How to proceed

sdhm3

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I have two trees that i have questions about I will start with this Acer P. that I grew in my garden for around five years. The first picture (if I can actually get ti attached) was taken just out of the ground. the second is my progress one year later. and the third and final picture is how the tree is now. my question is should I do as I did last year and cut back to a sey of buds at an apporpriate site, or allow the branches to grow uncut this year to allow for some much needed branch thickining.
The Nebari needs some work too but I'll save that for later.
 

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sdhm3

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looks like I'm not going to get my first photo on the post. I think it may be too larg a file.
 

Alex DeRuiter

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You might be able to post the image on photobucket and use the [/img] code (or whatever it is) in your post so you don't have to worry about file size. Otherwise you can probably shrink the photo using MS Paint and make the file size smaller.

Based on your second picture, I would say let the branches thicken a little bit. But having not seen the third picture, that may be the wrong advice. See what you can do about posting it :)
 

sdhm3

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The picture missing is of the tree as it came out of the ground this is it. I think. I agree with your advise to let grow, but I had some misgivings due to the fact that the growth achieved to this point ( two summers out of the ground) has been fairly strong by cliping growth to the first or second buds once a year. I originally had some pretty thick branches and I had to do some creative grinding to achieve some kind of taper.
 

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capnk

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That's some good progress.
Two suggestions:
1. If you need nebari development, that should come first. It's a very slow process to grow out nebari if you are keeping the crown pruned to shape. The nebari will develop much faster if you let the top run free.
2. The tree is a bit symmetrical for my taste. I would suggest you chose one side to be the "leader" and prune the other back to a subordinate role.

That's MHO.
Chris
 

sdhm3

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I agree with the comment about symmetry. I plan to let one side to grow out wider than the other. I would say that by the growth achieved in the garden this tree is vertically challenged, so I'm stuck with broom style. Not my favorite.
As far as the nebari. The tree came out of the ground with a pretty flat root mass although there are some crossed roots at the surface. Because of the severity of pruning done during the first styling I was hoping to maintain its field vigor without repotting for three years. That will bring me to spring 2012.
I have to admit I was a bit nervous that the tree would not survive the first year out of the ground. I cut three foot thick branches back to about three inches . The second year i carved away a furcation between areas where buds were present. The result is that there are five or six very large wounds to heal.
I will try to post some pics of the nebari so those of you in the know can help me to proceed.
Thanks to all who care to comment.
 

sdhm3

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I agree with the comment about symmetry. I plan to let one side to grow out wider than the other. I would say that by the growth achieved in the garden this tree is vertically challenged, so I'm stuck with broom style. Not my favorite.
As far as the nebari. The tree came out of the ground with a pretty flat root mass although there are some crossed roots at the surface. Because of the severity of pruning done during the first styling I was hoping to maintain its field vigor without repotting for three years. That will bring me to spring 2012.
I have to admit I was a bit nervous that the tree would not survive the first year out of the ground. I cut three foot thick branches back to about three inches . The second year i carved away a furcation between areas where buds were present. The result is that there are five or six very large wounds to heal.
I will try to post some pics of the nebari so those of you in the know can help me to proceed.
Thanks to all who care to comment.
 

sdhm3

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Does anyone here think its a mistake to leave this tree without repotting for three years. For me it seems that when I repot every thing slows down for that next season.
 

cquinn

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It does slow it down. I would plant it in a 2 inch deep by 2ft wide wooden box or other flat and not repot it for maybe 5 yrs.
 

sdhm3

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I get the 2 ft square but 2 inches is a bit scarry. I'll give it a try because the tree has a few large top roots that I would like to remove so as to expose a very nice spread below. I have quite a lot of time invested in this tree, allthough most of time it was just growing in the ground, I want to make sure I take all the right precautions st this point.
Thanks for your input. I have another week or two I think before I have to make a decision. Hopefully by then I can get some more input.
 

cquinn

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It's possible to ruin a Japanese Maple if planted too deeply. They don't get the same base spread as in a shallow container. In Japan even large maples are planted in pots only 1.5 inches deep. I actually was advised by a well known teacher to grow them out in flats and not plant them in the ground at all. I have an Arakawa with a 6 inch rootage and a 3.75 inch trunk and its in a 2.5 inch deep pot. They actually thrive if you do your job.
 

digger714

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Looks like you need to thicken up some of the secondary branches, so wire them the direction you want, then let the leader of each branch grow out, then when it slowslater in the season, cut it back to another set of branches. Remove any down growing branches. Plant it in a shallow container as advised. This will cause the roots to grow outward, and start the fusing process in the base. When repotting japanese maples, prune hard so you get alot of horizontal growth. Like the branches, remove any roots growing downward, and any large roots. The large roots are just to hold trees in place, and not needed for feeding.
 

sdhm3

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I'm on the same page regarding branch thickening. I just wasn't sure if spring cut back or let them grow out this season.

I'm sold on the flat growing container. The new question is if I do moderate to extensive root pruning wouldn't some spring branch trimming be in order?

The attached picture shows some very odd large roots. Do you think these should be reduced or is it likely that in the future they may all fuse together and become part of the base?

I tried to upload pics from my phone I keep getting errors so the pics will have to wait till I get home.
 

digger714

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If the roots are growing the direction (radially) away from the trunk, then prune underneath the tree to get rid of any downward growing roots, then take off any large roots to promote the smaller roots to grow. If the large ones you are talking about are growing sideways, take them off. Maples can be root pruned hard, and need to be to get the fused base. If you just took it out of the ground this year then you dont need to take any top off since so much was taken at the time of digging. If you wanted to reduce it to 1 main trunk that would be fine. I would take off some of the branches at the fork, work the roots, and repot, and let all branches grow until mid season when you see them start slowing down, and the inner branches start to grow more, then prune back to the smaller branches. You always want to remove branches that have more than one growing from one spot to keep any bulges forming.
 
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sdhm3

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Here is the mess of large roots when I dug it up spring of 2009. I also added a pic of the first cut back of branches which I shortened the following year.
 

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Smoke

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That is a nice cut back. I think that will sprout nicly and make a very outstanding tree in three more years.

Nice job, Al
 

sdhm3

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Thank you Smoke. I was hoping you would chime in, I have a question for you. Do you think that air layer technique I saw in one of your threads would be a good thing to implement this spring? Id really like to get a nice nebari developed over the next few years.
 

mersino

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That looks great, very good cut back indeed.
 

Smoke

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It depends on what you mean "nice nebari".

You have cut back your roots really well. Now they have to sprout. Plant in shallow container or larger container on concrete stepping stone. Wire tree down hard so that the roots can't lift the tree. This needs to be done for a few years and then you will begin reducing the stubs of those larger roots.

Much of this process takes time and you have done a great job so far not trying to push the tree. Allow the tree to grow naturaly and you will be rewarded with natural looking growth instead of juvinile forced growth.

If your looking for more of the huge base, oil slick type nebaris like seen in the recent buddhamonk thread from Japan, then you will soon be trying your hand at root grafting. That is the best and fastest way to get from point A to point B.

I've worked on this nebari on this shohin maple for about 6 years.
 

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sdhm3

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Thats a fine looking nebari. I can only hope to reach that point. I'm not looking for that oil slick, although they do look very cool, an inch or so around the base would be nice.

So taking all of the advice to this point. I will build a box for it this weekend 2'x2'x2.5''. Trim off bottom roots shorten the really long fast ones. Tie it down tight. Trim off anything that may cause bulge. Let everything grow out until around July at which time I will cut back to appropriate branchlets.

Does that sound about right?

I'll post photos of the transplant. I have to say I'm excited to see how the roots have done over the last two years.

I'm thinking around the end of March.

I have a chunky trident that I could use a few ideas on. I have a few of my own. I'll start a new thread on that one this weekend.
 
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