Japanese Maple from Wal-Mart Advice Needed

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Hi everyone. I have been into bonsai for about 4 or 5 years now and have been wanting a Japanese Maple for a while. I bought some seedlings a few years ago or so from a garden center for around 2 dollars a piece, but killed them over the winter because I didn't water them. For some reason I didn't think trees trees needed water in winter, but I now know better.:) Thank God that my other trees lived through my earlier mistakes! Anyway, I want this maple to thrive. Is this the time of year to prune it and repot it? Should I wait until the buds swell? I hope I can separate the smaller tree from the bigger one and have 2 trees. Thanks for any help in advance! Maybe one day it will look like those nice trees that Peter Chan has at his nursery. :)

Sincerely,
Legobonsaipianoman
 

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misfit11

Omono
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👆🏻What he said. You could get it out of the nursery soil, do some root selection, and repot it in some bonsai soil (either in the ground, into something like a grow box or Anderson Flat, or back into the original pot) if you want. Ultimately though, yes, it needs unchecked growth for a few years to develop a trunk. Don't cut anything from the canopy for these few years. When the trunk is about the thickness that you want it, then you do a trunk chop.
 
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👆🏻What he said. You could get it out of the nursery soil, do some root selection, and repot it in some bonsai soil (either in the ground, into something like a grow box or Anderson Flat, or back into the original pot) if you want. Ultimately though, yes, it needs unchecked growth for a few years to develop a trunk. Don't cut anything from the canopy for these few years. When the trunk is about the thickness that you want it, then you do a trunk chop.
Thank you for the advice about the grow box and the anderson flat. I looked up the anderson flat as I had never heard of it before, but it looks like a great idea.;)
 

Pitoon

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Thank you for the advice about the grow box and the anderson flat. I looked up the anderson flat as I had never heard of it before, but it looks like a great idea.;)
A simple wood box will work as well. Bust a pallet apart and you have enough to make a several boxes.
 

MrWunderful

Omono
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If you wire some movement into that little small 2nd tree and cut back to the lowest branch on the larger tree (after a few years growth/proper rootwork/soil like others have said) you will have a convincing “mother-daughter” tree based on the roots height.

But unless you are extremely lucky, the roots will probably be poor quality.
 

Pitoon

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Before wiring you should.......

1. Confirm if the tree is grafted

2. Determine if the shoot is above or below the graft
 

sorce

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Maybe one day it will look like those nice trees that Peter Chan has at his nursery

I don't like how some folks hate on the man, but there are better bars.

In this case where you must reach for perfection to obtain something acceptable.

Sorce
 

Pitoon

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How can I tell if it is grafted and is that good or bad?
Remove the dirt until you see the base where the roots start. Grafts are not bad per say, but they are unsightly. Assuming it is grafted most likely to a plain green Japanese maple anything that grows beneath the graft will have green leaves while the top will have red leaves. I don't see a graft, but sometimes when plants are up potted they are planted deep so.........you have to check. Things like this should be checked while at the nursery/store before buying the plant.
 
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I repotted the tree today. When I took it out of the pot. There wasn’t too many roots. I had a bonsai pot that fit it well, with plenty of room to grow. It looks great. They grow up so fast.
 

SeanS

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I repotted the tree today. When I took it out of the pot. There wasn’t too many roots. I had a bonsai pot that fit it well, with plenty of room to grow. It looks great. They grow up so fast.
Even a bonsai pot with “plenty of room to grow” probably isn’t plenty of room to grow. A bigger nursery can or flat is generally a better option if you want to grow the tree some more to thicken the trunk and eventually start branch development. It will probably grow much slower in the bonsai pot, unless it’s REALLY big.
Show us a pic
 

Pitoon

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Anyone else start bursting into “Let it GROW, let it Grooooooow, don’t wanna hold it back anymoooooore”?

nope? Just me then.
Do you have the DVD? After my kids watched that movie it was talked about for several months.
 

Mapleminx

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Do you have the DVD? After my kids watched that movie it was talked about for several months.
Thankfully no but every little girl in the neighborhood STLL seems to be obsessed with that movie. So many mini Elsa’s playing outside for Fasching even though it couldn’t really be celebrated this year.
 

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