Developing Shohin Stock

timhanson81

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I have several hundred Trident and Japanese maple seedlings for long-term projects. I would like many of these to end up as mame and shohin trees, but I'm not clear on the differences between growing out stock for small trees when compared to larger trees. I remember reading little tips here and there on various forums, but I can't find any posts about specifics for developing smaller trees.

Should I use trunk chops to obtain taper as in larger trees? I vaguely remember reading that smaller trees should not be grown out in the ground. Is this to limit the internodal spacing? Can I keep the trees pot-bound for a certain period of time to reduce internodes then grow them for a few years in the ground to achieve taper and then trunk chop? Should I keep the apex pinched back and let low sacrifice branches grow out to achieve taper? I have used screens over many of the seedlings in their first year to achieve some low trunk movement, where should I go from here?

Any insight, wisdom or super-secret techniques would be greatly appreciated,
Tim
 

Smoke

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I am writing a very complex and concise article about growing out trident maples for shohin bonsai. It should be available for tomorrow if I'm lucky. Still have some photo's to take of the trees that were repotted today.

I think this will not only be informative for you but will show what can be done in about 6 years.
 
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I have several hundred Trident and Japanese maple seedlings for long-term projects. I would like many of these to end up as mame and shohin trees, but I'm not clear on the differences between growing out stock for small trees when compared to larger trees. I remember reading little tips here and there on various forums, but I can't find any posts about specifics for developing smaller trees.

Should I use trunk chops to obtain taper as in larger trees? I vaguely remember reading that smaller trees should not be grown out in the ground. Is this to limit the internodal spacing? Can I keep the trees pot-bound for a certain period of time to reduce internodes then grow them for a few years in the ground to achieve taper and then trunk chop? Should I keep the apex pinched back and let low sacrifice branches grow out to achieve taper? I have used screens over many of the seedlings in their first year to achieve some low trunk movement, where should I go from here?

Any insight, wisdom or super-secret techniques would be greatly appreciated,
Tim

if you have several hundred why don't you just try lots of different things. experiment, get creative. grow some out, chop some down, expose some roots, fuse some together, plant some in groups, wire some shapes, etc. what the heck else are you gonna do with several hundred trees
 
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Meanwhile, you might find the following articles on tridents to be valuable as well.

http://www.bonsailearningcenter.com/Tips&Advice/tridentmaple.htm

http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATTridentMapleBonsaiProgressionSeries.htm

and let's not forget Matt, who has been called the foremost expert on Trident Maples in America. http://www.artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1312 his personal site can be found at http://www.kaedebonsai.com/ I will post some of his articles and videos later.
 
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garywood

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Hi Tim, there is good info in the blog at Telperion Farms. Google brings it up quick. Wood
 

timhanson81

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Wood- Thanks for guiding me to Telperion's blog. I actually planted a bunch of seedlings last spring using that same technique. It's encouraging to see the results that I might expect.

-Tim
 

cmeg1

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I would just pot as many as you can in clay pot's after a cut down to desired highth,as long as you got some low buds.Then just start dwarfing them and watch them age.You would have to have a cold frame to put them in so they only receive light freezes.With that many though,you definately could explore growing some out perhaps.With seedlings though,I would just start with the better ones and dwarf them in clay pots.
 

Jason

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Depends

I think some of this depends on what your after and how impatient you are. How tall do you want the trees finished height to be? After you decide that you have to decide where to grow them so that they will ultimately be about 6x to 8 x the height of the trunk caliper with good taper. You'll probably do this with at least three trunk chops if they are deciduous. The ground is faster but you have less control of nebari development and ramification (and it takes several years for them to establish themselves in the ground). If your looking for refinement I'd go grow box but if your looking for a quick trunk I'd go with the ground (and a tile). Or alternatively you can go ground for the initial segment and a grow box later. If Smoke can pull it off in 6 years I'd do what he says.....but I think he'll start with a thick nursery trunk (not a seedling like you). My seedlings are in the ground. When they have a thick enough base they go in a grow box or a pot. Anyway....take that for what it's worth...just my thoughts.
 

Smoke

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Not everyone has to be a fat one....
 

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jk_lewis

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For me, at least, seedlings are NOT the way to start tiny trees -- at least not the mame size I prefer. Cuttings are much the faster way to go -- and you can actually do some styling (wiring, branch selection, etc) on the parent tree before you take the cutting.

Here is a mame trident developed this way.
 

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cool jim, i like it! air layering also is a great way to get a shohin. Works especially well on maples.
john
 

woodguy

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Very nice trunk on that JKL. The shari is great, especially for such a small tree. Lots of detail. Was that done while still on the parent as well?
 

jk_lewis

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The shari was done at the time I struck the cutting in 2004. That picture was take in 2008. Here is the tree today, while it is just now leafing out. You can see that the shari is closing up. I'm debating whether to re-open it. Any Thoughts?

I've used air layering, John, but I tend to not pay enough attention to them and when they're small they often dry out. MY fault. Cuttings get watered with the rest of my trees.
 

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plant_dr

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Re-open the shari. A tree with this much movement has an intriguing story to tell and the shari will add to that story.
 

woodguy

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I would re-open it as well. It adds so much character to the trunk.
 

JayyVee

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Ditto the 2 folks before me, the shari really adds to the story of the tree. Great movement in the trunk, the shari is in the right place to add character from that perspective/front.
 

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