Author Topic: New Japanese Maple  (Read 2955 times)

Don Dunn

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New Japanese Maple
« on: January 27, 2013, 01:33 AM »
 I purchased this little maple a couple of weeks ago. I topped it as was suggested because it was to tall for the trunk. I need to develop the branches as I feel they are to thin. It is my opinion as a rookie and this being my first maple in this stag that I should prune most of these branches back. I am hoping to thicken them and start developing my ramification. Tell me what you think or make some suggestion please.  I marked some of the locations I think I should cut in red.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2013, 01:36 AM by Don Dunn »
 

Dan W.

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Re: New Japanese Maple
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 07:17 AM »
I like your maple Don. :)

I think the first thing I would do is wire one of the small branches at the top up to begin your new apex. Either one should work but the others might have a preference as to which one.

Generally if you want to thicken a branch you would let it grow out untouched and then cut back... but IMHO I don't know that you need to worry too much about thickening those, at least not yet. They are fairly close to my eye. You could go ahead and work on ramification. -- Thickening and ramification are two different tasks that may not necessarily be done at the same time. -- better to start on the thin side so you have room to build on than to get too heavy and have to cut off and re-start... just my opinion though. And there are far more experienced members here. Don't do anything until you hear what they have to say...lol
 

scottroxburgh

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Re: New Japanese Maple
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 10:28 PM »
One of the best sources for info on Maples is Boon's DVDs:
http://bonsaiboon.com/pages/shopping/shopping-mpl-bundle-retail.html

It goes into all the detail that you'll need, well worth every $ spent!
 

paulpash

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Re: New Japanese Maple
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 02:31 PM »
Just be careful wiring thin shoots on JM - they are prone to die back. Leave the thin branch at the apex a year to grow on and get stronger (no pruning) then wire to make your new apex.

Watch this from Bjorvala @ Kouka-En - great series :)



 

Don Dunn

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Re: New Japanese Maple
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 04:13 PM »
Marie
So then do I prune any of the other branches or just leave them until the  buds start to open?
I was told not to wire any branches on a maple this time of year because they are to brittle. However I see a lot of information that says to wire this time of year. That's why it gets so darn confusing, I hear or read different ideas and don't know which one is correct.
I  know there are a lot of variables, location,time of year, health and age of the tree.
One other question, where I chopped the top should I have cut it at an angle to get a more natural taper?

Thank you for your input
   
 

paulpash

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Re: New Japanese Maple
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 04:18 PM »
Once the buds start to open the tree will be pushing sap so you risk more bleeding chopping then but it depends what you want - coarse explosive growth (to build the next section of tree or finer growth with closer internodes as in the apex of a tree nearing it's final image). I branch prune / chop when fully dormant (Nov - Feb in my climate for trunk section building, after leaves harden for closer internodes). A horizontal chop is best to begin with (give yourself a few inches to allow for possible dieback) then carve later for taper. Bookmark this site and read as many articles on his site as you can ... Brent's very experienced and knowledgeable, especially plant physiology and response to pruning:

http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm

Also BVF has an excellent article on his site with great pics on acer development here:
http://www.nebaribonsai.com/Nebari_Bonsai/Projects_files/Evolution%20of%20Jap%20Maple.pdf

As for wiring did you watch the video I posted - the tree is dormant & bare,one can easily see the branch structure to get optimal placement and it's much easier as you won't be pussy footing round the soft stems & buds that can easily be caught in the wiring process. Another time to review the wiring is during defoliation - remove wire biting in too much and prune out crossing or superfluous stems.

Looking at your tree - can I ask what you want from it and when ?

A tree to learn on and practice the various techniques associated with JM development NOW that'll be a decent tree in 3 seasons or a higher quality tree 5 - 7 years down the line?

Your chop point NOW will lead to the former, a lower chop will lead to the latter. I say this due to taper - look at your base then trace it up to the chop point --- nada taper. You could use the second branch up as the next trunk section and grow out but i can't see any internodes on this branch for quite a way (but we can overcome this through thread grafting later) so this is a possibility if you wrap and wire. You also have a very low branch you could use as a sacrifice that would fatten the base very nicely unless you really want a twin trunk. If you go for the latter it needs to GROW ... get it out of the bonsai pot and into the ground or a larger pot with more soil volume.

Hope this helps  ;)


 

Don Dunn

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Re: New Japanese Maple
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2013, 10:40 PM »
Marie
 Thank you ever so much. I have a couple of no potential JM 's I can goof around on, I would rather  make something I could be proud of with this one. It was cheap but I can always pick up something else late on. I'm going to air layer a couple of my maples in the yard and hope to get some nice trunks from that. I'm also going to an auction at the end of February and hope to pick up at least one tree there. When I was originally told to chop this tree at the current location I thought then I could be a little lower. My only concern was the lack of branches on the tree. I think a good location to cut it back to is just below that ugly scare. If I do an angel cut I could leave the small branch just on the right of the scare for a new apex, get a taper and reduce the trunk all in one shot. I was thinking of leaving the lower trunk I kind of like it. Why couldn't I leave it and use it like, but not as a sacrifice branch. Just let it grow wild for awhile. That should give me a larger base on my main trunk and more growth for the smaller trunk also. Then if I want I could always cut it off later. Like you said I could thread graft that lower branch and if I let that second trunk grow I could get a nice long thin branch to use for that thread graft in maybe a couple of years. My concern there is keeping the balance of energy on the tree. What do you think about also doing an approach or thread graft on the lower left or above that first branch on the right that does not  have many nodes?  (See my new picture with arrows)
I did watch that first link you posted and it was real good a lot of  information, I think you are correct the advantages of seeing what you are wiring out ways the  likelihood that you will brake a branch because it is brittle.  I will look at these two new links you provided tonight and try to soak it up. You have been very generous with your time and information and it is greatly appreciated.
Let me know what you think about the new location for the chop and anything else you may have to add.
 Thank you Don
 
 

Don Dunn

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Re: New Japanese Maple - marie1uk
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2013, 02:46 AM »
marie1uk
Marie
I just finished reading both of these links and I was very impressed It gives. Both of these are gems, it gives me a new perspective on Bonsai.   
Thank you again
 

paulpash

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Re: New Japanese Maple
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 01:18 PM »
Yes the new chop site at the apex looks good and the thread graft in the gap looks a winner to fill a void there.

Just food for thought, but read this technique for JM which is much more hands off and designed to build vigour then intervene with specific cuts. The object is to build vigour and use this excess of energy to construct branches faster. I think as you have a few 'goof around' pieces why not try Walter's approach on one and a more manicured / traditional approach on another ... you can then see which one

a) suits your style
b) creates a healthier tree
c) reaches the objective you want the quickest?

Have a read:

http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/refurbishing-japanese-maple-hedge.html