Another Maple Styling Question

dpowell

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This is a nice pre-bonsai JP maple I've had for a few year. The last growing season I just let it grow out as evident by the overly long shots on some of the branches. I really love the trunk on this tree. It's very graceful and elegant with reasonable nebari. My problem is the upper part of the trunk. After the leaves fell it appeared drastically straight compared to the lower part of the trunk. My initial thought was to chop is and regrow a leader (the red line in the pic), but I'm also tempted to chop a little higher (the yellow line) and grow a new leader that's defined in black. The second possibility is easier to see in the second picture which is from the side. Any thoughts?
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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Cut at the red line. You'll have better taper and movement. If you don't, you'll spend a few years developing a nice crown, and suddenly you'll wish you cut at the red line way back when...before you had nice ramification right above it! :rolleyes:
 

james

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I agree with Brian to remove at red line. However, would you consider an air layer at red line? Relatively easy on JM, and you get 2 trees!
 

Smoke

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I agree with Brian to remove at red line. However, would you consider an air layer at red line? Relatively easy on JM, and you get 2 trees!

I have never understoood this idea too well. Maybe you could get me to understand this better. If a portion of a tree above a certain point is not very good, then why would it somehow be OK if severed from the main tree and made to stand alone?
 

dpowell

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Brian - that was my fear to begin with, that I would look at it in a few years and all I would see is that straightness. The good thing is the new leader is coming towards the front of the tree which will be good for an apex.

It's hard to see in the first picture, but the top portion that I would chop off is quite ugly and heavily scared. Other than taper, it doesn't have much going for it and is probably not worth the trouble of air-layering.
I'll post an updated picture after trimming and wiring which I'll hopefully have time to do later this week.
 

Ang3lfir3

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.... but I'm also tempted to chop a little higher ....

honestly if it were mine.... I would prolly chop it a bit lower [I can tell it was grown around a pole] .... however the red line is a really good location as well

@Al .... this mostly comes from peoples desire to somehow save and multiply.... its just human nature and has to be unlearned
 

Bill S

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I agree w/ Ang3 on this, right above the branch coming from the front of pic 1, the red would work, but lower shortens the tree a bit more adding better scale.

Waste not want not Al. Although I do agree with you.
 
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As far as air layering the top, in my opinion, the negative aspect of this portion of the tree is in relation to what its currently attached to. If the top is air layered and grown in the ground for a few years you might be suprised with what you end up with and all it cost you is a little effort and time. If the layer doesn't take, oh well it was going to be cut off anyway. I do however see the down side as slowing the development of the existing tree.
 

dpowell

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I decided not to air-layer the top. I wanted to get this tree started as quickly as possible and I have enough mediocre maples lying around. It's missing a few branches that I may need to thread graft later, particularly the top left side (assuming the first picture is the front), but the new leader comes forwards which I like and this view shows the trunk movement well.

@Ang3lfir3 - I never got the impression that this was grown around a pole. I looked it at closely after you mentioned it and still don't see it.
 

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Ang3lfir3

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@Ang3lfir3 - I never got the impression that this was grown around a pole. I looked it at closely after you mentioned it and still don't see it.
It might not have been.... either way works as long as the tree has movement and this one does.... look forward to seeing it again in a few years...
 

Smoke

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This looks to be a maple grown by Ian Price out at Lone Pine. The trunk has his unmistakable touch to it.
 

dpowell

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This looks to be a maple grown by Ian Price out at Lone Pine. The trunk has his unmistakable touch to it.

I purchased it from Lotus Bonsai Nursery in Placerville, CA. I believe it was field grown by them, but I am not positive.
 

Smoke

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I have some stuff grown by Scott and this still looks like Ian Price stuff. Would not surprise me if he bought this from Ian and resold it.

I have some stuff from Scott I will post tomorrow.
 

dpowell

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Just a quick update with it in leaf and repotted. The pot is oversized I know and is by no means final, but it gives it some space to grow out. This maple was one of my first plants to start growing and I've already had to remove the wire. It got a light trim today as well (not pictured). Bonsai-2.jpg
 

discusmike

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Cut much lower and save alot of heartache down the road.
 

dpowell

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Update after some spring work. First shot shows after a light trim. Second photo is the new planting angle. Third picture shows after defoliation(the large leaves left on are for a back branch I'm trying to thicken up). Last pic shows after wiring.
After studying the pictures for a little bit I think the first 2 branches still oppose each other too much so I will have to change that a little. Also I'm not sure about the front part of the first branch. I might want to remove/shorten that. Let me know what you think.

untitled-47.jpguntitled-51.jpguntitled-55.jpguntitled-57.jpg
 

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