Inaba Shidar suggestions

Mike423

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Hi, I'm new to this site so this is my first post :) Just thought I'd share one of my new ventures to take place next summer. I purchased a "Inaba Shidare" Red Select Japanese cut leaf maple this summer at a local nursery. The tree stands 34inches with a base trunk circumference of a little over 2 and a half inches. I included a picture of some of the pruning and corrections I am looking to implement on the tree and was wondering if anyone might have some input or suggestions to add (Hope I attached the picture correctly). I'll also try to add a more recent picture of it dormant so you can get a better look at the branch structure.


The red lines indicate the branches I wish to remove completely

The blue line Is where I was planning on doing some air layering to give the tree a new root system but decided that between the two bottom most green ties would be best. This was do to the fact of that the tree not only has a poor nabari but that its a grafted nursery stock and the bark color differs from the rest it kind of bothered me. Has anyone had any experience layering this cultivator or knows how well it grows it own roots and or lives on its own root system? I would like to air-layer it so I could still keep the bottom trunk to work with as another tree, but if it doesn't grow its own roots too well maybe just implementing the tourniquet layering method planting the tree in a deeper pot or in the ground might be best??

The orange line is where I was planning on doing an additional air layering to produce another tree instead of throwing it away, and remove a less aesthetically pleasing branch. I would ideally then like to start a small section of branches on the top section after wards that I can then try to ramify over a few years to produce a small little "top" dome section for the tree.



I was also thinking it might be a good idea to shorten/trim back the remaining branches the following year to help promote more ramification and to give the branch system a more "zig zag" sort of aged look. Any ideas or comments on that as well?
 

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milehigh_7

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Hi, I'm new to this site so this is my first post :) Just thought I'd share one of my new ventures to take place next summer. I purchased a "Inaba Shidare" Red Select Japanese cut leaf maple this summer at a local nursery. The tree stands 34inches with a base trunk circumference of a little over 2 and a half inches. I included a picture of some of the pruning and corrections I am looking to implement on the tree and was wondering if anyone might have some input or suggestions to add (Hope I attached the picture correctly). I'll also try to add a more recent picture of it dormant so you can get a better look at the branch structure.


The red lines indicate the branches I wish to remove completely

The blue line Is where I was planning on doing some air layering to give the tree a new root system but decided that between the two bottom most green ties would be best. This was do to the fact of that the tree not only has a poor nabari but that its a grafted nursery stock and the bark color differs from the rest it kind of bothered me. Has anyone had any experience layering this cultivator or knows how well it grows it own roots and or lives on its own root system? I would like to air-layer it so I could still keep the bottom trunk to work with as another tree, but if it doesn't grow its own roots too well maybe just implementing the tourniquet layering method planting the tree in a deeper pot or in the ground might be best??

The orange line is where I was planning on doing an additional air layering to produce another tree instead of throwing it away, and remove a less aesthetically pleasing branch. I would ideally then like to start a small section of branches on the top section after wards that I can then try to ramify over a few years to produce a small little "top" dome section for the tree.



I was also thinking it might be a good idea to shorten/trim back the remaining branches the following year to help promote more ramification and to give the branch system a more "zig zag" sort of aged look. Any ideas or comments on that as well?


Can't help with your tree much but welcome!
 

Brian Van Fleet

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First, welcome to the forum. Since it's your first post, I'll try to be gentle...:D

What is it about this particular tree that led you to select it for bonsai?

If it is the cultivar itself, ok...that's about the best answer, because you're proposing to change everything about it: new roots, new branches, and new crown; which means that you don't see a bonsai in this tree as offered. And honestly, laceleaf maples aren't great material, but we can get into that much later.

The problem is, you're proposing years of effort to get something that may become good bonsai material at some point. Air-layering a tree is a full-season commitment, with another year to strengthen & develop that new root system; assuming you get one. Meanwhile, you may or may not get branches to sprout where you like them, and then it's 2013 before you're even thinking about a bonsai pot. Lots of "ifs" and plenty of chances to lose the project (and your enthusiasm) entirely.

If this was mine, assuming it could be planted outside in Chicago (somewhere close to the house, protected), I'd put it in the ground, let it grow for a few years, then find a nice, interesting big branch that you can layer off and create a bonsai with that layer.

If you're brand-new to bonsai, I'm trying to spare you some frustration and discouragement. Go find a 3-gallon prostrata or hollywood juniper (NOT Procumbens; they bite), a 3-gallon boxwood, and maybe a ficus pre-bonsai to practice with. Read all you can get your hands on, and hopefully later you'll have a nicely developing J. Maple in your landscape.

Best Regards,
Brian
 

Mike423

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Yes, I know air layering takes from spring to fall (at best depending on how well the root system grows). I also know it will be years before i start to get a "finished" look, but that's the fun in bonsai:). I'm not brand new to the art either, I have been into bonsai for a decent amount of time and would like consider myself pretty educated in most aspects of the art and consider myself as at least being in the intermediate stage of experience. I just figured I would give it a try since the nursery selling it was going out of buisness and it was cheap.

I was thinking of air layering the top portion of the tree (to see how well it grows roots first off) considering I will be removing that portion either or, as well as remove the mentioned branches. Then the following year or 2nd year after (depending on vigor) do the actual bottom layering for the tree. Or possibly just develop the top crown and branch structure of the tree for a few years and then tourniquet ground layer the tree for a at least 2 years.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Fair enough...hopefully with no offense. Too often, one sees these projects embarked upon by neophytes who end up quitting because bonsai was too hard. Unfortunately, it's made hard by material like this, and we lose a future artist. Best of luck; be sure to photograph it along the way so you can share the development!
 

Bonsai Nut

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Well... here's something to consider. Look through all your bonsai books and magazines and find a tree that will be your inspiration for THIS tree. Then xerox a copy of the photo, and keep it around every time you work on your maple. To get your tree to look like a fat, stumpy maple will take decades. However some maple designs that are more figurative, and are open and airy, can be accomplished sooner. One way to speed things along is to consider a two or three trunk design, and then air-layer at a branch junction on the tree. This will give you a head start with a thicker base than if you simply air-layered in the middle of the trunk.
 

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