Acer Palmatum Kotohime quick review

Ang3lfir3

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So a little over 4 years ago I started on my now pretty hardcore bonsai journey ... I moved to WA to live with my now wife and of course bought what would be my first tree. I am pretty sure people have seen this one before but here is a quick review of the last 4 years on this Kotohime..

4years ago:


last month:


Thanks for looking... enjoy
 

Bonsai Nut

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Nice tree! I have trouble with japanese maples down here in southern cal - they are 70% shade cloth trees or they burn up like matches in the sun. I tried kotohime but could not keep them alive - the tiny tiny leaves just scorched too easily.

I have to admit - I like the pot but I don't like it with this tree. Too masculine in my opinion.
 

Concorde

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Beautiful kotohime, but just like kiyohime tough to work for bonsai. My only suggestion is to develop an apex. To box squared.

Art
 

Alex DeRuiter

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Such lovely colors on this! Looks like a nice old tree -- do you know its age, by chance?

I agree about the pot and somewhat about the shape. I like how different it looks in comparison to other Japanese maple bonsai, but it does have a box-ish shape. It almost reminds me of a maple in Gnarly Branches, except this has straighter branches.
 

Ang3lfir3

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It almost reminds me of a maple in Gnarly Branches, except this has straighter branches.
That is about the biggest compliment you could ever pay me :) thank you.... Daniel is my teacher so I am getting there :p

The tree is probably about 30-40yrs old maybe? not so sure as they grow slowly but can grow vigorously....

re: boxy top .... I totally agree with those assessments but as we all know the tree slow to develop ... I am working to try and round out the crown without loosing any of the volume the tree has produced... so each year a few of the upper shoots are chosen to continue on their growing path... lots of clip and grow and a little wiring when branches shoot.... There is also a troublesome section on the far left behind that branch that you can't see right now but a large branch died before I got the tree and I am trying to work on rebuilding that area...

re: pot .... interesting ..... I would be interested to hear what others think of different pot shapes and color... the depth is pretty much right as we use deeper pots and really fast draining soil for this tree.... it seems to really like it and I can manage the watering that way.....
 

Alex DeRuiter

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As for the pot, I think the depth is fine, but the shape of it seems off to me. I think something rectangular with rounded edges would work better. Then again, I've seen a lot of Kotohime maples in oval pots, too.

It's funny, I was about to mention the fact that changing anything on this tree shape-wise would take a while, but I assumed you already knew that. :) I think growing that left-hand branch out would help a lot, but I think that top left-hand branch would be chopped down a bit. That would help not only with the overall shape, but also with taper and the size-competition with the main trunk line.

Now having said that, this is an amazing tree for being your first (even though you acquired it a while back). Nice work!
 
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Ang3lfir3

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I think something rectangular with rounded edges would work better.
LOL it is rectangular with rounded corners :) lol

thank you I have enjoyed the tree over that last few years .... It is only a few hours of work each winter to get it cleaned up and started on its way to next year... like you said... slow tho.. I think of it as trying to finish something that someone else started ...
 

JudyB

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I would do an oval, a rounder shaped one, not a longer one. Only say that because in the first pic, you can see how the roots love that round shape..., but looks like more side room would be better.
Lovely tree.
 

Ang3lfir3

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Which is more or less what it is, no? I forgot to ask, where did you get this? Are they still around?

I purchased the tree from a bonsai nursery ... it was on consignment from the estate of a gentleman who had passed away ... he was a well known member of the local club and I am happy to carry out the work he started ... so yes it is exactly that :)

I have also considered a large light blue tokoname oval that I have but haven't yet decided for sure... I do love the rectangle... thanks for the suggestions I'll keep my eyes open.. :)
 

Smoke

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re: pot .... interesting ..... I would be interested to hear what others think of different pot shapes and color... the depth is pretty much right as we use deeper pots and really fast draining soil for this tree.... it seems to really like it and I can manage the watering that way.....

If I were to guess I might think it to be a Horst pot. If it were then I would want to show it off also. Those orange pots he does are awesome...but for me they belong in the collector cabinet and not under a tree. The complimentary color for orange is blue, and I have never seen a blue tree. Of course if using a glazed pot was ones fancy then maybe a blue atlas cedar might work I suppose.

Never the less...we have it here. As it is, the color works pretty well with this fall foliage, but would not be my choice for a green canopy. I think all maples should be in cream colored pots, as large as the canopy, oval and shallow, but thats just my preference.

The good news is the shape of the pot actually mimics the shape of the canopy, but I'm not so sure thats a good thing right now.

Kiyohime for me is better as they look gracefull and feminine. Kotohime tend to be chunky and more masculine which is an oxymoron for a maple in general. My reason for liking the former more than the latter. Another tree like these kotohime is Shishigashira which tend to be chunky and masculine. In that regard, this may be the right choice for this more chunky masculine tree.
 

Ang3lfir3

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If I were to guess I might think it to be a Horst pot. If it were then I would want to show it off also. Those orange pots he does are awesome...but for me they belong in the collector cabinet and not under a tree.

the pot is not actually orange tho for some reason I didn't realize that it looked that way until you mentioned it... it is a dark creamy brown color with green... also its a Walsall I believe this is their "snake skin green" or some variant similar to the one seen here

Never the less...we have it here. As it is, the color works pretty well with this fall foliage, but would not be my choice for a green canopy. I think all maples should be in cream colored pots, as large as the canopy, oval and shallow, but thats just my preference.

The good news is the shape of the pot actually mimics the shape of the canopy, but I'm not so sure thats a good thing right now.

I like maples in in cream pots as well (got any you wanna get rid of :p )... or in blue pots... this one happens to be a creamy brown with green (the lighting was setup to maximize the foliage color not the pot color)... I have a need for a deeper pot for this tree as I am away from home 12hrs a day.. it has to live through hot days ... and all the trees are watered by hand...

As has been said... the square like appearance of this trees canopy is being worked on ... strangely enough the canopy does have a more rounded appearance when out of leaf... not by much ... but still more

Kiyohime for me is better as they look gracefull and feminine. Kotohime tend to be chunky and more masculine which is an oxymoron for a maple in general. My reason for liking the former more than the latter. Another tree like these kotohime is Shishigashira which tend to be chunky and masculine. In that regard, this may be the right choice for this more chunky masculine tree.

it is a very masculine looking tree which is why I chose the large rectangle with soft corners... (its not a pine after all) .... I am very aware of the other two varieties and kiyohime does indeed make excellent bonsai when you can find it ...

it is a rather large tree at about 18" or so, I am guessing as I haven't measured it in a long time .... thanks!! always appreciate good discussion
 

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