuttings too. So next time I’ll try peat and some pop bottle clotches. Thank You!!! Oh yes, and there’s always hardwood cuttings too. I have a good feeling about that.

      In any case, you’ll get something from me next spring 😀

  4. Adriana says:

    Hi there!
    I´m from Brazil!! Since the first time I saw a Maple Tree I wish to have one in my garden, but I believe the temperature here doesn´t help those seeds to grow. After reading your post I´m wondering if there is any secret or trick to make it happen. Do the seeds require any special conditions to sprout? I´ve heard that it´s necessary to emulate winter and spring temperatures, is that true?
    Awaiting for your comments!
    Thanks !! Adriana

    • Trisha says:

      Adriana,
      The Crimson King Maples are rated in the U.S. from zone 4 to 7. This means in its warmest native climate, they’re dormant for at least 6 months of the year. And they do need a cold period to grow to full maturity. You might possibly get seeds started by germinating them in a refrigerator as described for the red japanese maples but you’d also need to simulate a cold, dormant period every year for the trees to survive for a long period of time. The only option I can think of, if its even a reasonable solution, is to grow one as a small bonsai as Andrea is testing out in the comments above, and provide refrigerated storage from October to April. It would have to get pretty cold around January. Zone 7’s winter temperatures drop to 0° – 10°F I hate to joke, because I know you want a maple, but Id personally much rather have a sun tan all year! 😀 Best of Luck to you!

  5. david says:

    hello, just passing by and wanted to let you know a tip or two that Ive learned.

    1. when you water the maple seedlings, make sure the ground is dry, then water, then let the ground dry again before watering again. Maybe that is the reason why when you moved them to the greenhouse, they rotted because of the constant mist and moisture in the air.. They don’t need that much water. Also, maples like it in around 70 degree weather. I have similar seedlings that i just picked up from my backyard and they are all green but look identical to your pictures Trisha, but there is one which has leaves that look already like a true maple leaf, but I am positive they are all the same typle and all maple seedlings, maybe different sexes. I believe I have a Japanese red maple, but i am no expert. I just moved into my house last august so i am still getting to know the plants here. I know that the maple tree outside leaves are orange and they pretty much stay bright red and orange all year.

  6. david says:

    hello, just passing by and wanted to let you know a tip or two that Ive learned.

    1. when you water the maple seedlings, make sure the ground is dry, then water, then let the ground dry again before watering again. Maybe that is the reason why when you moved them to the greenhouse, they rotted because of the constant mist and moisture in the air.. They don’t need that much water. Also, maples like it in around 70 degree weather. I have similar seedlings that i just picked up from my backyard and they are all green but look identical to your pictures Trisha, but there is one which has leaves that look already like a true maple leaf, but I am positive they are all the same typle and all maple seedlings, maybe different sexes. I believe I have a Japanese red maple, but i am no expert. I just moved into my house last august so i am still getting to know the plants here. I know that the maple tree outside leaves are orange and they pretty much stay bright red and orange all year. stay in touch

    • Trisha says:

      Thanks for the tips David! Im sure youre right about the moisture rotting the seedlings. I also started 2 flats last fall from collected seeds and got nothin’. I bet thats why, they were probably too wet. One I covered with plastic, the other was in cells in a tray without holes. Luckily, the 5 that survived last year are doing fine. This year there are more red seedlings sprouting under the tree. Im hoping to have much better luck with the things I’ve learned from last year an your tips! Shade and much less water! Thank you.

      That would truly be a score if you have a Japanese Maple. Those are so expensive in the stores, and such wonderful trees! If you have photos up somewhere, Id love to see them if you wouldnt mind sharing a link.

      Thanks again!
      Trisha

  7. Jay says:

    Trisha,

    I just caught the tail end of a tree sale at Lowe’s down here in San Antonio, Texas this weekend. I was able to score 2 Japanese split leaf Maples (approx. 4ft high), a Weeping Willow (approx. 8ft), Conneticut Pear (white bloom), and 2 Indian Magic CrabApple trees (approx. 6ft). They were originally priced between $20 – $30 dollars and the sale was 50% off. So I closed the sale just under $50 for all my trees.

    I hope all my reading and research pays off and I don’t kill my trees.

  8. eric says:

    would like to buy some seeds of Norway maple ‘Crimson King’, anyone can tell me where to buy? many thanks.

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