First styling for a promising maple..

the3rdon

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Here are a few pics of a maple I styled for the first time in the couple years I've had it.. It will be going in a really nice shallow pot next spring.. The damn thing started to leaf out before I got a chance this year.. Damn crazy maples.. ;)
 

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Stimmie1

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Keep it pinched to force back budding and keep it hard pinched on top, watch the number of branches in the apex. You are off to a good start.
 

jk_lewis

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I'd like to see a bit of movement in the two lower branches, but especially in the longer one. A bit of wire will help -- a lot.
 

the3rdon

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Thank's guys.. I did some work on the tree yesterday.. I picked a leader which seems to always be my hardest decision.. I also wired the bottom branches to level them off a bit as I didn't like how high the left side was.. I also did a lot of pinching as with my feeding regimen (thank's Walter.. Lol!) this maple pushes shoots like CRAZY.. I will post pics within the next couple of days..

Thank's,
Don Hanson
 

cquinn

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Rather than use wire, trim back to a downward facing bud. It will grow down and then back up giving you good branch movement. Repeat as necessary. This technique is in Naka's book under basic trimming, but few people pay attention to understand why he says to cut back to a bottom bud, because they have been told to always remove them. That's only true on a finished tree. Warren Hill also emphasized this technique to me. I've used it on a Crabapple and I know have some knarley branches.
 

Bill S

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Rather than use wire, trim back to a downward facing bud. It will grow down and then back up giving you good branch movement. Repeat as necessary. This technique is in Naka's book under basic trimming, but few people pay attention to understand why he says to cut back to a bottom bud, because they have been told to always remove them. That's only true on a finished tree. Warren Hill also emphasized this technique to me. I've used it on a Crabapple and I know have some knarley branches.

Nice tip cquinn.
 

Smoke

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Rather than use wire, trim back to a downward facing bud. It will grow down and then back up giving you good branch movement. Repeat as necessary. This technique is in Naka's book under basic trimming, but few people pay attention to understand why he says to cut back to a bottom bud, because they have been told to always remove them. That's only true on a finished tree. Warren Hill also emphasized this technique to me. I've used it on a Crabapple and I know have some knarley branches.
I too prefer Warren's technique to use bottom buds for branch elongation. The trick is to cut back to a pair really early after selection to keep internodes short.

Don.... why a shallower pot? That pot it is in seems plenty shallow. The pot it is in would be good for helping to ramify this plant say two more years and then go for shallower if need be.

Looks really nice so far.
 

the3rdon

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Thanx smoke.. I will take your advice and wait on a more shallow pot.. Once again I have to remember patience.. It does have a lot of potential and great movement.. I'll try to get pics of the revamp tomorrow.. It has a much better flow after a little wire (strictly to bring the bottom branches where I wanted them) and it was tough but I picked a lead for the apex.. Why is that such a tough decision for me?? Lol! I can't wait for July for the first defoliation.. I did it last year just to expirament on another maple I have and it was with amazing results..

Thanx,
~Don Hanson
 

the3rdon

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Thanks Bill S and CQUINN too.. I am working on learning more horticulture.. SO much to learn..
 

Mojosan

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I wouldn't even consider defoliation at this point. I'd hit it hard with an agressive fert regimen to get those scars healed completely before worrying about refinement.

.02
 

jk_lewis

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Don't defoliate the same year you repot.
 

the3rdon

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I haven't repotted this one.. I'm gonna let this one go another year.. I have had it on a 10-10-10 regimen for a couple weeks now.. You can almost set outside and watch buds turn into leaves.. :D
 

JasonG

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This tree is a long ways from being at a point to where defoliation can be of benefit. First you really need to cut this one back hard...... then when the new growth extends to 3 sets of buds cut it back to 1 set again. This needs to happen to induce back budding, shorten the internodes and help to fill the tree out. As it is now everything is very far from the trunk and needs to be taken to the next level. If you defoliate this year then you are losing a year of productivity that will be beneficial

If this were mine I would cut it where the red lines are asap. I wouldn't wait because all you have now is a nice little trunk. Branching really needs work....... now grab your cutters and take this tree to the next level! :)

 

the3rdon

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Wowsa!! OK, What should I do in the weeks to follow.. That pic is a week or so old.. I have some updated pictures from today a couple replies back..

Thank's Don
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Good start, but I would ask this...what is your goal behind defoliating at this stage?

If this was my tree, I would be feeding the hell out of it and trying to get branches to pop everywhere I can. So far, it has several main branches, but you really should double the number of branches emerging from the trunk, thicken them, and then work on ramification.

Defoliating is to either:
A. Build ramification at the tips of developed branches or
B. To give interior buds a shot at some daylight when they would otherwise be shaded out by a massive canopy...push growth back in toward the trunk

This maple doesn't require defoliating to accomplish either at this point. The main branches are still relatively thin and would benefit from a couple years of strong growth (defoliating does the opposite), and there aren't enough branches yet to shade out the smaller, advantageous buds.

No offense, but defoliating probably isn't the technique to apply...yet.

If it was mine (and I'd put it on my bench;)), I would be trying to get the branches to grow 18" this year, and in January, I'd wire them, and prune them back to about the profile it has now (Jason outlined this well in RED), using current branches that have doubled in thickness (the placement is already excellent), and some of the new buds that pop as a result of the gained strength from a season of hard growth to help fill it in. Next year, you might need to defoliate...

Look at this documentary on my J. Maple:

http://www.nebaribonsai.com/Nebari_Bonsai_112109/Projects_files/Evolution of Jap Maple.pdf

I'd say yours is about where this one was in 2005-06. (except yours has a better trunk and branch placement)
 
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the3rdon

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OK Brian and Jason I'm putting it "on the bench." Great series Brian. Thank's for the outline of the important cuts Jason.. Brian the Maple in ur progression series is the topper.. So once I cut back I wanna just let it grow? Then pick where I want the new branches to be? This will also help thicken everything up?

Thank's Don
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I wouldn't cut anything at this point, except maybe some of the apex branches that Jason highlighted...then let EVERYTHING grow all year. In the winter, you would cut it back to the red marks Jason drew, and wire it to give some movement to the branches...placement is already good. You may (should) get some advantageous branches that you may want to keep as part of the design.

Glad you like the presentation...that maple is coming along nicely.
 

the3rdon

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Well at this point, all the branches are cut.. Brian, I got ur post a little late.. The branches are still there just cut at their thin, new nodes.. The way this tree has grown so far this spring I don't think it will have anytime coming right back.. It's a weed trapped in a maples limbs.. :D
 

Brian Van Fleet

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In that case, just be sure to keep the top held back like Jason proposed so the lower branches can make a good run. Looking at the photo, it is apcially dominant, and you want as much energy directed to the lower branches as you can get.

Then put it somewhere that it can get sun and water, but you can't reach it with scissors...;)
 
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