Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Japanese Maple Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: DorianJF on November 12, 2014, 03:57 AM

Title: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on November 12, 2014, 03:57 AM
I have 5 Japanese maple seedlings that I collected this year and I have them currently just sitting in small pots busy growing.

I would really like to start a project with these (knowing that it will be something that is going to take many years).  I have done some reading up on what to do but as you are sure, the net is filled with some much information, it can actually scare one on what route to take.

I read on one of the sites that one should take a plank / tile and drill holes through it.  One should then feed the seedlings through the tile and then re-pot it.  If I understood correctly the purpose is that firstly there should be roots that will grow above the tile and spread out (great for Nebari) and secondly that one will be able to then remove the roots below the tiles and concentrate on the roots above the tiles after a few years of growing. This will also allow the roots to fuse together and eventually you may have a multi trunk maple bonsai?

The other method I read about is to rafija (bind) the seedlings together and let them grow and eventually mould into each other.

Does anybody have a suggestions on something or any thoughts on how to proceed?

Oh yes, the 2 on the right, I cut off all the leaves only to realise that defoliation should only be done on established bonsai.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: Sorce on November 12, 2014, 05:13 AM
Great info here...http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/?s=five&submit=Search (http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/?s=five&submit=Search)

You do want the trunks to be of different size...

A good argument could be made of your defoliation keeping these the smaller ones!  ;)
Its what I do!

Sorce
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on November 12, 2014, 05:18 AM
Thanks Sorce

Just had a quick glance and that is perfect.

So you say the defoliation will help with keeping the trunks slightly thinner that the rest?
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: Sorce on November 12, 2014, 05:57 AM
Yeah.

No leaves. No food produced. Less growth.

I think its easier to start size differences early too. This way its easier to keep balance down the road. And keep things in check.

Of course you want excellent growth, and defoliation at this point should be minimal. But it is a great tool for balancing.

In the spring. I count buds on branches and remove things so it goes bottom up 15-12-9-7-5-3-new leader.  Or similar.

This is a very mathematical thing for me. Thats why I love it!

This way low branches stay bigger.

Sorce


Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on November 12, 2014, 06:04 AM
That great.

So my understanding is that when you say it goes bottom up its  like this

15 buds on the bottom and then less all the way to the top.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on November 12, 2014, 12:51 PM
Hi Sorce

Thanks for the information once again.  I jumped right in and tried it as soon as work was done.  Keeping fingers crossed that it works out.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: bwaynef on November 12, 2014, 04:10 PM
Make sure the tile's at least an inch (2.54 cm) below the surface of the soil to keep from drying out those roots you're trying hard to create!
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on November 12, 2014, 10:24 PM
Thanks for the advice. Going to look at it first thing this morning and check that the soil is settled. Will definitely add more if needed.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: Sorce on November 14, 2014, 02:43 AM
That great.

So my understanding is that when you say it goes bottom up its  like this

15 buds on the bottom and then less all the way to the top.

Yup, I never read this anywhere, its just something I do cuz it makes sense.

I have  a little clump elm I am working on, in a grow out stage, same concept, smallest trunk has less foilage. And on up. It is keeping its proportions well.

Forgot your location for a second. Its still spring there? Early summer?

You are well on you way with those! Definitely. Keep the Nebari, or new future nebari, covered well.

Sorce
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on November 14, 2014, 02:54 AM
Thanks Sorce.

I think that is a great concept that you have there.  I believe that it does add another dimension to bonsai.

Definitely added extra soil onto the top to make sure that roots are protected.

Yes, still spring here.  December summer starts.  But it has been very hot and dry till the last few days when we had good rain for 3 days.

Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: John Kirby on November 14, 2014, 05:53 PM
Hmmmm, always fascinating. And forever out there.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on February 11, 2015, 02:00 AM
Just a quick update on how this is progressing and suggestions on where to next.

The seedlings are doing well and growing nicely with loads of leaves.

Do I leave it like this now till spring in Sept or must I start trimming and wiring already?

Suggestions?
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: bwaynef on February 11, 2015, 09:43 AM
Its my understanding that you want as much rampant growth as you can get so that the trunk swells to a point that it's forced to throw roots above the tile.  I wouldn't trim, ...and unless you're sure the branch is in a good spot, I wouldn't wire either.  (No real harm in directional/light wiring though.)
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on February 12, 2015, 06:40 AM
Awesome.  Thanks for the input
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: akeppler on February 12, 2015, 05:47 PM
ABSOLUTELY NO TRIMMING

The only thing to trim is any shoot that devides from any leader. Keep each tree one leader only. Any branching divides the growth and swelling below stops.

As it is this year it is OK and growing well so leave it alone. Next year you will cut all the canes to about 2 inches long and start over. Do not cut the canes in the fall leave thru winter and cut just before bud break, around first of Feb. next year.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: akeppler on February 12, 2015, 11:30 PM
I have added some potential cut to your plant. I have marked in red where side shoots have grown strong and are robbing energy to compete to become the apex. This is what elms and maples do very well. Two very hard trees to keep lower branches on and with size and health. The areas marked in light blue are the areas that are increasing in size with two apex growing. Keep it to one and more energy will go straight down.

NOW next year to really get some growth down low and get all those trunks to fuse and build a big nebari, cut them back in the spring where I show 2 inches off the dirt. Then when the spring push start all tghe energy will go straight to the mass in the whole and it will swell and just go crazy.

Here is one I did that grew like this in one season.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on February 13, 2015, 01:34 AM
Thanks so much Keppler

It is appreciated.  I understand regarding the leader now and have done some cutting.

NOW next year to really get some growth down low and get all those trunks to fuse and build a big nebari, cut them back in the spring where I show 2 inches off the dirt. Then when the spring push start all tghe energy will go straight to the mass in the whole and it will swell and just go crazy.

Spring starts for us in September so I will look at cutting them down low as per your advice.  But I wanted to know the following.  When you cut off that amount, does it not put the tree under huge stress?  Also do you leave any leaves on it or is it basically just a straight trunk chop.

Oh yes, that Nebari is looking great.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on June 29, 2015, 01:31 PM
Another update

So our weather has been really strange and the winter is not as cold as expected.  The maple seedlings have started to shoot new buds all up the stems.

So....  I decided to cut them short now to the last node so that the growth can start from there again.  I really hope that I have not done this too soon and that they grow out and it survives
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on July 23, 2015, 05:31 AM
So almost a month has passed since I cut the Maple seedling back hoping that new buds will shoot.

Well luckily for me they have with the exception of one (Keeping fingers that it will still shoot and is a late bloomer)
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on August 24, 2015, 10:21 AM
So its just over a month later and the maples are growing like mad.  Well with the exception of the one.  I do not think it is a late bloomer at all, it might just be dying. Luckily I planted the pieces that I cut off originally and planted those and they have started to grow.  I could possibly cut on the one (if its died) and feed in a new seedling to replace it.

I am looking at the leaves and I might have some different types of JM in the mix but I am not really worried about it as this is just really a fun project.

Now I do have a question so hopefully somebody could shed some light.

There are a few buds coming out of each maple seedling.  Do I leave all the buds and let them grow for now or do I remove most of them and leave only one per seedling.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on October 04, 2015, 12:02 PM
I decided to get rid of the one stump that has not been growing at all and then thread through one of the cuttings that had taken root to replace it.

After removing the soil I was very happy as there was quite a bit of root growth about the tile (although I would of loved more).

I cut off the one stump and then drilled it out and right through to the bottom for the cutting to be thread through.

Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on October 04, 2015, 12:06 PM
And that is where everything seemed to go pear shaped -  >:( >:( >:(

I noticed that I had taken bark off the trunks and when threading through the cutting I seemed to scratch bark off that too.

I am hoping that the cutting that I threaded through has some new buds that will take and that I did not cause too much damage.  I think this is where my inexperience came to the front and bit me in the @$$.

Just to round it off, I then broke off all the new growth on one of the trunks (My fat fingers) so I decided to rather get it back into the soil and leave it to hopefully recover.
Title: Re: Seedlings - Suggestions on where to next
Post by: DorianJF on February 17, 2016, 08:27 AM
Looking at another thread made me decide to update this one.

Well my fears were correct.  I have unfortunately gone from 5 seedlings down to 3.  My attempt at incorporating a new seedling into the mix did not work.

In saying that, the 3 stems left are very healthy and growing nicely.

2 of the trunks have split growth (2 shoots going upwards) and I am not sure if that is right or if I should of cut one of the 2 new shoots off earlier.

Once again, I will wait for July (mid to end winter) to dig it up, check the roots and do a cut back.