Author Topic: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown  (Read 6802 times)

bwaynef

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Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« on: September 30, 2014, 01:36 PM »
I have a small patch of ground with enough sunlight to warrant the effort, so I've got some Tridents and Japanese maples in the ground.  They've been in the ground nearly a year and put on some good growth.  To help me develop options for different sizes of growth, I thought I'd chop equal groupings of them at 6", 12", 24" and leave the rest untouched (this year).  I may also take the opportunity to spade the soil between each tree just to aid in their extraction at some point in the future, smaller ones first.  (The longer I think about that, the more sense it makes.)

I'll likely just lop them off with concave cutters, but may break out a foldable saw.  Is it worthwhile to seal the chop, ...whose only purpose is to induce back-budding ...and will probably reside on a portion of the trunk that will be chopped off later?

Any experienced advice on anything I've mentioned?  Am I over- or under-thinking anything?
 

Sorce

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2014, 06:00 AM »
I will respond as the 305th viewer.

Bwayne.

 Having only made one chop that healed over and didnt induce a little reverse taper, I am still learning how to make a perfect cut. I would take the opportunity to learn more if I were in your situation.  Make a nice cut and seal it.

 Should help save the tree energy too. Faster to heal and grow strong again. Keep out bad stuff that may ruin the rest. Etc.

Sorce

 

Brian Van Fleet

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 07:39 AM »
Seems like a familiar topic...
http://bonsaistudygroup.com/general-discussion/the-proper-chop-technique-(a-request)

So the question is to seal or not?  I seal, once I make the final cut that introduces taper.

If they've only been in the ground for a year, it seems too soon to chop; let them build up a head of steam for a few years.  Spring is the right time for the work, when the time is right.  Use a saw.
 

Judy

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2014, 08:37 AM »
I like the idea of the spading around the tree in the fall just at the right time for that good root growth season.  Gives you more roots close to the base instead of letting them spread out. 

As far as sealing, I don't understand what the aversion is to sealing a cut.  I mean, if you don't think it does anything good (I think it's important) do you think it does any harm?  What can it hurt to seal?
 

bwaynef

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2014, 09:10 AM »
Sorce, thanks for stemming the tide of passersby.

BVF, the thread you linked was about chopping trees for taper/movement.  Those chops were going to be a part of the tree.  These chops are just going to stop the upward growth of the trees and start developing interesting branches further down (and by branches I mean future trunks).  As I see it, some portion below the (soon-to-be-) current chop will itself be removed later to develop movement and taper.  I'm chopping them now so I'll have something to chop back to later.

Also, you mention that spring is the time to do this.  I was planning on doing it after leaf drop this fall.  What's your reasoning? 

Judy, I'm not averse to sealing chops, but wondering if, in this instance, it is necessary.  I don't foresee any harm in doing it, but I'm just wondering if its needed.
 

augustine

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2014, 09:41 AM »
Dratic pruning in the Spring - the cuts will heal faster and better while the tree is in active growth.

Best regards,

Augustine
 

Larry Gockley

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2014, 10:02 AM »
Here in Texas, ( spelled southern states ), I quit chopping / pruning years ago in the fall. I've come to believe that with our mild winters, leaving an open wound all winter long with no sap flow to heal or seal it, contributes to die back. I wait til buds appear in the spring. Makes more sense to me to wait til the tree will respond to your action. It will respond to cutting the roots with a shovel, and likely grow new roots all winter. You might want to mulch the ground so the new roots don't freeze. Did you plant the trees on a rock or tile? Sounds like a fun project.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2014, 10:17 AM »
I guess I was just itching to perform the chops.  I wasn't thinking about dieback.  Good points all.

Larry, they were planted THROUGH 4 or 6" tiles.  (I drilled a hole in the center of the tile and threaded the tree through.)  I haven't checked the new roots, but I have seen significantly thicker trunks than the holes that I drilled, so I suspect they're there.

Maybe I'll just add this season's compost to the grow beds and wait 'til spring.
 

Adair M

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2014, 11:14 AM »
Interesting....

It just happens I was at Tom Scott's yesterday. He has grown zillions of tridents.

I will relate what he told me:

Tom says to chop during the growing season when it's growing like crazy. To prevent dieback. Also, he says to chop at the height you want the tree to be, and keep chopping there. Let lower branches run to induce thickening down below. If you let the top grow out, you just get a telephone pole trunk, no taper.

Tom is going to be teaching a class at Plant City Bonsai the 25th of October on how to grow tridents in the ground.
 

Judy

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2014, 01:11 PM »
Adair, if you could ask Tom how he induces movement into the trunk, if he is chopping over and over at the top of the tree please? Wondering if he wires for trunk movement if not changing direction with chops?
 

Adair M

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2014, 06:19 PM »
He starts with a whip, wire it to any shape or movement you want. It will set in a month or so. Remove the wire. Do that at the very start.

 

63pmp

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2014, 04:18 AM »
field growing trees is a whole new world of difficulty.  worth it in the long run.
but its diffivult and slow.

paul
 

bwaynef

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2014, 10:08 AM »
Come on Paul.  You're holding out on us!
 

63pmp

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2014, 04:47 AM »
I would post some pictures, but I am unable to  ???

Paul
 

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Treatment of chopped maples being field-grown
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2014, 03:43 PM »
mostly - what Brian van Fleet said

I seal all my cuts, whether it will be on wood that will be part of the finished tree or not. Generally I use the medicated goo that is sold for use on azaleas - it comes out orange, but within a month or two seems to disappear visually. Its got a Japanese label I can't read, David Kruetz at Satsuki-en is where I get it. He does mail order. I do this from bad experience. For example this year we had a long wet cold spring (my local microclimate - cooler by the Lake). I have had maples pick up that hideous fungus that causes areas of the cambium on trunks to collapse and die in patches. Tends to give you a one sided tree, as the infection tends to be sealed off by the tree and then it struggles along for a while, until the next occurrence, then it dies. It is true most of the time not using cut past will cause no special problems. But when you really like a tree - sure enough the right pest will come along and take advantage of the open wound. So I would propose "Best Practices" would suggest using cut paste or some variety of sealer would be a good idea.

Timing, as Brian and other said, spring is when it is best for the tree. The reasons proposed I subscribe to also.

Where and when to chop,  - would be the spring of the year that the diameter just above the nebari has reached 1/2 to 3/4 the final diameter I am shooting for. Where - I would do the chop at about 25%  to 40 % of the final height I think I want the tree to be at. So If I want an 8 inch shohin, I would chop it at 2 inches. I chop at the level I want my first branch. I try to build trees in segments, not all at once. The chop will give you a bunch of buds, which within a year or so you can choose one or two candidates for your final first branch, one will be the leader, and one or two or more low sacrifice branches to keep the bottom adding caliper. Grow out and repeat. Each segment should be shorter than the previous. It works the same whether the tree is in the ground or in a pot. It is the method outlined by Brent Walston on his Evergreen Gardenworks website article page. With adjustments for the type of tree you are growing, a variation of this technique can be used for just about any species of tree. Check out the FAT = PHAT trunk Chinese elms on his specimen catalog pages. All started as skinny cuttings he planted out some 15 or 20 years ago. He used the build a segment at a time technique.  http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/specimendec.htm

I discussed this with Peter Tea, and he said this is basically how he builds young stock also. He did suggest you should think ahead as you do this, so have in mind the first 3 segments when you make your decisions about the first segment. In other words, this is not a mindless dictum, you can think ahead and work on more than one part of the tree at once. But he did point out that it is silly to think about the apex, which might be the 7th segment of a tree, when you have not got the first couple segments developed yet.

For example, Peter's advice on developing young stock was if the internode length between say for example, where the second branch emerges and the 3rd branch emerges is longer than the distance between the first and second, for a deciduous tree he would just trunk chop at the appropriate distance above the second branch and start over creating that next segment of the tree. Get it right before you have many years into it. - this is for young stock.

So that is my 2 cents. I'm in the process of doing this with several trees, when I post them, I'll detail what I did and when I did it.