Acer Sango kaku

BobbyLane

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This is one i picked up from a nursery around apr/may time. its been responding very well, thought i'd give it a thread....

i see a naturalistic informal broom in the material, with a high canopy and a tall slender trunk, to my eye the proportions are just about right for a convincing image

all the long stems were hacked back to begin inducing taper. problem areas were reduced, these are areas where i think potential inverse could occur, barring branches. thicker sections were cut back harder, ugly knuckles/knobs cut out. basically balancing the tree out to avoid problems down the line. the tree has a solid trunk, good nebari and basal flare, its one of the first things i look for, because as we all know, its time consuming to develop. in most cases i prefer to spend my time building a branch structure right away usually

still some way to go
FB_IMG_1561384085131 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
FB_IMG_1561384132991 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
20190624_150956 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
20190624_150917 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

just needs time
 

AlainK

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Why did you cut out the first branch on the left?????

It looked much more promising on the second photo than on the last one, really.

In the second photo, the size of the branches were balanced, reducing gradually to the top. Now, there will be a big scar on the left, tiny twigs, then a big second branch on the right. Now, I think you'de better cut the two other big branches and start again from scratch.

I thought about what a friend who attended two-months sessions in Japan told me a couple of weeks ago : the "sensei" brought a maple and let them think about how to improve the tree. They sweated on a possible design, but none of them were satisfactory, so they told him "that's impossible, we can't do it". Then the sensei grinned, took his pliers and in a few seconds, cut off all the branches. "You're right, start from scratch".

Since the best feature on 'Sango Kaku' is the colour of new twigs, maybe that's something to consider, you've already got new shoots budding out at the right places it seems:

sangok.jpg

And I'm not sure what's on the surface of the soil, but if it's a kind of weed, or even moss, I would remove it and replace it with sphagnum moss if you can get some (helps the roots develop on the surface), or akadama.

My 2 €cents worth...
 

BobbyLane

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i dont think the left branch looked balanced at all, i think it was too heavy for the tree, almost as thick as the trunk. so the cut backs are geared toward finer, tapered branching that wont result in too much thickening in areas i dont want it. the thick right branch could be slightly reduced soon as there's enough shoots further back now. all the stubs will be left, there are shoots emerging from each stub. reducing the two branches at the top to one, also results in a large wound, but it could be something i look at as the tree fills out.

going for more of a tree like look rather than a bonsai look with this one

thats spag moss on the surface thats gotten too wet, needs removing and replaced.
 

BobbyLane

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one of the reasons it went into a shallow pot, was to create more basal flare over time...
i would much rather swelling in these areas in blue
FB_IMG_1561384132991 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

as opposed to reducing to one leader and getting swelling in the areas in red that were thinned out
FB_IMG_1561384085131 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
 

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AlainK

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Well, why keep that branch then ?...

OK, we all try to escape the "norms", but frankly, it's inside a curve, I find it inelegant, and incoherent with your "blueprint".

sangok2.jpg


spag moss
???

what do you call "spag moss" ? The sphagnum moss I have is from Chiloe, Chile, and looks totally different. There are hundreds of moss species, and like maples or other plants, they can be very different. From online translation :

 

PiñonJ

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I’ll be watching this one eagerly. I picked up a very similar one at the beginning of June. I didn’t do anything to it, as it was fully leafed out and June is typically our hottest, driest month of the year, though this year has been mild. This is my first foray into Japanese maples. Did you work yours in full leaf? Is the color change at the base a graft junction?
 

fredman

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I have 3 of these for about 5 years now. They drive me crazy with the constant long internodes they push. I do get short ones here and there, but usually at the wrong places. That sets the taper building back big time.
I see yours do the same thing. How do you plan to work around that?
 

BobbyLane

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I have 3 of these for about 5 years now. They drive me crazy with the constant long internodes they push. I do get short ones here and there, but usually at the wrong places. That sets the taper building back big time.
I see yours do the same thing. How do you plan to work around that?
i havnt really seen this to be a problem, im just treating it like any other deciduous tree. letting grow then cutting back hard. my first season working with the species, seems to be responding well so far. its in development and being fed and watered a lot so it will have a tendency to throw out long vigorous shoots with long nodes. basic pruning techniques should see the internodes reduce over time.
 

BobbyLane

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I’ll be watching this one eagerly. I picked up a very similar one at the beginning of June. I didn’t do anything to it, as it was fully leafed out and June is typically our hottest, driest month of the year, though this year has been mild. This is my first foray into Japanese maples. Did you work yours in full leaf? Is the color change at the base a graft junction?
i worked it in spring, it was in leaf when i picked it up from a nursery in may, re potted it and hacked it back.
 

fredman

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i havnt really seen this to be a problem, im just treating it like any other deciduous tree. letting grow then cutting back hard. my first season working with the species, seems to be responding well so far. its in development and being fed and watered a lot so it will have a tendency to throw out long vigorous shoots with long nodes. basic pruning techniques should see the internodes reduce over time.
Yeah that's what i've been doing. I'm doing the hedge method every year. Let it grow and cut back. The problem lies with that first internode on all the branches. Its to long to keep...to build taper on. That means all the growth of that year is lost come winter, because that first one needs to be cut back again...next year the same thing happens. I've even stopped feeding it mid summer and trimmed the roots that new spring, but still it throws that long ones...
Am I missing something?
 
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The problem lies with that first internode on all the branches. Its to long to keep...to build taper on.

here is one solution:


well-timed defoliation leads to vigorous budding from many internodes on the tree! The new shoots will be shorter, and the leaves smaller, than those that first emerge in spring

jonas dupuich has a good write up on this over multiple blog posts. Be sure to check out “related posts” at the bottom of his pages to find related content. Also pay attention to the dates of his posts, so that you read the material in the right sequence 😊



 

fredman

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Pinching?
Like I said...the first shoot extends soooo long that its not worth pinching. Only thing left is leave it to grow and cut back later (hedge). Hope there is some new shoots to work with when it shoots again.
What happens then, is it shoots from where it was cut....end of that year all that growth has to be removed, because the first internode is to long....and so it continues year after year.
This year i'm going full blown organic. Will only use compost and worm castings. Hopefully the much less N will produce shorter nodes....will see.
 

BobbyLane

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Like I said...the first shoot extends soooo long that its not worth pinching. Only thing left is leave it to grow and cut back later (hedge). Hope there is some new shoots to work with when it shoots again.
What happens then, is it shoots from where it was cut....end of that year all that growth has to be removed, because the first internode is to long....and so it continues year after year.
This year i'm going full blown organic. Will only use compost and worm castings. Hopefully the much less N will produce shorter nodes....will see.
if it shoots from where it was cut is that not a good thing then. thought only elms did that.
can we see some pics of the branches youre talking about? if the first node is a little long surely you can put movement into it with wiring. are these trees in pots or the ground?what youre describing isnt much different to what most trees do after a hard cut back or more so after a trunk chop.
 

BobbyLane

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with that said, im not seeing the issues you describe...look here how short the first nodes are at each branch, i have no doubts that this maple will ramify like any other with basic pruning techniques20190627_141829.jpg20190627_141853.jpg
 

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TomB

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Like I said...the first shoot extends soooo long that its not worth pinching.
That means you are pinching way too late. Take out the central bud as soon as you can see it between the first baby leaves.
If you miss the timing, then let the shoot grow out and cut it off as soon as the wood has started to lignify (some people would say sooner, I like to be sure the embryonic buds at the base have had time to form). That would probably only take a couple of weeks.
You will then get a second set of shoots coming from the buds at its base. These will be a lot shorter.
 

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