Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Japanese Maple Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 17, 2014, 06:32 PM

Title: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 17, 2014, 06:32 PM
Hey!

My shohin japanese maple just arrived today. I just raked the root ball and placed it into a deep pot. I like the base and the movement, but I do not like certain branches. Planning on removing a few. What do you guys think?
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 17, 2014, 06:33 PM
more pictures...
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 17, 2014, 08:39 PM
To be honest almost all the branches lack character. Would it be a good idea to get rid of all the branches?
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: jlushious on January 17, 2014, 09:26 PM
I'm no expert, but I agree. Some of the higher branches are thicker than the lower ones (it looks like).

I am pretty sure tridents can grow branches back relatively well. Al has a ton of experience with trident maples (his blog is here http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/trident-maples/ (http://bonsaial.wordpress.com/trident-maples/)) and it looks like has has chopped some of his down to just the trunk (and leaves a few well placed shoots/small branches) and re-grown the branch work.

He may have more insight, but if you're not happy, it's not impossible to fix with tridents - assuming you have time in your trees plan to re-grow!
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: Sorce on January 18, 2014, 07:41 AM
I'm no expert either, but yes, I agree too.

Very nice trunk line. However, It looks like it is trying to lose taper.

I would let the bottom branch run to keep the base fatter, and keep the apex open (half leaf pruned) as much as vigor allows (once or twice a season) to keep it in check.  knocking off any unwanted buds up top before they divert energy.

With properly scaled branches this is going to be a very sexy tree.

Nice!



Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: Judy on January 18, 2014, 08:39 AM
I like this trunk ;)  Which picture is your "front"?  I would choose your first image...

I think that you'd want to keep at least one of the lower branches, as you have some nice thickness that would take a bit of time to regain in a pot.  You can cut it back and get more movement once it starts to regrow. I don't think that either of those lower branches are so bad where they start, you could make either of them work.  I would choose the left one to keep myself, I like where it emerges, and it does have a bit of a curve to start with. I would get rid of the right one soon, so that the scar won't be any larger.

 Also some of the top branch placements are fine, you'll just have to see which ones you can work (wire) and move.  The third (or second large) branch on the right toward the top with that nice curve to start out is a keeper for me as well, it just needs to be cut back and kept in check while the others catch up.  But placement and shape is nice.

Of course all of this is what I would do, not necessarily what you will want to do.  

I have a question about the size of the pot that it is in, how much room is there outside the original rootball?  I think that to develop this tree, you'll want to get it into a wider pot, don't think you need to go training box size, but something to give it room to run those roots and be vigorous for a few years.  
Just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 18, 2014, 10:34 AM
Judy, It is hard for me to choose between the first and the third picture to be my front.

Yellow string - keeping
white string - considering

Lower branches, the yellow string branch is the thickest. It pretty much has a straight curving up movement. The white string branch has the best movement, but a pretty big scar and it would be a front branch if the first picture is my front. In addition, If I leave it will it still be considered a bar branch?

Upper branches, the yellow string branch has the best movement but the smallest thickness. The white/blue string branch is 2nd in thickness with a light scar. The white string branch is the thickest. I want to make a diagonal cut (red line) so it follows the first branch, which has appropriate movement and thickness.

The pot dimensions are H x W x L: 4 x 8 x 7. There was probably an inch or less between the pot and root ball. When should I transplant into a bigger pot?

I'm worried about the scars that are not sealed. Some of them are either dark blackish or light.

Do you guys like my decisions. In addition, when is the best time for branch removal. My best guess is when the buds are swelled up.
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 18, 2014, 10:36 AM
More pictures...

Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: Judy on January 18, 2014, 11:36 AM
Nick, could you please take photos of these colored branches straight on to the tree?  From the arial view it's really hard to tell what branch is which on the tree...

Yes I would give this tree more room... but that's just my opinion.

The old wounds you will have to re-wound and maybe even carve out a little.  There are probably threads here about healing wounds. If not I can link some.  You just have to open up the calus to get it started again.  Seal...
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 18, 2014, 12:51 PM
I did the transplant yesterday. I'm thinking about the an oval plastic training pot. When would be a good time to do the transplant?

If I have trouble finding information about healing wounds I will let you know.

I found an angle which would best suit a front view. I labeled it. Do you agree?
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 18, 2014, 12:52 PM
More pictures
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: Judy on January 18, 2014, 01:58 PM
You could repot now into the larger trainer, as there won't be any new roots to hurt.  Wire it in well. 

I like the first photo of this last set better, there is a large scar in your chosen front, and the tree looks like its moving away from that angle.
   One thing you should learn to do is to always look at the tree (and photograph it) from eye level.  Think across the pot not down into it.  You'll want to style it at this height as well.  I learned this lesson late, and wound up with stuff that didn't look as good at the correct viewing height as it did from slightly above, where I had styled it from. 

Which branches you keep will need to be determined after you determine your front in this case. 
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 18, 2014, 02:24 PM
Do you mean JM (9) or JM (13)?
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: Judy on January 18, 2014, 02:26 PM
9, looks like just a shift clockwise from #1?  If you do take more photos try also to get more light into the tree, so angles can be better seen
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: gaitano on January 18, 2014, 04:51 PM
I agree with Judy on #9. 
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: Sorce on January 20, 2014, 08:16 AM
Yea, the base is wide in 9!

If you have sealer and good protection, you may want to cut it now before the SAP gets going.  (right?)

But not until a good hard look.
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: donmaple on January 20, 2014, 10:50 AM
I agree with Judy on this one, if you look in the other photo's, there is some degree of reverse taper. Now this may be an optical illusion from the camera angle and proximity to the lens of camera. But it appears to me from these photo's you have some reverse taper. I really like the movement on JM9, or even maybe a little rotation (maybe 5 degrees) clockwise. The scarring on the uppermost of this tree is distracting to me. If it were mine I would remove this portion. This is only a suggestion as this is not my tree. Here is a poorly done virtual trimming (my photo program is very limiting). If the top is removed,you will have a large scar but it will be on the back side of the tree. With a little rotation the new top will be bowing right to you. And this tree looks to be very healthy with all of the small branches and buds. So if the upper part is removed allowing sunlight to hit that section of trunk you should get some budding in the area where there is no branches. Seal the cut well and allow one good sacrifice branch above the cut, this should callus over fairly quickly. Hope this helps, you have an outstanding start to a beautiful tree. Enjoy, Don.
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: John Kirby on January 20, 2014, 12:51 PM
Nice find. Not a good time to prune it, it will bleed out significantly. March, take out of pot cut off down growing roots, make sure you only have roots growing to sides, then you can prune it. Cut roots and branches at same time= no bleed. Think about what you want the tree to be. Larger lower branches on the outside of curve, keep but shorten. Large branches on inside of curves or at top of tree, remove and clean up, use grafting knife to trim flush.

You bought the tree, what do you want to see as a finished height and scale?
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 20, 2014, 03:45 PM
Thank you John. Judy and Owen helped me pick this one out. I was browsing bay island bonsai gallery and noticed two Japanese Maples (I think) that have the desirable structure I want for my maple. I'm going to follow Judy's advice about transplanting into a much large pot. I do not want to do it in this weather because it is still below 40 degrees. I'm not sure what do mean by "inside" curves and "outside" curves. So this is what I'm aiming for.
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on January 20, 2014, 03:47 PM
Here is another one...
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: John Kirby on January 20, 2014, 04:25 PM
OK, I know both of those trees, I thinkI helped repot, or at least moss, the first one a 2-3 years ago for the show. Both are trident maples, both are very large and spent a decade or more in the ground. You have a nice tree. Wait until earl spring, bare root and then see where the best nebari line is and then repot into a growing container and prune.
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: jlushious on January 20, 2014, 07:37 PM
I doodled on pic #9 to show you the inside and outside curves (terrible drawing but you should get the idea). Red is the outside of the curve, and green is the inside (roughly).
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: BonsaiEngineer1493 on November 05, 2014, 10:04 PM
Here is an update.

The leaves fell of and dried up quickly on this one. I pulled them off and decided it's time to prune hard. As I mentioned before, most of the branches were thick with no movement -just plain ugly. Today, I took in a lot of consideration on which ones to prune. If there was a bud growing by the base of the branch, I cut it back to the bud. I tried not to remove branches in the same area to discontinue sap flow. One of the branches I decided to cut halfway by the base. It was the thickness branch so I decided to do it in sections to avoid die back on the trunk. Maybe I could of totally removed but, I decided to go the safe route. I still have a lot of work to do on top; however, I already have a huge cut there that needs to fill in.

 
Title: Re: Shohin Japanese Maple
Post by: LarryAldrich on November 22, 2014, 09:41 AM
Thanks for the update and all the pictures.  You have a yellow band on one of your lower limbs, what is your plan for that limb? I'm excited to see the progress over the next few years.