Japanese maple nursery pickup help

D1raq

Sapling
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Good afternoon everyone,

I picked up this maple from the nursery “last years stock”, at a great price. What should I do today, in preparation to bonsai.

*im new so any help will be greatly appreciated!

Sincerely,
Derek
 

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BrianBay9

Omono
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It would be helpful to let everyone know generally where you're located. You'll get more appropriate suggestions.

If this is your first year with this tree, you may want to let it grow and assess it's general health before you do anything. It looks pretty healthy at this point, but it hasn't started leafing out yet. You've got it in what appears to be soil with lots of organic material so you'll want to be careful that it doesn't stay too wet.

As a rule, you'll want to develop the base and trunk first and work on the branching later. Is the trunk thick enough for you? If not you want to let it grow unhindered until the trunk thickens to the size you want. When you next repot (next spring) you can start working on the roots. I don't see anything in the upper part of the tree that will make a compelling bonsai design. Fortunately with Japanese maples you can cut everything back to the trunk and have a good chance of growing something better. Going this route will be a long term project, but hey, we've all been there. Spend some time looking at lots of trees that experienced people consider good bonsai and good starting material. It will help you develop a better sense of what to look for. This forum is a great place to educate yourself. Search for some discussions on Japanese maple development and you'll learn a lot fast.

Welcome!
 

D1raq

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Hey Brian,

I’m located in the Pacific Northwest. I tossed it in a pot and covered it with bark because we still had freezing temperatures.

You’re right about no structural appeal, and I was considering cutting it back right above the V as I have several buds there. Not sure if it’s the best time of year to do a trunk chop? As I already had to cut the roots due to the plant being pot bound.

So to be clear, you would leave it be for a year?
 
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BrianBay9

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If it's healthy you can do a trunk chop and cut back roots at the same time. If you decide to chop the top, seal the cuts to minimize die back.
 

D1raq

Sapling
Messages
29
Reaction score
16
Location
Salem, Oregon
It would be helpful to let everyone know generally where you're located. You'll get more appropriate suggestions.

If this is your first year with this tree, you may want to let it grow and assess it's general health before you do anything. It looks pretty healthy at this point, but it hasn't started leafing out yet. You've got it in what appears to be soil with lots of organic material so you'll want to be careful that it doesn't stay too wet.

As a rule, you'll want to develop the base and trunk first and work on the branching later. Is the trunk thick enough for you? If not you want to let it grow unhindered until the trunk thickens to the size you want. When you next repot (next spring) you can start working on the roots. I don't see anything in the upper part of the tree that will make a compelling bonsai design. Fortunately with Japanese maples you can cut everything back to the trunk and have a good chance of growing something better. Going this route will be a long term project, but hey, we've all been there. Spend some time looking at lots of trees that experienced people consider good bonsai and good starting material. It will help you develop a better sense of what to look for. This forum is a great place to educate yourself. Search for some discussions on Japanese maple development and you'll learn a lot fast.

Welcome!
Personally, I think the trunk is plenty thick for my novice needs. I’d like to begin working on the branch structure as soon as possible and I cannot begin that learning process until I can chop the trunk.

So my real question is, is it the right time of year and is the tree healthy enough to give it a chop?
 

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