Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: bwaynef on January 28, 2012, 03:53 PM

Title: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: bwaynef on January 28, 2012, 03:53 PM
Would anyone care to tell me what all they know about these trees?  I'm particularly interested in their response to pruning ...and any tips on repotting.

A friend of mine has a really nice one that's in need of some TLC sooner rather than later.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: jwatson on January 29, 2012, 08:57 AM
Very tiny leaves, very easy to get sun scorched.  I have a tiny pre-bonsai koto hime, and here on the coast the winter has been so mild it's never even lost its leaves!  I've been watering and fertilizing as with all JM. 
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: Don Blackmond on January 29, 2012, 04:56 PM
Bill V. has some really nice info on them.  Perhaps he will visit and chime in.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: bwaynef on January 31, 2012, 02:03 PM
Here's hoping...
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on January 31, 2012, 08:57 PM
I've been propagating and growing Koto Hime Japanese maple since I introduced it to the American bonsai community in 1970. This is a very easy to grow and root cultivar of Japanese maple. In fact, it roots easier and quicker than common chrysanthemums. Semi softwood cuttings root quickly when taken in late spring. Large thick trunk cuttings will also root, but grow more slowly than vigorous smaller cuttings. Airlayers root best in spring as the new vegetative buds begin to grow.

Koto Hime Japanese maple has a strong vertical growth habit. Horizontal branches must be wired into place, but fortunately, they have a good memory and will quickly hold their new shapes. Be sure to check on wire as maples, like many deciduous species tend t grow rapidly in spring and wire may cut into the bark in only a couple of weeks. Continued pinching is necessary to develop fine twigs like the two bonsai below exhibit. I have never defoliated this cultivar, no need to as the foliage is quite tiny.

As far as repotting goes, there is nothing particularly special about Koto Hime Japanese maple. I have learned it's best to transplant AS the new leaves are opening, or even when the leaves are open and small. Like other established bonsai, they can be transplanted when in full leaf if you are careful and provide sufficient aftercare. There is no problem in drastically root pruning in spring. There is nothing special about the soil mixture, but a finer textured soil is preferred when fine twigs are being developed.

There is a variant of Koto Hime Japanese maple, Goshiki Koto Hime, which is supposed to have multi colored spring new growth. I have found this cultivar is not as vigorous as the common Koto Hime Japanese maple.

The first photo is my oldest Koto Hime Japanese maple which was used as a mother stock plant. Over 10,000 cuttings from this specimen were rooted and distributed throughout the United States. It has been completely container grown since it was rooted in 1970. It has never been in the ground.

The second photo was actually an air layer from the large plant which was allowed to grow to three feet tall with three trunks. The right trunk was air layered and was trained into the shohin bonsai shown here. It was the logo for a recent Shohin Bonsai Symposium.

Koto Hime Japanese maple is a delight to grow and train for bonsai.

Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: bwaynef on January 31, 2012, 09:16 PM
Wow!  That's the kind of information I was hoping for.  I'm encouraged to hear that 'Koto hime' has a strong vertical growth habit.  I'm wondering how it would respond to a rather drastic pruning.

Thanks
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on January 31, 2012, 09:18 PM
Koto Hime Japanese maple responds well to drastic pruning in early spring. Also, I forgot to mention that it is winter hardy in the ground in Upstate New York. When container grown, for bonsai, it must get some winter protection, like Trident maples in our climate.

Bill
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: John Kirby on February 01, 2012, 06:38 PM
Nice Bill, you have some great ones.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: exitsanity on February 21, 2013, 10:57 AM
Awesome trees.

Does anyone know a good online supplier for prebonsai koto hime material? All I'm finding for a parent tree is the Goshiki variant.

I'm in New England. Thank you for the excellent information!
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on February 21, 2013, 11:10 AM
I have excellent pre-bonsai Koto Hime plants from cuttings, not grafts available through my web site on order or my catalog which can also be download at the site below.

Good luck training your Koto Hime, great cultivar to work with.

Bill

http://www.internationalbonsai.com/page/1442817 (http://www.internationalbonsai.com/page/1442817)
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: Yenling83 on February 21, 2013, 11:37 AM
Bill-that large Koto Hime is so beautiful!!! I could look at it all day. 
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on February 21, 2013, 12:47 PM
Glad you like my large Koto Hime Japanese maple bonsai. When it was initially styled three air layers were made and are now stunning bonsai.

There are 12 pages on the history and care of Koto Hime Japanese maple as well as how this bonsai and its three air layers were trained in my forthcoming new book: Classical Bonsai Art: A Half Century of Bonsai Study– The Creations & Passion of William N. Valavanis. ]Although the book will be released in June at the International Bonsai Colloquium, there is a special pre-publication sale on now. The 256 page book has 675 formal portrait as well as developmental photos on 100 classic bonsai.

Below is an order form and also a link where you can easily order it on line.

Bill

http://www.internationalbonsai.com/page/1442819 (http://www.internationalbonsai.com/page/1442819)
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 25, 2014, 02:06 AM
I am interested in what you consider drastic pruning.  I have a Goshiki Koto Hime that has some really long upper growth that it need to remove. It's buds are just starting to swell and open. The tree is healthy, can I remove 50% of that growth or should I do it more slowly over a few seasons?

Thanks
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on February 25, 2014, 07:54 AM
Larry,

Should be no problem removing even over 50% of the growth. Try sticking the pieces removed, they may root.

Good luck,

Bill
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: Stefan.A on February 25, 2014, 09:12 AM
Could you elaborate on the pruning part? I always though maples tend to bleed alot around this time.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on February 25, 2014, 09:35 AM
Pruning is removing plant tissue.

NOW is the best time to drastically prune maples (when the buds begin to swell) in warmer areas, still cold and snowy here.

Sometimes a bit of sap may bleed from the cuts, but I've never seen any damage pruning now, but I've only been doing this for 50 years. Perhaps someone with greater experience ha different results.

I've never ever seen a plant "bleed to death" or whatever that means, I've read that a lot.

Bill
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: Stefan.A on February 25, 2014, 09:56 AM
Thank you for the quick reply.

My question was inspired by things I read, in this case almost always the discouragement of pruning maples in spring.
However I am familiar with who you are and what you deliver, so I'm willing to take your advice to heart. Without reyling on the authority argument  ;).



Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 25, 2014, 12:48 PM
Bill,
Thanks for the encouragement. I took some cuttings as suggested.  I've got them with a bit of bottom heat. Does Sharpes Pygmy root well from cuttings? Also is there a tutorial you might recommend on cuttings for Japanese Maples?

I'll post pictures when I can.  The files are to big from my phone, and I need to figure out hoe to reduce them.

LarryAldrich
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 26, 2014, 12:19 AM
My before and after.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 26, 2014, 12:20 AM
Also should I be worried about this black spot?
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on February 26, 2014, 07:23 AM
Larry,

I'd worry more about the bugs (white spots) on the trunk. Wash the trunk, being careful not to injure the dormant buds, with dish soap (Dawn) and Superthrive first.

I took a look at your pruned maple. I'd cut it down in half again. The main trunk and main branches are way too long.

Bill
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 26, 2014, 08:15 AM
Ok, thanks.  The tree with no limbs is inspiring.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 27, 2014, 11:00 AM
After more pruning.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on February 27, 2014, 12:19 PM
Did you transplant and root prune?
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 27, 2014, 12:53 PM
No, I want to but thought it would be better to wait until next year.  Do you guys think I should re-pot it this year?  I'd be more than happy to move it into some actual bonsai soil.  Would you recommend an Anderson pot, or a dollar store colander?

Thanks
Larry Aldrich
Seattle WA
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: John Kirby on February 27, 2014, 03:16 PM
A box or a pot,looks like it was quite strong. Repot and remove all of the remnant tap root. You don 't want anything growing down from the trunk.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: John Kirby on February 27, 2014, 03:25 PM
A box or a pot,looks like it was quite strong. Repot and remove all of the remnant tap root. You don 't want anything growing down from the trunk.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on February 27, 2014, 03:27 PM
I would suggest an oversized bonsai container with a coarse soil mix. Don't worry about tap roots. Your plant is a cutting and they do not develop tap roots. But play close attention the the trunk base and surface roots.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: John Kirby on February 27, 2014, 06:26 PM
Sorry, was referring to large down growing roots.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 27, 2014, 07:15 PM
Guys sorry to be a dope but I'm not sure how large the pot should be?
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: John Kirby on February 27, 2014, 07:30 PM
Do you have a pot (rectangle or oval) about twice as wide as the grow pot and 2-4 " deep or so. Too deep, but will give you room to grow. And like Bill said good coarse bonsai mix, you will
Be bare rooting the tree to remove the nursery mix.  Don't forget to tie the tree in to the pot really well. I would personally go shallower, but it can be a bit of a shovk the first time (more for you than the tree....).
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 27, 2014, 07:39 PM
Ok got it thanks. 
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 28, 2014, 11:29 PM
Bare root
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 28, 2014, 11:30 PM
Nebari
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 28, 2014, 11:31 PM
In Anderson pot
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on February 28, 2014, 11:33 PM
I'm still interested in any input. And, I appreciate it tooooo!
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on March 01, 2014, 06:22 AM
Why did you select that planting angle and such a large container?
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on March 01, 2014, 07:22 AM
I thought I needed a larger pot to start off with .  It ended up at that angle mostly by accident.  I was paying more attention to the roots and nebari than trunk. 
It was my first time repotting solo.  Should I take it out and start over? 
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on March 01, 2014, 05:07 PM
I would
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on March 01, 2014, 05:23 PM
Bill
What size pot would you recommend?  I have some terra cotta pots that I have prepped with extra holes and drainage.  I am under the impression that it should not go in an actual bonsai pot until it's more established as a bonsai.  Is that correct? 

Thanks
Larry
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: Jason E on March 01, 2014, 05:37 PM
Larry, Bonsai NW has their pot sale this weekend 20% off. go pick up a glazed oval, you should be able to judge if your root mass will fit.
jason
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on March 01, 2014, 10:49 PM
Larry, as I said earlier, an oversized bonsai container would be best. You will take better care of the tree if it's in a good container. As to the size, just slightly larger than the root ball. Too big is not good.


Good luck!

Bill
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: carobone on March 01, 2014, 11:29 PM
Bill,

Would you care to elaborate as to why too big is not good? I was under the impression the tree is under development and the anderson flat would provide the room for just that

Thanks, I'm trying to learn

Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on March 02, 2014, 10:48 AM
There is nothing wrong with Anderson flats, they are ideal, but for this small maple it's too large. They are good for collected large material or good size nursery stock.

Also the Anderson flat is rectangular with corners. I've found plants grow better in round container so the roots go around rather than stop and turn a corner. Have you ever noticed that better bonsai containers often have lines scored into the clay pointing down? They are to guide the roots down towards the bottom of the container. There is usually more moisture down low in the soil mix.

I don't like to let the root run too far, that's why I prefer a smaller container. Plus the extra soil will hold too much water. I've found the trees develop a bit quicker if they fill the container with roots, not running. But, that's just my experience and preference.

Deep containers are also better to develop quicker growth. Training roots for a fine quality bonsai is more than just planting a tree in a pot, there are many elements not visible to the untrained eye which must be considered.

Bill

Photo below is of a Trident maple completely container grown in a shallow bonsai container for a few decades. There is no real shortcut for developing fine quality bonsai, although most people try, including me. But time, dedication and the knowledge/skill is necessary. Plus it's fun to watch the trees develop.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: FrankP999 on March 02, 2014, 01:59 PM
http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overpot.htm (http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/overpot.htm) is a good article on overpotting.

Frank
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on March 02, 2014, 09:17 PM
Ok I put a little more work into the roots. Hopefully I wasn't too aggressive. 
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on March 02, 2014, 09:19 PM
In its new pot.  I already see more work to do. Should I wait to start wiring? 
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on March 02, 2014, 10:32 PM
Much better Larry! You got it!
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: MatsuBonsai on March 03, 2014, 08:24 AM
I usually wire before repotting, so as not to disturb the new roots too much with the bending and jostling.  I would wait.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on March 04, 2014, 12:20 AM
So taking the roots back that far isn't an issue?
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: bwaynef on March 04, 2014, 08:57 AM
So taking the roots back that far isn't an issue?

(http://bonsaistudygroup.com/general-discussion/acer-palmatum-%27koto-hime%27/?action=dlattach;attach=20125;image)

That looks like excellent root work.  As long as it is secured nicely in the pot you should have no issues as a result of this repotting/root work.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on March 04, 2014, 10:25 AM
That's good to hear.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on April 20, 2014, 05:37 PM
Here is an updated photo of my tree.  I am thinking that I will remove all the little wispy growth in July.  Or should I do that now?  Or should that wait till next February?
Then I'll start growing limbs.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on April 20, 2014, 06:47 PM
I'd wire all the branches down into horizontal positions
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on April 20, 2014, 09:25 PM
Bill, can I wire the branches down now?  Basically two months after root pruning or should I wait till say summer or autumn?  I appreciate your I'm put. 
Thanks
Larry
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: William N. Valavanis on April 21, 2014, 05:53 AM
Larry,

NO, don't wait, wire now. The longer you wait the more difficulty you will have moving the branches. They are flexible now.

People tend to be too timid when working with trees. They want to live.

Although I usually wire, shape then pot, you can't really do that when the branches are not there yet. Wire when the branches are still flexible.

Bill
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on April 21, 2014, 09:50 AM
Got it thanks again. 
Larry
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on April 21, 2014, 01:11 PM
Wired up this morning.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on June 21, 2014, 09:31 AM
So all the leaves on my koto hime have dried up.  Should I pluck them off to stimulate more leaf production?  I see back budding on the trunk.  I'm trying to keep it in shade and mist it twice a day minimum.  Any advice is appreciated. 
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: Lordy on July 02, 2014, 02:22 PM
Yikes!  I hope all the root work (twice?) didnt send this guy into a tailspin.  Probably a good idea to keep it in the shade, like you said.  Got my fingers crossed for you on this tree.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: reefed419 on October 13, 2014, 12:54 PM
Did this tree pull through and bud up again for you?
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on October 13, 2014, 01:19 PM
Nope, it turned completely black.
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: Sorce on October 14, 2014, 05:37 AM
Sorry to hear that.

Maybe it just loves your avatar!

I do.

Sorce
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: bwaynef on October 14, 2014, 10:00 AM
Nope, it turned completely black.

To what do you attribute its turn?
Title: Re: Acer palmatum 'Koto hime'
Post by: LarryAldrich on October 15, 2014, 09:50 AM
I think I should have left it alone instead of wiring it.  So soon after the root work. I looked for a similar tree this summer bu only found grafted ones.