Field grown rubrum...

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Yamadori
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So, I have been waiting for this big 20+ft tall to pop some buds since I chopped it earlier this year. Went and checked on it today and noticed these little fellows all over it. Too early to pick a front, but Im leaning towards one of these. (First pic has the most buds in it, second is out of the sun and therefor a little more naked but I like the look of the roots, and with a bud that burst right at the top so possibly the way I will go. The gloves are there to show where I plan on chopping the roots.)



So the question is... Do I leave them all to grow and then pick a leader next year, or do I clean up some of them that I dont think I will keep? I know when feild growing you want some extra growth to help put on girth, but if the girth is obviously there do I still need them?



I am planning on keeping this guy at around 12-16in tall when "finished". It is a Red Maple, Acer rubrum, if anyone was interested.
 

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Speedy

Yamadori
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I'm assuming from the number of views and comments that no-one has anything positive/constructive to say?

I read over Brent's article on creating taper on evergreengardenworks. I will let this growth harden off then trim them all except for the little guy right at the top that will be my new leader. Let that grow for at least a year, probably two then repeat the process again.
 

Kirk

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Rubrums are a challenge. The growth is larger and more coarse than many of the other acers. Gary Marchal (cajunbonsai.com) has a very nice one that I have seen up close several times.

A few challenges that you face with a drastic chop like that is rotting out the entire trunk and what can be a huge callus scar. You may consider creating a plastic collar at the top, secure it with a compression clamp and filling it with moist sphagnum. This will keep the cut a little moist and encourage buds to pop without a big, bumpy callus. From there, you pick the ones you want and let it grow. You could allow one to grow then clean up the original cut to form taper or keep a few and create more of a broom/maple style. In either scenario there will probably be a lot of rot to deal with- which can still be ok and worked into the final design. Wood hardeners can stabilize the wood and it can be darkened/tinted to look like an uro.

Over time, you can also work on encouraging a finer nebari, rather than having a few large flaring roots at the base.

Best always,
Kirk
 

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I realize there might an issue with rot and have accounted for that and worked it into my plans, if it happens. I plan on making the cut more angled after I figure out how much dieback there was later this year, or there are two buds that broke (left and right side just below the back glove), I'll angle the cut to them. The cambium layer was sealed with non hardening modeling clay, and has started callusing in a couple spots. I dont want the wound to heal all the way. I want a big uro or rot spot, whichever happens. If the whole trunk rots out so be it.

About the growth habit. I'm assuming that 12in is going to be too small? I am aiming for the canopy to be about the size of the area I have cleared out around the stump. I am aiming for a somewhat short squat tree, not qute sumo style.
 
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Dav4

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I'd leave it in the ground, pick a leader, wire it up, and let it rip for a few years. Otherwise it will take another 10 years for the next segment of your trunk to grow enough to match the thick bottom.
 

rockm

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I would also leave it in the ground after selecting a new leader. You have at least four years of uninhibited growth for the leader to even approach the diameter of the base. Putting it in a pot will slow you down at least five years.

You will probably also have to aim at a MUCH larger tree for A. rubrum. The leaves and internode length on this species is very hard to reduce. A larger frame will help to minimize those things.

If you allow the leader free growth, the chop wound will heal much more quickly. Skip the sealant, will probably do more harm than good.

And, finally, good luck, you'll need it with this species...:D
 

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The main question I had was, do I cut back the other buds the broke?

I'm not planning on pulling it out the ground yet, at least not for two years or more. In that time I am going to work on the nebari a little by ground layering. The leader is going to be the little guy that popped (second picture on the right side inbetween the dark spot in the middle and the leaf behind the stump, right at the cut.) I have nothing but time on my hands.
 

rockm

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"I have nothing but time on my hands."

Then don't mess with the roots while you're growing the leader. You will slow yourself down. That's counterproductive for both, do one, THEN then other.

"I'm not planning on pulling it out the ground yet, at least not for two years or more."

Plan on MORE. You will need at least three years of unimpeded growth on the leader to bring it anywhere near close to matching the diameter of the trunk. I'd say four or five might do it..

"do I cut back the other buds the broke?"

You can, unless they're in places were you might want branches. The leader is different. Select ONE of those top buds to be the leader remove any that might compete with it.
 

Speedy

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Thanks Rock, Thats what I was looking for.
I havent done anything with the roots yets, just cleared out the creeper, ground cover, weeds at the base.
If I decide that this wont work somewhere down the line I assume it would be alright to set the tree so to speak.
 
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