acer palmatum ryusen

Tbrshou

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Ok so i have this guy and im trying to decide if it has a chance as a large bonsai or should i air layer the top at the red line and have 2 possible bonsai. Its a weeping maple so i dont even know if it can be a smaller bonsai?
 

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b3bowen

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They do layer very easily here is a post from another thread of mine.

Ryusen may be one of the easiest maples to root that I have found yet. Put a turnequtte on this one late august/early sept. and burried the stem in moist soil. Did not girdle since I asumed it would not put out roots till this year. I have a large landscape maple so it did not matter if it failed. I could see roots growing across the ground within 4 weeks.

Dug it up this week since buds are starting to swell.View attachment 231524
 

b3bowen

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So i can air layer it now or should I wait till spring
You are further south than me, so I suspect that you would be able to get roots to form before winter, however, you will not have much time for them to grow/harden off. If you wanted to try to air layer a small branch that you don’t care if you lose, it might be fun to go ahead and try. I would save any major air layering for spring, I’m just not sure it’s worth the risk this late in the season.

I layered about 15 different maples this year. All were various cultivars, not standard Japanese maple. I got the best root growth from layers that I started right as buds started to push in the spring. I did not get as good of root formation on those layers taken after leaves harden.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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What do you want out of your tree?

If you want a weeping willow sort of silhouette, you really should use the whole tree you have in front of you. If you chop it, or air layer it at the red line, it will take a decade to make a smooth transition at the cut point. If you want a cascading plant, you let the original get too large. Root cuttings, or air layer off a single branch, not the trunk. Use the branch as your cascading bonsai. Plant the air layer at an angle. Cascades do not have perfectly vertical trunks, they start at an angle.

Myself would probably use the whole tree as is, to create a weeping willow silhouette.
 

kouyou

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@Tbrshou have you tried wiring this cultivar? I have a few specimens. Their leaves reduce well, and they ramify well. They do not back-bud easily in comparison to my other cultivars, and branches close to the trunk tend to easily die back (as you can observe on the older/lower branches of your own tree). I initially thought that they would make interesting semi-cascade or cascade bonsai, but it turns out that they do not hold their form very well. I went as far as to allow wire to really bite-into a sacrifice branch, and when the wire was removed the branch had lost its form in no time. @Leo in N E Illinois is right to observe that this cultivar is best suited for weeping (not cascade) design, which I have never seen done before with a japanese maple. This does not mean that you should not give it a try, and there are some nice examples among other cultivars to look to for inspiration!

I layered about 15 different maples this year. All were various cultivars, not standard Japanese maple. I got the best root growth from layers that I started right as buds started to push in the spring. I did not get as good of root formation on those layers taken after leaves harden
the conclusions in your last two sentences are non sequiturs, and can be very misleading for others who are learning about air layering
 

Tbrshou

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What do you want out of your tree?

If you want a weeping willow sort of silhouette, you really should use the whole tree you have in front of you. If you chop it, or air layer it at the red line, it will take a decade to make a smooth transition at the cut point. If you want a cascading plant, you let the original get too large. Root cuttings, or air layer off a single branch, not the trunk. Use the branch as your cascading bonsai. Plant the air layer at an angle. Cascades do not have perfectly vertical trunks, they start at an angle.

Myself would probably use the whole tree as is, to create a weeping willow silhouette.
I like this as a option weeping it is thanks
 

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AlainK

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I really like the trunk movement.
I don't.

I mean the "trunk movement" can be seen in any maple cultivar, except that it is totally un-natural for this cultivar.

Even for a plain species of Acer palmatum, it's at its best very ordinary. And totally estranged from the natural port of 'Ryusen'.

"Designing" a tree means making the best of its charasteristics, not making it like something else.

There are so many options to take to make a much, much better design from this tree.
 
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Tbrshou

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I don't.

I mean the "trunk movement" can be seen in any maple cultivar, except that it is totally un-natural for this cultivar.

Even for a plain species of Acer palmatum, it's at its best very ordinary. And totally estranged from the natural port of 'Ryusen'.

"Designing" a tree means making the best of its charasteristics, not making it like something else.

There are so many options to take to make a much, much better design from this tree.
WOW u say all that but in all honesty this tree was never touched for approx 5 years it was purchased as is from a nursery so im wondering if either i have the wrong name of the plant or u just have the wrong information 🤔🤔🤔
 

kouyou

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@Tbrshou what @AlainK means is that your *weeping* tree was artificially staked, to the point where that trunk line does not look like it belongs to that cultivar. If left ‘on it’s own’, so to speak, a ryusen trunk should emerge from the ground and immediately begin weeping (see last photo of a low-grafted ryusen, for example).

as far as maples go, yours isn’t *that* bad, considering that maples are sometimes planted on a ‘standard’, which essentially means a pole-straight trunk (compare first and second photo, here using dissectum as an example of the different practices employed by growers)

the issue, of course, is that if you want to *design* a ryusen bonsai that looks like a ryusen, you might want to air layer off the canopy and start with that

edit: see also @atlarsenal 's tree below (his first picture). that tree will never get taller on its own. a ryusen 'should' be planted on a cliff or ledge, where its *trunk* (not just its branches) can emerge from the pot and immediately begin weeping. that said, in the american market they are normally staked for height so that people can anyways plant them in the ground
 

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atlarsenal

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WOW u say all that but in all honesty this tree was never touched for approx 5 years it was purchased as is from a nursery so im wondering if either i have the wrong name of the plant or u just have the wrong information 🤔🤔🤔
You have the right name. AlainK doesn’t know what he is talking about. Weeping and natural curvy trunk is the habit of this cultivar. Anybody who has one knows that. I have one.
260172

Here is a big one in the garden where I attend a study group.
260173
 

atlarsenal

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I don't have any cliffs in my back yard so I'll settle for letting it hang over the bench.
 

ysrgrathe

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AlainK doesn’t know what he is talking about.
I think you missed his point: he was saying the way the tree was staked doesn't look like the natural curvy habit. Same thing with kouyou's post which was about form, not cultivar.
 

Tbrshou

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I think you missed his point: he was saying the way the tree was staked doesn't look like the natural curvy habit. Same thing with kouyou's post which was about form, not cultivar.
So if a tree that naturally curves is staked vertically and grows curves in its trunk without wiring and manipulation it isnt natural? Was this tree staked? Yes im sure it was because if you dont it WILL grow as a ground cover type. Was it wired and trained no it wasn't.
 
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ysrgrathe

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This is all opinion, so decide for yourself what you like! I think the point being made was the natural form of this tree is likely closer to one of Bill's semi-cascade type trees.

260236

260237
 

AlainK

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I think you missed his point: he was saying the way the tree was staked doesn't look like the natural curvy habit
Yes, that's what I meant.

Here is a picture of the Ryusen I bougfht in the UK in March 2015. There is stille the stake that was keeping two branches upward:

acerp-ryusen_150418a.jpg

In autumn 2017:

acerp-ryusen_171028a.jpg

In March this year. You can see that once the stake is removed, the branches are the most weeping of all the cv I know:

acerp-ryusen_190329b.jpg

It's filled up now. Picture taken a few minutes ago. It didn't suffer too much from the heat waves we had this summer:

acerp-ryusen_190901a.jpg

PS : there's an obvious point where it could be air-layered next year...
 

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