"Going Green" Japanese maple progression

BitsaBon

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Purchased this tree in a bit of haste when first getting into bonsai (outside of owning an indoor ficsus). I was attracted to it because of its apparent vigour/twin trunk, only to learn multiple reasons why this wasn't perhaps the best choice. These include vertical growth, node distance, leaf size... I have done some heavy pruning + guide wires to give it more of an appealing shape. Intending on transplanting into a large bonsai training pot next spring



going green 1.jpg



Still, I like the tree and have enjoyed the process so far. Tried defoliating the tree to see how leaf size was impacted (some burning on the leaves) and out of general curiosity.


The colour of the leaves in the first few weeks of spring is an incredibly vibrant green. Unfortunately I don't think I have a picture, I do have one from late spring:

DSC_0361.jpg


There is an interesting fusing of branching on the right hand side of the tree (only viewable from side):


going green.jpg

Will probably use this thread to log the progress of this tree and a few of my current projects. I have enjoyed reading various posts on this form from other growers so thought it wold be good to get the ball rolling on my end. Any feedback would be appreciated

Cheers
 

sorce

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Welcome to Crazy!

Sorce
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Welcome aboard @BitsaBon !!

I hope you have many enjoyable days learning about and practicing bonsai And look forward to seeing your progress.

First off, please double click your icon and enter your approximate location. This will help all of us to tailor our advice to your location as you progress in your journey in the land of tiny trees as @HorseloverFat puts it. It will also key folks in your area to be even more specific.

Looking at your progression I see you are already doing some experimenting with your tree. That’s a good thing. It might be wise to determine the eventual height you desire first and thus the final diameter of the trunk you will need first. If you are good with the size you have now, it’s ok to prune on top, otherwise I’d let the tree grow to get the trunk size you are shooting for. Replanting in a larger container will help. In ground would be the fastest way to get things growing.

The small, third branch, junction with the branch next to it is causing a swelling of the larger trunk. So I’d recommend separating the two branches and remove the junction branch between the two. It might be best to keep the smaller branch at this point.

Finally, some people would say that the smaller of the two major branches should be markedly shorter to get a Mother - Daughter design going early on. You might look up examples of this design for maples and decide soon if that’s what you want.

obtw, Japanese maple 'Going Green', Acer palmatum 'Sonkootgre' seems to be a really good choice to start with, and in high demand. Given the angles shot, I can’t see any graft marks noticible. It’s actually imho a really nice tree to start with.

cheers
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BitsaBon

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Wow, thank you for the detailed contribution @Deep Sea Diver

I have updated my location, thanks for the pointer.

A thicker trunk would be preferable, so I think I will follow your advise in regard to letting the top grow out. Haste seems to be my biggest obstacle at the moment...
Thanks for the tip regarding the junction, would you recommend holding back on this until toward the end of dormancy, in the coming winter? I shall do some digging on the mother/daughter design, thanks. I do like the idea of two equally balanced trunks, but I suppose this would present issues at the apex of the tree? Time for some research...

Another thankyou for directing me to the alternate name, the words "going green" aren't very forgiving when trying to google for similar examples. Yes, I assumed this tree was on it's own rootstock, is this not the case?

cheers
 

Deep Sea Diver

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You are welcome.

I have updated my location, thanks for the pointer.

😎

A good thing to avoid haste is to get a couple more trees to work on! Spend some time learning more about your cultivars habit. It would be good to check out a nursery that has more and larger trees off the same type and get some photos so you are in sync with what the tree does…. and then plan on what you want to do.

I’d cut the tree goes into full dormancy, right down the middle, seal, let it die back, then cut again closer and seal again. Check out @MACH5 thread on sealing wounds.

“I do like the idea of two equally balanced trunks, but I suppose this would present issues at the apex of the tree? Time for some research... “.

No necessarily, but Mother Daughter is a much more powerful design

“ Yes, I assumed this tree was on it's own rootstock, is this not the case?”

It looks like it’s on its own roots from what I can tell. It may be a strong cultivar of A.P. There are many grafted A.P’s out there, it’s something we like to avoid if we can as it costs an extra year air layering off the scion and growing new roots so there is no grafting junction…. which can cause issues…. Yet you may want to ground layer the tree sooner or later anyways to improve the nebari and shorten the distances to the branches to improve your design. 😎. I would.

Cheers
DSD sends

btw There are plenty of active members in your neck of the woods. UK has lots of active enthusiasts here.
 

leatherback

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It looks like it’s on its own roots from what I can tell. It may be a strong cultivar of A.P. There are many grafted A.P’s out there, it’s something we like to avoid if we can as it costs an extra year air layering off the scion and growing new roots so there is no grafting junction…. which can cause issues…. Yet you may want to ground layer the tree sooner or later anyways to improve the nebari and shorten the distances to the branches to improve your design. 😎. I would.
The label on the tree looks very much like the labels on the "japanese jewels" series I get here in Germany. The series here is invariably on their own roots. So I would not be surprised if you are in luck. How well the nebari is, varies a lot. Some are excellent, so really need airlayering. CHeck upon repot. And if you think you want to layer, use a taller than needed pot, plant deel and leave a few inches of the pot empty: This way you can layer come spring by removing the bark, and backfilling with substrate. (And if you want to layer, do not work the rootball, leave the roots alone when you transplant).

I wasn't expecting new shoots over 30cm long at the same time.
Welcome to happy Japanese maples!
When doing your fall / winter pruning, check internode length. Branches that grow now, normally have short internodes and are more likely to be keepers than spring growth.
 

BitsaBon

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Time for an update!

Thanks a lot for your advice, @leatherback and @Deep Sea Diver! Gave me something to think about throughout the dormant season. The merged branches have been separated(before tree came into leaf), with only a small amount of inverse taper, fairly confident it will even out in time, not too noticeable.

I have just preformed a ground layer. As you can see in the photos the nebari was pretty ugly, so I definitely think this was the way to go. I quite like the way the two trunks emerge at the root base, so this was a design element I wanted to remain (at least for now). The tree seems to be the most vigorous of my fast expanding maple collection, although its in close competition with my field maple. With this in mind I think there is a very good chance of success. I will make sure to give an update at the end of the growing season. The skirt is an experiment to see if I can encourage more lateral initial root growth, with the hope that the roots end up in the free space in the larger new pot.

While it is an extremely vibrant green for the foliage of the tree, it does appear to be somewhat exaggerated by my camera phone. The most accurate representation is in the garden shot with red arrow.

20220427_145422.jpg 20220427_150150.jpg


20220428_121943.jpg 20220428_122044.jpg


20220420_162303_LI.jpg


Bonus colour display including Atropurpureum, Deshojo, Katsura and Kawarhara Rose

20220428_122335.jpg

Thanks again,
Bitsabon
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Well done! Looks like you’ve been busy!

It was a good idea to ground layer at that exact point. It does seem the cut might best be thicker for success, as it it seems a bit narrow to me from your images. Yet it could be just the image. Time will tell.

I’m not sure if you did this or not, but it is a good idea to craft a cut out of the middle of a a round plastic disc and wire it in place just below the top of the cut for the roots to spread out on… saving a couple years of work on the roots later on. If not this still can be done. If you did so. Ignore this section. If not, easy to retrofit now.

This is a good time to consider next steps up top… where to prune off the thick trunk to a smaller branch to start developing taper

Cheers
DSD sends
 

BitsaBon

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Thanks for the tip @Deep Sea Diver, I have swapped in some plastic and lowered the bottom cut by around 1 cm. Won't touch it again until checking the progress in early autumn. Fingers crossed...
Cheers
 
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