Vine Maple ‘Tower’ as it looks today!
When this tree was first posted this spring it was a weird experiment that looked, I thought, ‘like a mangy dog’. There was just ugly sphagnum moss that had a few spots of live moss attached here and there. So it looked a mess, and everyone was very kind to ignore how dreadful the thing was. Or, at least, I didn’t receive any comments about that part.
For those curious about the original post, and the weird nylon contraption that is underneath the moss, here it is: http://crataegus.com/2013/04/01/vine-maple-tower-experiment/
I had hoped for some colonization of green moss this year, and I also hoped the maple would agree to life on a tower. Both thankfully seem to have happened. We did have to water it a lot. And it was protected from the strong summer sun, too, to help it get established. Here’s the maple as it looked in April 2013, after our day of putting it together:
Vine Maple ‘Tower’, April 2013
Vine Maple Tower this week, October 2013. The drooping branches are from leaf weight, and they should rise a bit over the winter.
A closeup of the Licorice ferns, a native of the Pacific Northwest, USA, which is deciduous in the summertime but regrows in the fall. The moss is beginning to have coverage over the moss/cheesecloth areas.
The base of the tower, with a bit of the nylon board peeking out of the moss.
A few of the rotty-looking extensions…
The Vine maple trunk…which either you like or you won’t. It’s never been wired, nor will I. It’s a wild child of my bonsai yard and I think it’s a fun counterpoint to some of the others that receive more directed training. I chose this tree because I liked it. Not because I wanted to change it.
The maple two days later than the first October photo, with a bit more color. They change so fast, and lose their leaves earlier than Japanese maple. But, I think I’ll like this tree just as much out of leaf.
And the Vine Maple Tower simply later in the day than the previous photo, with even more yellow in the leaves. Quick color change! Also there’s a Japanese maple on a post, and behind it, another Vine maple that has lost most of the top leaves already, with the bottom part still green and leafy.
I have to include the work today, which was Bobby and Ed (and, periodically, me) putting in a French drain in the back. It’s a bit swampy back there and I’m hoping this will solve the sogginess and allow some benches. I really don’t know what I’d do without these two guys, and others who’ve helped here. You guys rock.