Got given a 6 foot crimson queen

dazz

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ok i have not seen it yet but my uncle has offered me a 6 foot Acer dissectum. it has about a 1 1/2 inch trunk he said and starting to lose leaves as its almost winter here and its still in a nursery pot.

since im new to the bonsai world my question is

will this be worth it?
can i chop the top off, how far/much?
 

tnaz71

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I am assuming it's free so yes it will be worth it.

You can chop the trunk, how far would depend on what the tree looks like, what size you want etc. Once you get it, a picture will allow everyone to help you in more detail.
 

Dav4

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Is it grafted? If the answer is yes, the quality and position of the graft will effect many things, including whether the tree is worth working on.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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There are also some issues with grammar in your post :D

But seriously, a picture would help a lot if you can get one.

As far as chopping, you can chop almost anywhere you want if the tree is healthy. This should be done while the tree is dormant -- probably towards the end of winter. However, like Dav4 said, a graft may affect this. If it was grafted and you chop below the graft, you will no longer have a crimson queen. Grafts are pretty easy to spot unless they're done flawlessly and/or have healed over well. Here's a good example. There's usually a bulge, you can see the scar, sometimes the maturity of the bark differs, so you'll have one section with brown bark and the other with that green, fleshy-ish bark, etc.

Anyway, pictures, pictures, pictures! :)
 
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dazz

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will get a picture when i get the chance.

on that picture whereabouts is the graft?
 

Alex DeRuiter

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That little bulge just below the leaves -- when you look at the tree close up you'll be able to tell whether or not it's grafted. Well I shouldn't say you'll definitely be able to tell, because some grafts are done really well, but if it was something sold at like Home Depot there usually is a noticeable graft scar.
 
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Kevster

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The graft was just below the leaf line about an inch or two. You can see where the trunks diameter changed and there is a bulge or what looks like a knot but it goes all the way around the trunk.
 

Kevster

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Sorry Axxonn.. We must have been responding at the same time.
 

dazz

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so grafts are bad for bonsai then, as you cant cut below it?
 

plant_dr

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You could cut below the graft, but you will lose all the attributes of the top part of the tree. For example, you could end up with a green-leafed A. palmatum that was used as the rootstock rather than a purple-leafed cultivar that was above the graft union.
 

Kevster

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You could always air layer the top above the graft. Then you might get two trees if the bottom sends out shoots.
 

dazz

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excuse my noobness but can you chop down until your down to a stump or it will end up as compost? was that just for evergreens??

on that topic, what is the deal with trunk chopping? as ive got evergreens that im growing atm in a planter box. juniper and a japanese cedar.

i found a in depth article on trunk chop but that is for decidious plants. if i were to buy a nice thick trunked maple (or the one that my uncle is going to give me) and cut it down to a stump height will it be ok?
 

jferrier

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You might want to get some good books on bonsai. You can only stump trunk chop deciduous trees, and only during the right time of year or you may kill it. Also some dissectums varieties don't air layer that well. You will always need to keep some portion of an evergreen conifer. I've read to keep anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of the foliage as a general rule of thumb, but that depends on ones experience and the general health of the tree.
 
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Bill S

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You might want to get some good books on bonsai. You can only stump trunk chop deciduous trees, and only during the right time of year or you may kill it. Also some dissectums varieties don't air layer that well. You will always need to keep some portion of an evergreen conifer. I've read to keep anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 of the foliage as a general rule of thumb, but that depends on ones experience and the general health of the tree.

This is true, most all evergreens need to have foliage left after the chop to survive, and I concur on the maple info too. More homework before diving headlong into the deep, if yoyu haven't heard or read it yet, patience goes a very long way in the bonsai practice.
 

dazz

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yep doing more homework. just bought 2 bonsai books.
 

dazz

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just saw the tree my uncle was going to give me. it was in a such a sorry state. i did not take it but he did give me a smaller one. which also has a higher grafting point.

i had a talk with the staff at the nursery i went to yesterday, she said i could get a deep pot and bury the parent trunk up until where the graft is. then let it root. once rooted the graft will be way lower down to the soul. then you can progressively cut the lower roots that way it still has a stable root system. and that it would be better to keep the parent trunk as air layering above the graft can result in a weaker tree.

if that is possible i assume it will be like air layering (cutting of the bark) she was quite young so im a bit sceptic to her idea but it does make sense.
 

jferrier

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just saw the tree my uncle was going to give me. it was in a such a sorry state. i did not take it but he did give me a smaller one. which also has a higher grafting point.

i had a talk with the staff at the nursery i went to yesterday, she said i could get a deep pot and bury the parent trunk up until where the graft is. then let it root. once rooted the graft will be way lower down to the soul. then you can progressively cut the lower roots that way it still has a stable root system. and that it would be better to keep the parent trunk as air layering above the graft can result in a weaker tree.

if that is possible i assume it will be like air layering (cutting of the bark) she was quite young so im a bit sceptic to her idea but it does make sense.

Good idea. That should work.
 
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