You may remember this Swamp maple, Acer rubrum ‘drummondii’ from spring. I did the initial styling on the tree and potted it in this beautiful bonsai pot. I then left it strictly alone, except for watering and fertilizing.
Today seemed like a good time to check in on our subject, to see what needed doing if anything.
The main tree did very well, as you can see. It’s now sporting some South Louisiana fall color, which is nothing to write home about. On those species that do give us some, it’s generally two or three days of yellow or red, then everything drops off for the ensuing three months of nasty grayness we call winter.
The big question, of course, is what happens in 2019? Is the end near for this specimen? Maintaining Swamp maples collected from the wild has proven to be an insurmountable challenge for me. By year three, they start rotting from the top down and I have never figured out how to keep that from happening. This time I did two things different: one, I kept the tree mostly in its native soil, hoping that perhaps would be the key to the tree’s defense against viral attack; and two, I avoided any wiring and shaping work in year one. Why would that cause the tree to decline? I’m not sure, except that perhaps the additional stress would be too much for the tree to cope with as it recovered from collecting. Anything’s worth a try, right?
Let me know what you think of this specimen. Leave me a comment below.