Field growing a Field maple

BobbyLane

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Hi folks, i saw there was a lot of talk about maples lately, but this isnt a thread to say its ok to chop a maple whenever, this is more about what can be achieved with Field maple, Acer campestre in UK climate where the tree is native. this tree behaves a lot differently in Uk climate, so anything done with this species, shouldnt be applied to j maple unless you know what you're doing.

Just a short story in photos of this tree i bought around 3 seasons ago. think it went in the ground around spring 2016, could of been 2015

straight away i decided to chop it and it went straight into a growing bed
2017-08-22_06-46-39 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
2017-08-22_06-47-00 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

that summer it just grew and grew
Field maple by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

that autumn
20180222_131003 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
20180222_131051 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
20180222_131110 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

summer 2018

20180930_132007 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

thats pretty impressive development in the base
20180930_132215 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

i had a look at it earlier and decided to hack it back, it literally took over my patch and crowds out other trees,
so this cut back was more about getting in, getting on my hands n knees and visualising the next steps
20181207_161948 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

ive left some reserve, but in spring ill probably go in and do this
20181207_154858 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

Field maple is extremely vigorous and hardy in UK climate, i dont get any issues with the leaves like i do on my trident which has been a love hate affair.

the other option that interests me is to keep two subtrunks and do something like this,

taken from this blog
http://silvanaturalis.blogspot.com/search?q=maple
Acer_campestre_Dec_2011.JPG
 
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Bananaman

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Started out pretty promising and ended up destined for the compost pile. What happened?

Oh wait.... you sly dog...
Showing us how to take easy material that could make good bonsai, and turn it into extremely difficult material to build another weird fairy tale tree. Very interesting idea, cool....
 

BobbyLane

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Started out pretty promising and ended up destined for the compost pile. What happened?

Oh wait.... you sly dog...
Showing us how to take easy material that could make good bonsai, and turn it into extremely difficult material to build another weird fairy tale tree. Very interesting idea, cool....
did you prefer how it looked before the chop then. i personally think the nebari is better from the new angle. the chop was determined by the best view of the nebari. fairy tale is one option i guess, but i think the changes of direction and taper here can be equally interesting
20181207_154858 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

this wont be a short term fix. im in no rush to dig this up really. this will be an impressive trunk in a few years.
 
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Paulpash

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Started out pretty promising and ended up destined for the compost pile. What happened?

Oh wait.... you sly dog...
Showing us how to take easy material that could make good bonsai, and turn it into extremely difficult material to build another weird fairy tale tree. Very interesting idea, cool....
Please show us the 'easy material' Acer Campestre you have turned into 'good bonsai'. I'll bet a $1000 your only clue about the nuances of this species will be from posts on this forum and you have zero experience of actually making a bonsai out of it? Oh and please ask me to post a pic of mine so I can prove you wrong again....
 

BobbyLane

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@BobbyLane , what is the scale of the trunk today?
im not too sure, approx 3.5in diameter base just above soil line. wouldnt worry about the height, its going to bud out like mad in spring and another leader will be chosen, roughly from the first black line on the virtual and it wont take very long to thicken up.
 

BobbyLane

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i decided to go ahead and make a drastic chop on this material, rather than a flat saw cut...i sawed a wedge into the trunk and then nibbled away with nob cutters, that way im able to get some slight variation in the surface and a little concavity
 

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Thanks for the update, Bobby. Interesting project and development.

I think I see what you’re getting at, but I also agree with Smoke. To me, there is a discordance between the powerful nebari and the "muscular" flow of the trunk you selected that rises up to the left, that screams trunk chop to my eyes. Knowing you’re probably going to carve the shit out of it in a few years, it might become moot, but yeah, the very first two pictures of your OP offered a clear way forward for a nice, harmonious tree. I respect that it’s not the way you wanted to take with it.

I tend to think we get obsessed with the nebari (and trunk caliper), when the trunk line/movement and how good it looks with the other components of the tree should be the first thing we look at.
 

BobbyLane

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Thanks for the update, Bobby. Interesting project and development.

I think I see what you’re getting at, but I also agree with Smoke. To me, there is a discordance between the powerful nebari and the "muscular" flow of the trunk you selected that rises up to the left, that screams trunk chop to my eyes. Knowing you’re probably going to carve the shit out of it in a few years, it might become moot, but yeah, the very first two pictures of your OP offered a clear way forward for a nice, harmonious tree. I respect that it’s not the way you wanted to take with it.

I tend to think we get obsessed with the nebari (and trunk caliper), when the trunk line/movement and how good it looks with the other components of the tree should be the first thing we look at.
Just needs time. i dont see any need to carve this one now, as the wound is out of view. i agree that folks do become obsessed with nebari, it would seem that every second maple thread is a guide on how to graft on new roots:)
 

Tieball

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Field Maple definitely grows differently...much better...much quicker in the UK. I can’t get that level of growth for several years at a minimum. I have to short of a growing season I think...or just not the right temperatures for long enough. However, in my climate with my very sandy soil for ground growing, I do get a really good root flare mass below the soil to be unveiled in a future year.

Nice work. I look forward to seeing your progress.
 

BobbyLane

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Field Maple definitely grows differently...much better...much quicker in the UK. I can’t get that level of growth for several years at a minimum. I have to short of a growing season I think...or just not the right temperatures for long enough. However, in my climate with my very sandy soil for ground growing, I do get a really good root flare mass below the soil to be unveiled in a future year.

Nice work. I look forward to seeing your progress.
they're extremely vigorous here, this is one of three i have in the growing beds. i had 5 and recently sold two.
 

Paulpash

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In 3 years with good growth that chop will be healed. The challenge comes when it goes into a pot!
 

BobbyLane

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ive never really seen field maple as an elegant, harmonious type of tree. they tend to have a course branch habit. i can see why some folk would of preferred the earlier images though.....there was definitely a sinuous, flowing movement in there, i wasnt blind to it. i just didnt see a future in it given the nature of the growth. had this been an elm or j maple, it might of been time to dig.
im more inclined to build a powerful, impressive trunk with this material, given the speed of growth in the ground. ill only be tempted to dig this one up once it really grabs my attention.
 

BobbyLane

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In 3 years with good growth that chop will be healed. The challenge comes when it goes into a pot!
3 years Paul, that would be great!
yeh its the branch structure on these that takes time to refine, given the course habit. i will likely build the branch structure from sub trunks that have been reduced to stubs, over time....rather than cut everything off and then re growing in pot.:)
 

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