A. palmatum 'kotohime' clump


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It's been a long time since I posted here! I want to start a thread to follow the progress of this kotohime clump I got last year:


It started to leaf out last week, so I repotted it into this oval pot:

I'm planning on airlayering one or two branches that are growing inward. The overall movement should be more to the left, which isn't really the case right now. Also, there are some straight sections in each trunk. So maybe I'll have to do some drastic pruning next year.


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Pittsburgh PA
Its a nice start - the movements are all pretty natural and not too angular. I agree with trying to disentangle some of the crossing branches. It seems like the 3 trunks are on the same plane, especially in the current orientation of the tree, while it might be ideal to have them on slightly different planes. I can't tell from the pictures, but what if you rotated it slightly counterclockwise so the left-most trunk is slightly forward? It seems like your heading in this direction already, but the way I see the 3 trunks:
  • Left: This is the thickest and tallest, so my eye moves towards it as a main trunk. However, it leans a bit backwards I think - rotating the planting counterclockwise, adjusting the planting angle, and/or a guy wire could address that, giving more depth and space between the other trunks. As you mentioned, it might help to have more leftward movement. Maybe wire the lower left branch down a bit. You might be able to put a spacer between this trunk and the middle trunk. Maybe shorten some of the straight sections in the top, compacting the tree and giving more movement.
  • Middle trunk: it seems to lean backwards which is great - I'd think of it and treat it almost as a back branch. I wonder if a guy wire on the left-most branch of the middle trunk could pull it back further and slightly rotate the heavy leftward branch back and to the right? That would give the main trunk more space and give the whole design more depth. If you reduce the height of the left trunk, of course keep this one lower.
  • Right trunk: to me, this looks like the "daughter" in a mother-daughter twin trunk design. I like that it is already moving to the right with branches from the other trunks leaning over it from above. I'd probably reduce this in height to exaggerate the mother-daughter thing. If you did rotate the tree slightly counterclockwise, you could use a guy wire to pull this trunk slightly forward, giving the middle trunk more space.

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