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Maple tree growing in container

Posted by zuponicafe ME (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 11, 08 at 18:53

Hi! I have a maple tree growing in a plastic pot I grew tomatos in last year on my fire escape. I noticed it this spring & thought it was cute, so I left it alone to do its thing.
Well, now its 2' tall & I'm wondering what to do keep it through the upcoming winter, as I'm quite fond of it.
Here are my questions. If anyone could help, I'd greatly appreciate it!
-Should I even attempt to winter it in a container, and if that is possible, what type of container? It is currently growing in a 10" plastic planter.
-I noticed it has white splotches on a few leaves (3) that look more like mold than the bird turds I originally thought. Should I treat it? If so with what? It has been an insanely rainy summer here in Maine, so it could just be actual mold, but the soil is not moldy, and it is only on a few leaves so I am thinking that's probably not the cause. I haven't added any fertilizer to the dirt either, if that helps to diagnose.
I wont post a bunch more questions until I come up with a game plan for what to do first, and I apologize if these questions are redundant, but I couldn't find any information on the web that I could apply to this particular situation.
Thanks a bunch in advance!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Maple tree growing in container

I have had many seedlings spend their first few years in a pot about that size. The only thing you want to do is protect the roots a bit. I usually put the pot in a protected corner outside during the colder months. The white splotches could indeed be mold, if the sun ever does shine again, it should disappear. They do have fungicides but with a plant that small, I would be cautious of using it. If the sun does shine and it does not seem to get better, you could try a systemic made for houseplants. That should be gentle enough.
You will know when your tree is getting root bound as it will stop growing. At that point, you either need a bigger pot or a real home for it.
I have had success with Chestnut trees, oaks and maples. Enjoy.

RE: Maple tree growing in container

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 12, 08 at 17:48

Since it's a volunteer, we can be reasonably sure it's hardy to your zone, but that doesn't mean it will survive in a container w/o some degree of protection. I would bury the container in the ground, out of wind and sun, and mulch it. It should then over-winter just fine - as long as you keep the rodents away.

It's very unlikely the white blotches that look like bird droppings are mold, and very likely they ARE cottony maple scale.


RE: Maple tree growing in container

What can be done to get rid of cottony maple scale?

RE: Maple tree growing in container

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 20, 08 at 17:03

Generally, it's not treated. Late spring (before bud-break) applications of hort oil are fairly effective. There are also a number of other chemical insecticides that can be applied in early summer when the crawlers are out. You don't tell us where you live, so it's hard to guess when that might be for you. (you should include your USDA zone and state or a large city you're near in your user info).


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