Dwarf japanese maple, what do I do?

lalerivas

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I got this little guy online about a month ago. Since then it has grown the leaves and it's looking healthy to me. I want to eventually become a bonsai...

Should I be pruning it? Should I chop the vertical growth? From what I read around here I think the best would be to not touch it lol, but I want to get actual advice instead of my conjectures.

Thank you.PXL_20210416_214249725.jpg
 

lalerivas

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I attached a picture. Currently is about 28 inches tall.
 

MrWunderful

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It depends on your definition of bonsai.

Is it an exaggerated taper squat maple with huge amount of ramification in a very shallow pot? Then you have many, many years of growing in a much larger space with many chops with aggressive specific root work and specific soils.

If its just a little tree in a nice pot that you prune once a year, then choose a pot you like, get some well draining soil and prune every branch back to “2” every year in summer and you will have a nice looking tree in a few years.

I have 15-20 dwarf jm seedlings in growing bags (very similar to yours) with tourniquets to rebuild a proper radial nebari (1st year). I then plan on allowing them to grow freely all year , fertilizing heavy, and chopping them back to the very first nodes with annual root work. (3-5 years) . then start building branching and turning them into bonsai
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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@lalerivas - Welcome to Bonsai Nut, and the start of what can become a life long hobby.

That is a nice starter maple. It would take a whole 250 page book to tell you what to do with this maple next. This forum has a huge amount of information stored in it. Read through many of the threads in the "Maples" sub-forum, Also peruse the various posts in the "New to Bonsai" section, others have asked exactly the same question.

But I do want to be helpful. You are right. In general we do not prune maples in spring. Wait until the end of May to the end of June. That is a good time to prune. Anytime from a few weeks before the summer solstice until a few weeks before the autumnal equinox is a good time to prune your maple. Most will do their first pruning after about 8 sets of leaves have extended on the new spring growth.

Bjorn Bjornholm explains it better than I can in his video. His whole series, Bonsai U, is excellent. He also has a video on a maple clump he started, look for that too.


Hope this helps
Leo
 

sorce

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I'm just trying to figure out what city that is!

Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

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