Guidance for Kotohime

JoeR

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I absolutely love the kotohime japanese maple cultivar. I sadly killed my first one.... So I bought another!


This one is just slightly smaller than my last one but probably has better branch placement. Here is a very crappy video of it, being spun so you can see all directions:



I'm looking for some help to decide what direction to take it. I plan on ground layering it to form a better nebari at repot time, which is soon as buds are popping now. I will let the upright trunk grow and make the other one the first branch.


So what would you do with it if it were yours? Other than grow out. Whatever we decide should be removed I will not actually remove yet but instead airlayer so I can have more of them!



Thanks in advance for help,

Joe


P.S. Its not too late to buy your own!
 
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JoeR

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I did not mean to click post yet, sorry. I dont know how to add a video from my phone so I guess pictures are going to have to work.


I was actually wondering if I could use that red branch bender that comes in a starter tool kit for once on the straight part.
 

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parhamr

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I see beautifully short internodes, a lack of taper, and some straight sections. That suggests to me some hard pruning is needed in order to stimulate lateral branching for the purpose of thickening the trunk in a tapered fashion. The successive periods of growing out and receiving hard chops should generally fix the lack of taper and lack of motion and movement.
 

JoeR

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I see beautifully short internodes, a lack of taper, and some straight sections. That suggests to me some hard pruning is needed in order to stimulate lateral branching for the purpose of thickening the trunk in a tapered fashion. The successive periods of growing out and receiving hard chops should generally fix the lack of taper and lack of motion and movement.
Soecifically where would you chop it?
 

Adair M

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Soecifically where would you chop it?
It depends on whether you want a tree with a pretty straight trunk? Or one with some movement.

The trunk emerges straight out of the soil. If you want a tree with movement, it should be coming out of the ground at an angle. You can do that, just needs to be repotted at an angle. It will take a couple years to get the nebari corrected.

In this case you would the the trunk that's coming off at an angle to be your primary trunk



Or

Go for a more formal upright tree. In this case, use the trunk growing straight up, and the other one becomes a sacrifice to build girth.

As it stands, you cannot use both bottom branches in your final design. They are too close to being the same size. One branch becomes the leader (trunk), and the other a sacrifice to build girth and taper.

I can't see enough of the nebari to pass judgement, but I don't think you need to ground layer. You do need to get the nebari going "out" rather than "down".
 

JoeR

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It depends on whether you want a tree with a pretty straight trunk? Or one with some movement.

The trunk emerges straight out of the soil. If you want a tree with movement, it should be coming out of the ground at an angle. You can do that, just needs to be repotted at an angle. It will take a couple years to get the nebari corrected.

In this case you would the the trunk that's coming off at an angle to be your primary trunk



Or

Go for a more formal upright tree. In this case, use the trunk growing straight up, and the other one becomes a sacrifice to build girth.

As it stands, you cannot use both bottom branches in your final design. They are too close to being the same size. One branch becomes the leader (trunk), and the other a sacrifice to build girth and taper.

I can't see enough of the nebari to pass judgement, but I don't think you need to ground layer. You do need to get the nebari going "out" rather than "down".
Thanks so much for your comment Adair.

As I mentioned above, I do plan on letting one of the trunks go to create a significant difference in girth like you said. Or maybe I will chop the straight one off, who knows; I dont think a formal upright would be bad at all either.

I think the nebari def needs airlayered for sure, and I would like to get it done now while its young. It is unbalanced, the one root is larger than the rest.

Yep, at repotting time it will be tilted!
 

Adair M

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Thanks so much for your comment Adair.

As I mentioned above, I do plan on letting one of the trunks go to create a significant difference in girth like you said. Or maybe I will chop the straight one off, who knows; I dont think a formal upright would be bad at all either.

I think the nebari def needs airlayered for sure, and I would like to get it done now while its young. It is unbalanced, the one root is larger than the rest.

Yep, at repotting time it will be tilted!
The tree is young, by cutting off the too heavy root, the others will grow. The key is to stop the downward growth of roots. Cut those off. Keep the ones growing out. Radial roots. Get the bottom of the trunk flat (at the angle you want it be, and screw it to a board. Arrange the roots across the board, and bury the whole thing a couple inches deep.
 

JoeR

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The tree is young, by cutting off the too heavy root, the others will grow. The key is to stop the downward growth of roots. Cut those off. Keep the ones growing out. Radial roots. Get the bottom of the trunk flat (at the angle you want it be, and screw it to a board. Arrange the roots across the board, and bury the whole thing a couple inches deep.
Hmmm....

I dont think that could be done safely now, it just arrived from the north. Do you think it needs a year to settle in before something harsh like that could be done?
 

JoeR

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@Adair M , (or @Smoke )

Do I also need to remove anything from the top at repot?


Buds are swelling and I am not prepared... We still have about a month of winter left! And now this thing has lost its cold tolerance.


How many roots do I need to leave/should I take off? I have seen people do some pretty severe things on japanese maples.


Again thanks for the help Adair, I know youre not much of a maple guy.
 

Adair M

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JoeR,

Difficult to say how much roots can be removed without being there to see it. Likewise for trimming the top...

But you want to get the roots going out radially. If possible, get under the trunk and cut any downward roots off leaving only radial roots.
 

JoeR

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I went ahead and did it today while I had time. This is severe root work to me.


Anyways here are the pictures, I call it the Hulk now:
0210161629-1.jpg
Here it is out of the pot, loose soil fell off

0210161646-1.jpg
All soil off now, only one large root removed
0210161659a-1.jpg
I put a tile in there to set it on, its the only hard object I could fit in there. I forgot to take a picture of the tree on the tile...

0210161704-1.jpg

This is roughly the amount of roots I left on it.
 

JoeR

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Oh and the pot is the second one I ever made... I like the glaze but not the pot so much. Its big so thats why I used it.
 

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