hollow trunk japanese maple

Paul H.

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Here is a japanese maple var. unknow. That I found at a nursery under a pile of trees in the back .All the branches but one had been broken , cut off , or just died back .But thought it had a good trunk . So I asked how much they wanted for it . the anwser was you realy want that tree .....o.k. if you realy want it , its free. So I took the maple home not knowing what to do with it , but it was free. So when I got around to working on the tree I found out the died back was more then I thought. It turned out half the trunk rotten in the center. so I hollow the trunk out and sealed it . and here is what the japanese maple looks like now . Pot is 15 x 12 x 5 and the maple stands 3' from the table with 3 1/2 " trunk . comments welcome .
 

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irene_b

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Paul I like this one and can see many possibilities.
The new growth tells us it is alive.I always like to err on the side of caution and get one super healthy before anything is done, which gives plenty of time for either new ideas or new buds to pop (both are great).
Considering the height of the tree (after it has reached a super healthy state) I would consider a few air layers.
From what we see in the pic it has a good root base. (Another plus) The trunk size is nice as well.
If ya get tired of looking at it you can send it to me ;):D
Irene
 

Dav4

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Good and bad news here...fantastic lower trunk and nebari, but very weak tree, and the soil doesn't look so good either. Any styling/pruning right now might kill it. This is a tree I would consider planting out in the ground in a protected spot for a few years to regain some strength. Once it is growing well, you should consider thread grafting on the lower trunk. Good luck,

Dave
 
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PaulH

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I agree that you've got to get this into the ground or into a growing box with good draining soil. Feed it every week until you have lots of new buds lower on the trunk so you can develop branches where they should be. You've got a good start to build nice nebari but having it in a bonsai pot with poor soil will quickly ruin that chance. good luck. In three or four years I think this could be an impressive tree.
Paul
 

Ang3lfir3

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Certainly get it out of that muck.. but I wouldn't really bother with that right now... just be very careful with the watering. Next year clean out that old soil and repot it into a decent sized grow box No need for ground growing as it already has trunk size. In the future I wouldn't bother with "sealing" the hollow section of the trunk. This is premature and will most likely lead to an unrealistic look to the dead wood. At some later date you can carve the hollow some more to feature it better... It's a great aspect and lends great age to the visual impact of the tree. The tree however is a little tall for my tastes but that can be rectified with some lower branching and an additional chop/carving.
 

Vance Wood

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I agree, get it into a growing box etc. and leave it go for a number of years. Give it plenty of fertilizer and if the tree is going to make it you should at some point be rewarded with an abundance of new shoots forming on the trunk. When that happens you can consider cutting it back and styling from one of the new shoots that form lower down. Don't cut the top of the tree off till you know the lower shoots are going to grow, and don't cut the top until you investigate the possibilities of using the old top as some sort of dead wood element. I know this is not common on J. Maples but who is to say you cannot do it. Let art dictate what you do on this point. Of course this is looking positively down the road three to five years.
 

rockm

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Fantastic possibilities with this trunk. Get it in the ground, build its strength for three years. Then begin working to get it into a container. This is the kind of material it's worth taking the time to develop. Don't be tempted to "bonsai" it too soon...
 

mapleman77

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I second all of the replies....they all said what I was going to! :) you have an extremely nice piece of rough stock to work with. I want to see how this tree develops; keep us updated! This has much potential!!
 

Paul H.

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Irene I don't think I will get tired of looking at this tree :D. And thanks to all of you for the replys. I do not plan to do anything to this maple till at least next year . It is bud out real well on the top branch ( top trunk ..apex ) . So it is in good heath . Will have to see if bud back lower on the trunk. But till then I will wait and see what this maple looks like in the future . Thanks again ,Paul.
 

RyanFrye

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Hi Paul! This is GREAT tree (like you needed to hear it again;)) but I'm excited for you especially since you got such a good deal on it! Please keep us updated. Thanks.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Nice nebari and trunk! It takes a long time to get the mature bark on J. Maples. Definitely focus on getting it strong; whether you put it in the ground, a box, of just back in the bonsai pot in porous soil, and feed it well. Scrubbing the bark gently may convince it to back-bud on older wood. Getting it growing strong, then pruning it hard in late spring may help make it pop back too. If you take advantage of all that great bark, a little carving over the winter will introduce some nice taper...
 

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docs_bonsai

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Hollow Trunks

Nice tree to start with. Lets Talk about hollowing out yours. I've been working on this one for three years what do you think Paul. I've got the tools lets get together...

Doc
 

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