Training Acer Ryusen

greenhavenrdgardenJuly 28, 2012

Hi guys! I recently bought an Acer Ryusen and I'm not sure how to train it taller. There was a beautiful speciman that was already 4ft tall but I chose one that was slightly smaller. If I want mine to grow taller I understand that I need to train it. From what i read they can grow to 12ft. The problem is that the leader (or what I think is the leader) is already very stiff and I cant bend it to stake it taller. There is only one branch at that top that I can bend but it is rather small. Is this what I'm supposed to train taller? Do I bend that branch straight up and tie it to the stake? If I leave it as it is will the plant get any taller or will the branches just grow along the ground like some of the photos I've seen where this plant is used as groundcover. Both styles are beautiful and if I can't make this one taller I will go back and buy the other also but I'd like to know exactly how to train this one. Thanks in advance :) PS, feel free to explain in remedial basic instructions bc I am quite confused about this!

The branches you see in the pic are vey stiff. If I bend them up I'm afraid they will snap. Only the pencil thiN Branch is bendable at this point.

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That is a profusely weeping form of Acer palmatum and exact mature height will depend largely on where the graft is located. Low grafting will always result in a smaller tree than a higher graft, regardless of training. I seriously doubt 12' can be achieved from this plant with any kind of standard grafting practice -- more often one sees 5' as the potential height and I've even seen it used as an almost completely prostrate groundcover (low graft). If it was as tall as 12" inches, I'd be surprised!

Typically weeping forms of JM's are trained to grow more upright by staking the uppermost branch (there are no leaders here) to a vertical position when quite young and flexible. If that branch has already developed sufficient circumference/stiffness to make that difficult then your only alternative is leave as is or wait for possible additional branching from the top of the canopy.

Don't try and force the upward direction but if you can gently move the most flexible of these young top branches to as close as vertical as you can, you should be able to increase the height over time although you may never achieve a completely straight, erect trunk at this stage of development.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 6:58PM
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Thank you. That helps a lot. I would actually be happier with a 5 ft tree than 12 so that's great BUT it sounds as if it might not get much taller. There is one small pencil thin branch I can still bend straight. Maybe I'll try with that. Either way now I can plan on placement for this tree. I was figuring I'd have to grow it in a pot until it was tall enough to place in the back of my perennial border but if it's going to stay short I can put it in the front. It's so pretty that I like the idea of it in front :) It was an impulse buy and I didn't think about training it til I go home. Especially bc they had a taller one right next to it. I think I'm going to go back and buy the 4ft tall one too. So cute they are :) Thanks again!!!!!!

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:53PM
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Great advice gardengal48! Basically what my own nursery need to wait for a new branch coming out from the arch that you'll want to stake. She also said that it is a patience thing...and won't happen over night.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 9:59AM
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