Bloodgood repotting & styling questions

Messages
943
Likes
843
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
#1
Hey everybody, I have a few questions about what I think is a Bloodgood J.M. I guess it could be Emperor 1 or Fireglow, they all look so similar to me when they're this small and very hard to tell the difference.

I got it about two years ago from a lady that I did some landscaping for and she paid me with plants. :D This maple is in a 25 gallon pot and stands between 4 and 5 feet from the root crown to the tips of the branches. It had been ground grown before being dug and stuck in a pot; not sure how long it's been potted though. I've done nothing to it except cleaning up some cuts from the prior owner and dressing them with wound sealer (experiment to see if it works) and cutting off a dead 8" stump near the crotch.
I'm definitely repotting it soon, it's been growing in field dirt and it's a heavy pig and I'll see what the root system looks like very soon. I'm more than likely going to pot it back up in straight potting soil or regular potting soil mixed with some substrate to open up the drainage more. My goal is to increase growth with the stability of soil rather than with a fast draining bonsai mix, or do you all find superior vigor when grown in wide shallow boxes with bonsai mix? What do you all use to train your pre-bonsai?

I don't have any presentable bonsai (nothing even close) and this season I'm working on putting all my pre-bonsai back into potting soil or planting in the ground. I have some stuff in colanders and pond baskets with my mix of bonsai soil (turface mvp, permatill, granite grit and some pine bark). They're doing fine in that but while in the early stages of training I think I want more sturdy growth while they mature without the stress of a fast draining inorganic medium. I think im erring on the side of stability rather than fast draining. What I really want is plant vigor and to keep things as simple as possible as my plants are progressing towards an eventual bonsai pot.

So, soil v.s. soilless for training? ... not trying to start a huge shit storm with that question :oops:

Onto the styling questions

I've had plenty of time to ponder about where I should take this tree. Since this is an upright growing J.M. I feel like this should look more tree like and not have two diverging trunks, but rather a single commanding trunk. I originally wanted to incorporate both trunks but I think that would only work for a weeping variety. The 1st, 2nd and 4th pictures are what I envision the front being. So I think I'm going to prune out the main trunk on the left since this trunk has almost no taper and shoots out to the side with no movement. Don't know how well the pictures will show this but the one on the right has some movement and at least some taper. I made some virtuals to show what I'm thinking:


I have an idea of what I'll do with the top, nothing concrete though. Leave the fork? Prune one away? Chop and grow? If so, how far down? I'm open to suggestions. Oh yeah and I plan on taking that left branch off as an air layer if anybody has suggestions about that too, when the leaves harden off, right?


Thanks
 

Adair M

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,338
Likes
17,757
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
#2
In my experience, Bloodgood JM make poor bonsai. Their internodes are just too long.

They make fine garden trees, however.
 
Messages
943
Likes
843
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
#3
Thanks, yeah they do have some long internodes but they also have some pretty short. I'm imagining this as a medium to large size tree, so I think I can bring it down to scale. Will fall pruning help to control the spring flush with these? I'm going to give it a shot anyways.

Thanks
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,668
Likes
25,507
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#4
Nice!

I wouldn't take off that trunk to soon....
Let it fatten the base....

Looks good!

Sorce
 
Messages
943
Likes
843
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
#5
Thanks Sorce, I imagine this being at least 3 feet tall when finished. I know the issue with internodal spacing but I have some nodes that are half an inch apart or less so I think I can work with it.

The trunk has some taper already and if I leave the left branch it might swell too much and give me some reverse taper issues, plus it will leave a pretty large scar even now let alone later on if I leave it. That branch is about a foot above the root crown. The third picture is of what I'd call the back and you can see what a mess it already is. My thought was to cut it off now and dremel it flush with the trunk and start the healing process.

Here's a closer up:
Sorce, any suggestions on the training soil? Should I use potting soil or some sort of aggregate? I would like to put it in the ground but I don't have the room until I cut some other stuff down, so for right now I have to container grow.

Thanks
 
Messages
943
Likes
843
Location
Richmond, VA
USDA Zone
7a
#6
Thanks Sorce, I imagine this being at least 3 feet tall when finished. I know the issue with internodal spacing but I have some nodes that are half an inch apart or less so I think I can work with it.

The trunk has some taper already and if I leave the left branch it might swell too much and give me some reverse taper issues, plus it will leave a pretty large scar even now let alone later on if I leave it. That branch is about a foot above the root crown. The third picture is of what I'd call the back and you can see what a mess it already is. My thought was to cut it off now and dremel it flush with the trunk and start the healing process.

Here's a close up:
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
19,668
Likes
25,507
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
#7
Sorce, any suggestions on the training soil?
:)
My Maple Hand holds a Reaper.
Lol.

Nah, but I never kept a J.Maple.

Here's what I do know.

The way you edited out that branch tells me you are more than capable of designing this well.

The fact that you have found short nodes, and are willing to make it work....+2

And if you mess up, you can chop it to that low node and start over!

o_OI'm watching!

Sorce
 

Similar threads