Amur Maple - field grown 8 years

Jessf

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Hello All,

I found this Amur maple growing in a field behind my parents house. I was given permission to collect it and kept it in a 5 gal. pot for the first 3 seasons. At some point I planted it in the garden where it stayed for the last 8 years. I trunk chopped it twice and the rest of the tree went largely unchecked to help heal the wounds. Since it was first collected (I was 17 yr old at the time) I went to college, moved out and got a job so the tree has been left unattended for many growing season receiving attention around the holidays. Two weeks ago I visited the parents but was really there to pull that tree from the grown and throw it in a smaller container. I cut many of the major roots, leaving only small feeders. I potted it up in some simple potting soil for this growing season but will put it in a larger pot before the winter months.

The tree grows like a weed, throwing shoots every-which-way. It's great material to work with but would be much better had I paid more attention to it. I've looked at photos of the tree many times over the past week and I think I've come to a design/solution. I want to chop and carve the trunk to the left, making a hollow, and I want to form the trunk out of the shoot I've left at the top.



and my crude concept sketch


looking for some input

thanks
 

Dav4

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A couple of thoughts.


1) I think you will need to let this one grow wild for a few seasons before doing any meaningful work on it. Carving/chopping/wiring or any other stressful insult to the tree could kill it.

2) The potting soil is going to be a problem. It's too moisture retentive, will retard new root growth and, worse yet, might rot what is left of the root system that was dug from the yard.

3) Your design has some potential, but it will take quite a few years in a pot for that next section of trunk to thicken adequately. If you can, putting it back in the ground might be the fastest way to achieve what you want. This probably wasn't what you wanted to hear, but it makes sense to me. Good luck,

Dave
 
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Jessf

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A couple of thoughts.


1) I think you will need to let this one grow wild for a few seasons before doing any meaningful work on it. Carving/chopping/wiring or any other stressful insult to the tree could kill it.

2) The potting soil is going to be a problem. It's too moisture retentive, will retard new root growth and, worse yet, might rot what is left of the root system that was dug from the yard.

3) Your design has some potential, but it will take quite a few years in a pot for that next section of trunk to thicken adequately. If you can, putting it back in the ground might be the fastest way to achieve what you want. This probably wasn't what you wanted to hear, but it makes sense to me. Good luck,

Dave
Naw it's all good. How soon can I put it back in the ground?
 

Jason

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Nice stump. If the roots weren't too badly savaged, and there's some way to keep it watered, it could be replanted now. If you do put it back in the ground, plant it on a tile and start working on a nice flat root system while your waiting for the next trunk section to grow out. You might want to let some sacrifice branches grow from the very base so you don't end up with waist (reverse taper).
 

Jessf

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Nice stump. If the roots weren't too badly savaged, and there's some way to keep it watered, it could be replanted now. If you do put it back in the ground, plant it on a tile and start working on a nice flat root system while your waiting for the next trunk section to grow out. You might want to let some sacrifice branches grow from the very base so you don't end up with waist (reverse taper).
yeah I was thinking about the plate idea earlier today. How deep should the plate place in relation to the bottom of the stump?

Anyways, I'll see how soon i can get back over there and place it back in the ground.
 

Jason

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Look on the bright side. That scar might heal a little more and you'll end up with even better nebari. In a year or two you can probably even start picking your first branch. When you dig this baby up again it's going to be impressive. You could do all of this in a growing flat but it would take you a lot longer. How big around is that thing anyway?
 
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Jessf

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Look on the bright side. That scar might heal a little more and you'll end up with even better nebari. In a year or two you can probably even start picking your first branch. When you dig this baby up again it's going to be impressive. You could do all of this in a growing flat but it would take you a lot longer. How big around is that thing anyway?
This is the kind of input I need, really. I read somewhere in my travels that it's best to develop the trunk first, which got me to this stage. So really, this season is/will be about developing the nebari and working on closing up the scar. I haven't measured it, but if I had to guess it's about6 inches in diameter at the base.

I've got a French Lilac stump developing in the garden as well, it's visible to the right of the green shoot on the maple stump. I trunk chopped the lilac for the second time, but due to it's slower growing characteristics I left it in the ground.
 
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october

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Hello Jessf.. I like your virt.. Although I m not a maple guy, I just thought that you may want to know that your virt will take about 8-10 years to pull off. This is talking about starting from a small branch and it becoming a whole mid to upper section of the tree with some ramification.

Dave made a good suggestion about just letting it grow. Also, by letting it grow, instead of developing a whole tree from one branch, maybe you could grow some side branches on the already existing trunk..just a thought..

It is a nice piece of rough stock with definite potential

Rob
 

Jessf

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Hello Jessf.. I like your virt.. Although I m not a maple guy, I just thought that you may want to know that your virt will take about 8-10 years to pull off. This is talking about starting from a small branch and it becoming a whole mid to upper section of the tree with some ramification.

Dave made a good suggestion about just letting it grow. Also, by letting it grow, instead of developing a whole tree from one branch, maybe you could grow some side branches on the already existing trunk..just a thought..

It is a nice piece of rough stock with definite potential

Rob
waiting isn't a problem. It's reassuring you guys see the potential in the stump I think I see. I don't know if Amur maple grows faster in other climates, but it's hard to imagine it growing any faster than it already has. I'll post some progress at the end of the growing season.

I'm also open to any design suggestions on the stump. The visual weight of the base leads me to believe I can continue growth to the right but I've never seen that in a full sized maple (though I haven't seen every maple tree on the planet).

There's also a more formal upright style which the more I look at the more I like. I like the movement left and right and the potential to fill the negative space to the left with larger lower branching. I've also shown a smaller lower branch stemming from the bulbous growth to the bottom right.
 
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Jessf

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I had the chance to put the tree back in the ground. The shoot I left on top has grown another 1" or so and when I shook the soil from the roots I saw bright white feeder roots 4" long coming from where I root pruned it on May 16th.

I think the tree will be fine.
 
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