Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Trident Maple Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: DorianJF on September 11, 2015, 06:43 AM

Title: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 11, 2015, 06:43 AM
Hi

I have had this trident maple forest since 2008 when I bought it from a bonsai nursery.  Over the years I have added in some rocks etc but also not really knowing what I was doing.

Last year I actually had it repotted into a slightly larger pot to assist with the grow.  The plan is to put it into a shallower pot or onto a slab in the next year or 2.

My question that I have is the following.  I want to improve the ramification on the lower branches of the tree.  How soon after the leaves have come out can one do a partial defoliation on the upper most leaves to allow light and air into the lower branches?
Pic 1 - 2008
Pic 2 - March 2014
Pic 3 - Sept 2015
Pic 4 - Sept 2015

Then any suggestions or advice?
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on September 11, 2015, 09:36 AM
You need one or two larger (girth) trees in the composition.  These trees are all the same size. 

To improve ramification you have to prune the ends of the branches -- the terminal buds on each branch and branchlet.  This encourages backbudding.  Defoliating the tops won't encourage any branching in the bottom without the tip pruning. 
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: augustine on September 11, 2015, 09:42 AM
Nice job, continue the ramification process suggested by JKent.

I don't know how long you've been practicing bonsai but it takes years to refine deciduous trees. You are on a good path.

There are some experts on this forum who, I'm sure, can offer other suggestions.

Regards,

Augustine
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 14, 2015, 03:20 AM
Thanks so much for the assistance on this.

I will definitely look around to see where I can find another 2 Long Trident maples that are thicker to add into the composition.

I will definitely cut back the top tips too.

Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on September 14, 2015, 08:30 AM
If you have Koreshoff's "Bonsai: Its Art, History . . . etc. there is a good section on forsts design.  And one of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens Bonsai booklets has an excellent article on the subject.  They're available used.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 14, 2015, 10:36 AM
My bonsai club has a wide library so will look there and see.  Otherwise I will search Google and see what I can find.

Thanks for that
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: bwaynef on September 15, 2015, 10:28 AM
As has been mentioned, there are some things that could be done to improve this grouping but what strikes me is how much this planting's matured over the years.

What are your next steps?
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: SHIMA1 on September 16, 2015, 02:27 AM
Yes, it's matured. Soon a shallow tray would encourage surface roots.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 17, 2015, 02:24 AM
Thanks so much for the positive feedback.

I am currently in 2 minds on how I want to proceed with the planting.

One train of thought is to get it onto a flat slab whilst the other is to get into a very shallow pot and add some rocks etc in between the trees etc. (I am leaning towards the shallow pot)

I have been looking at images of Forest plantings by Saburo Kato for inspiration.

1 - Slab
2 - Pot
Photo credit to Saburo Kato
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on September 17, 2015, 09:22 AM
Since maples are deciduous, I'd suggest the pot is more likely the way to go.  Maples don't usually grow on/in an environment such as a slab represents.  Rocks would be OK in the pot, but again, I'd suggest less rugged rocks such as might be seen in a low-land meadow.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 17, 2015, 09:53 AM
Thanks so much

Good Vision.  I never thought of it that way but I like it.

The subtle use of a few rocks will definitely work well and create a good overall view.

Right now I want to leave it for this season to let it grow.  I am going to cut the tips off and do a partial defoliation to get more light into the centre parts and hopefully assist with back budding and ramification.



Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: Larry Gockley on September 17, 2015, 12:37 PM
When maple trees put out new growth, they form a left leaf, right leaf, and a center leaf. If you pluck out the center bud, as early as possible with a long tweezers, that center will produce two buds . Keep doing this in early spring. The two buds, when plucked again, will become four, and the four, eight, and so on. When this ramification reaches the intended outline of the tree, stop plucking and let it build strength. This new growth will be too long internodes, but will be trimmed off anyway next winter. This is all done with the very first spring growth. Try to build ramification first, and this will help greatly with the goal of leaf size reduction.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 18, 2015, 02:14 AM
Thanks Larry.  Great information.  Really appreciate it.

I will definitely have a long hard look at my maple and start doing that.

Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on September 18, 2015, 08:30 AM
That's an excellent suggestion for a single-tree bonsai, but less so for a forest -- except, perhaps, for some of the outside trees.  

Forest trees grow tall and slim with fewer low branches.  Generally speaking.   :)
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 21, 2015, 03:15 AM
Thanks so much

I did some work on it last night whilst watching the telly and thinned out the top slightly to try and get some more air into the centre branches.

I also did a little bit of wiring on some of them just to try and move certain branches and trunks to certain parts.

Excuse the poor pics.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on September 21, 2015, 09:58 AM
I'd like to see a little movement wired into the leftmost trunk.  Not a lot, but something to get rid of the stiffness.  

I'm not at all sure I can see what the wires on the middle trunks are doing or are supposed to do.  The wires seem a bit small to be affecting the trunks any.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 21, 2015, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the feedback.  I really love to get feedback from others as one's view can be off sometimes.

Are you talking about this trunk - Pic 1 - Yellow?  If so, I definitely agree.

With regards to the wiring.

In pic 1 - Orange.  The wire is thin but then I have used it to bend the upper part of the trunk forwards so that the crown is brought outwards slightly and not getting lost in the rest of the larger trees. If you look from the side one can see it better

Pic 1  - Red.  The same goes for this.  I brought it forwards slightly to fill up the canopy.

Pic 2 - Red.  This wiring was done to move the trunk slightly away from the one on the right.  They were growing towards each other.

Would you have done something different?
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on September 22, 2015, 09:24 AM
Yes.  That was the one.

It can be difficult to manipulate the trunks of a forest that has been put together for a while; much better to have done it beforehand, but that's water over the dam and thought for your next forest.   :)

That said, for all of those middle trees, I would have used wire at least 2 sizes larger, and started it from the roots up.  In addition to the top, I would have put some slight moment (forward, backward, sideways) in the lower trunks, too.  I think I'd suggest snipping (NOT unwinding) the current wire and doing it again with the larger wire.  Added movement should not be drastic; just get away from the stiff-as-a-pencil look.

Whatever, this should turn  into a nice grouping.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on September 23, 2015, 02:18 AM
Thanks so much for the advice.  I definitely agree that long term it will work out and be a good forest planting.

I will do some work on it over the weekend and then post. 
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on October 22, 2015, 03:03 AM
Well eventually got a gap to get stuck into doing some wiring on some of the trunks of the Maple Forest.

Definitely put some movement into a few of the trunks.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on October 22, 2015, 10:04 AM
Lots better.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: Larry Gockley on October 22, 2015, 06:48 PM
Yes, nice improvement.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on October 23, 2015, 01:37 AM
Thanks.

Will leave those to set over the next few months and then look again and see what can be done.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: J.Kent on October 23, 2015, 09:18 AM
And start thinking about a better pot.  That one won't do.  I suggest SHALLOW, oval, maybe half again as wide as this one, with NO scalloping or other design.  Cream color would be nice, but blue is OK.
Title: Re: Trident Maple Forest - Advice, suggestions or maybe admiration?
Post by: DorianJF on October 28, 2015, 07:08 AM
Definitely going to be looking for a better pot.

I absolutely hate this one but it will serve the purpose till I find one.  Would like to do a re-pot in Spring next year (Sept 16) so this pot will serve as a growth pot for now.