Acer palmatum from nursery

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#1
Hi from UK zone 9. Recently I 'rescued' a cheap Acer palmatum, I'm about to do some hard pruning of the trunk (about 30.5mm /1.2 inch in diameter) one internode above the first branch but I'm not sure if to also prune that first thick branch completely or partially. Could that branch become a second trunk? will it help to thicken the lower main trunk or cause invert taper? should I leave leader to grow in order to the thicken the trunk and cut the low branch?
My main my goal is to make a 'naturalistic' maple Kifu (20-35cm/7.8-13.7'') with multi-trunks rather than a traditional Japanese with one leader and not worrying much about a massive nebari/trunk. I know it will take a very long time but hopefully, with the right technic, the process will be shortened.
Any comments and advice are welcome.
 

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#2
Could that branch become a second trunk?
have you thought about it being your primary trunk?

I'm about to do some hard pruning of the trunk
I think people will tell you not to chop now, and to wait until either 1) early spring, 'as the buds swell' or 2) early/mid-summer, when healing occurs most rapidly

a 'naturalistic' maple Kifu (20-35cm/7.8-13.7'') with multi-trunks rather than a traditional Japanese
do you have any inspiration photos? this will help us understand what you have in mind

whether you are referring to what pops up on google when you search 'multi-trunk bonsai', or whether by 'multi-trunk' you mean something more like Walter Pall's famous maple or Mach5's pygmy, personally, this tree does not strike me as having exceptional 'multi-trunk' potential either way, at least not as much potential as do so many of Mark's pre-bonsai trees do (see attached), for example.
 

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#3
have you thought about it being your primary trunk?



I think people will tell you not to chop now, and to wait until either 1) early spring, 'as the buds swell' or 2) early/mid-summer, when healing occurs most rapidly



do you have any inspiration photos? this will help us understand what you have in mind

whether you are referring to what pops up on google when you search 'multi-trunk bonsai', or whether by 'multi-trunk' you mean something more like Walter Pall's famous maple or Mach5's pygmy, personally, this tree does not strike me as having exceptional 'multi-trunk' potential either way, at least not as much potential as do so many of Mark's pre-bonsai trees do (see attached), for example.

Thank you, Derek.

1. Yes, I am thinking about it but so far I have seen the 'trunk chop' technic using a new shoot as a leader but not an existing branch. I will not cut that branch completely yet.

2. I know is controversial and perhaps late summer is a better alternative but for example Walter Pall has done major cuts in autumn (November) http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/2011/01/development-of-nursery-maples.html Peter Warren in his book 'bonsai' wrote about maple ''branch pruning is best done immediately after leaf drop in autumn'' I asked Neil Saunders about it and he said yes
will appreciate a link where experience people say it should not be done... still that's why I'm thinking to cut either the trunk or the branch but not both.

3. The inspiration originally comes from the Comfort maple
but of course, I have seen Walter pall Japanese maple #1, I have also seen Neil Saunder showing full-size maples and his maple on the previous link among other trees. I understand what you mean by the potential of this tree but it is an inspiration taken from other based in the 'natural' growing tendency of maples... I guess Mr. pall will say NO is not possible or at least not in my lifetime and that's ok but I will like to at least put this tree in that direction.

Still, will like to know your and others opinions about the best way to develop and design for this tree.
 
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#5
this tree doesnt have any endearing qualities that would make it worth putting in the time and effort.im guessing the base is nothing special either, as you left it covered up.maybe best used as an experimental tree.you could chop it if you like and see how it responds, then next time you wont need to ask if you can chop a maple now or at another time. in mean time i would suggest getting more material.local tree nurseries are a good bet for native hedging material.
 
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#6
Thx Bobby, I'm afraid you guys r right...but what if I put it in a big planter or on the ground while working the nebari perhaps using tile method for a few years?I'm also searching for other material but I think this is a different kind of project which many people are interested about and has as much or more merits than buying worked material or collecting, at the end of the day every tree starts some where right?
 
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Thx Bobby, I'm afraid you guys r right...but what if I put it in a big planter or on the ground while working the nebari perhaps using tile method for a few years?I'm also searching for other material but I think this is a different kind of project which many people are interested about and has as much or more merits than buying worked material or collecting, at the end of the day every tree starts some where right?
growing it on a tile in the ground is a good idea. i have quite a few in the ground myself. before making drastic design decisions, like youve done in the other thread, i would first determine what the base looks like and which side has the best flow/angle from base to top.
 
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#8
I have been searching for ground trunk grow vs container and there is no clear answer, it seems like to grow massive trunks in the long run ground is the better way but not in every case https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm
I asked Nigel Saunders (sorry about pervious keyboard mistake) on that you tube link, about root scape method but he was not convinced.
Again, although i want a thicker trunk I don't think the trees need a massive trunk if the proportions nebari, tree height, branches, leaves size are OK.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
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#9
I have been searching for ground trunk grow vs container and there is no clear answer, it seems like to grow massive trunks in the long run ground is the better way but not in every case https://www.evergreengardenworks.com/trunks.htm
I asked Nigel Saunders (sorry about pervious keyboard mistake) on that you tube link, about root scape method but he was not convinced.
Again, although i want a thicker trunk I don't think the trees need a massive trunk if the proportions nebari, tree height, branches, leaves size are OK.
There is a clear method to developing a large trunk--ground growing. No question about it. Containerization slows root run. Limited roots = slower trunk development. No way around that. Add a trunk chop in there will put additional brakes on trunk development. The root ESCAPE method (allowing roots to "escape" from the pot's drain holes into the ground with the pot placed on the ground) looks to split the difference between containerization and ground growing. As a compromise, it's iffy--you wind up losing the finer root system in the pot, in favor of stronger roots that grow out into the ground. The "escaping" roots tend to become dominant since they have more resources and a more stable environment.

If this were mine, and I was looking to develop a more massive trunk and accompanying nebari, I'd put it in the ground for at least three years (anything less is mostly waste of time), five would be better. A trunk chop now, followed by in ground planting can help minimize scarring down the road, but keep in mind that treatment can slow things a bit as the tree tries to recover its apex and establish new roots in ground. During the time in ground, you can work on the nebari a bit--digging up and trimming back selected roots, etc. but not completely disrupting the entire root mass. Additionally, if you trunk chop, hope you get twin leaders popping up from the cut site. Allowing multiple leaders to grow unhindered can give the lower trunk and nebari a kind of supercharge in growth as those leaders draw up resources through it.

Developing trunks takes time, there are no real shortcuts.
 
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#10
There is a clear method to developing a large trunk--ground growing. No question about it. Containerization slows root run. Limited roots = slower trunk development. No way around that. Add a trunk chop in there will put additional brakes on trunk development. The root ESCAPE method (allowing roots to "escape" from the pot's drain holes into the ground with the pot placed on the ground) looks to split the difference between containerization and ground growing. As a compromise, it's iffy--you wind up losing the finer root system in the pot, in favor of stronger roots that grow out into the ground. The "escaping" roots tend to become dominant since they have more resources and a more stable environment.

If this were mine, and I was looking to develop a more massive trunk and accompanying nebari, I'd put it in the ground for at least three years (anything less is mostly waste of time), five would be better. A trunk chop now, followed by in ground planting can help minimize scarring down the road, but keep in mind that treatment can slow things a bit as the tree tries to recover its apex and establish new roots in ground. During the time in ground, you can work on the nebari a bit--digging up and trimming back selected roots, etc. but not completely disrupting the entire root mass. Additionally, if you trunk chop, hope you get twin leaders popping up from the cut site. Allowing multiple leaders to grow unhindered can give the lower trunk and nebari a kind of supercharge in growth as those leaders draw up resources through it.

Developing trunks takes time, there are no real shortcuts.

It does make sense! Perhaps I could do the chopping, if not too late, before putting it on the ground next spring, giving me more time to learn.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
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#11
It does make sense! Perhaps I could do the chopping, if not too late, before putting it on the ground next spring, giving me more time to learn.
I would NOT chop the tree at this time of year. It will have an entire winter to dry out and die back since it won't be growing to repair itself while it is dormant. Next Spring, once the danger of frost is gone, I would do an initial sorting and reduction of the root mass--removing strong downward growing roots, in favor of laterally extending roots, as well as an initial trunk chop, then plant it in the ground. Doing some root reduction along with the chop will lessen the sap "bleeding" from the chop. Maples can "bleed" sap in the spring from wounds sometimes excessively in the spring (which is why maple trees are 'tapped' for syrup at that time). Cutting the roots reduces the tree's ability to push all that sap from the wound. "Bleeding" can't kill the tree, but it can give newbies the heebie jeebies...
 

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