Japanese Maple Removal

tnaz71

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I figured I would ask another question since everyone here has been very helpful to me in the past.

My Aunt has a quite large green japanese maple in her front yard. It was planted about 10-15yrs ago & was planted very close to the house for some reason. This is now causing issues, so she wants it taken out. It is approx 15-18' tall and the trunk is very large guessing I would say at least 8-12" across from what I recall.

My question is from what I have seen with this tree is the trunk is impressive & has a twist in it, but little taper. Is there something that can be done with a tree with little taper to make it look right? I have been looking for quite sometime but seem to either not be looking in the right place or just doesn't exsist.

I know this is not the time to take a tree out and expect it to live so I was hoping that she would let me chop it down to a smaller tree and work on it till next spring.

Question #2 is what is the likelyhood that this tree would survive being pulled and put in a pot? I was thinking of digging around one side of the tree to help the roots to grow closer to the trunk.

I am headed over to her house tomorrow & will get some pictures of the base and post them here.

Thanks again :)
 

Speedy

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You can chop the trunk and train a new leader as the trunk. It could be a big project, and I dont have enough experience to say much more.
 

akhater

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My question is from what I have seen with this tree is the trunk is impressive & has a twist in it, but little taper. Is there something that can be done with a tree with little taper to make it look right? I have been looking for quite sometime but seem to either not be looking in the right place or just doesn't exsist.
Of course it is called clip and grow technique http://www.bonsaiprimer.com/trunk/trunk.html

Question #2 is what is the likelyhood that this tree would survive being pulled and put in a pot? I was thinking of digging around one side of the tree to help the roots to grow closer to the trunk.
If done at the right time (next spring when the buds are swelling) then you don't risk a lot for the tree.
 

chansen

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It is approx 15-18' tall and the trunk is very large guessing I would say at least 8-12" across from what I recall.

My question is from what I have seen with this tree is the trunk is impressive & has a twist in it, but little taper. Is there something that can be done with a tree with little taper to make it look right?
Thanks again :)
Here's what Walter Pall did: http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/2011/04/hollow-field-maple-4-repotted.html

I think it's a pretty nice solution. You could of course try to regrow a new leader, but if it's really as large as you say, it would take quite some time. It all depends on your preference.

If the tree is already in leaf, I would probably leave it in the ground. After the leaves have hardened off, you could trench around half of it to help grow new roots closer to the surface. It help you out a lot when you remove it next spring.
 

mholt

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That tree is worth thousands. I would sell it to someone in the landscape trade and buy yourself some really nice bonsai stock that isn't going to take another 15-20 years to develop a tapered trunk. Or...pay someone to transplant it professionally to my garden and enjoy it in the landscape. Just my 2 cents.
 

Bill S

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Matt has a good point on this one, you will have a hard time just digging this, then regrowing the tree is going to take years. Find your local bidding site( around here it's craigs list) put it up for sale with a you dig it up clause. I know a guy that has been offeref 10 grand + on a number of occasions for the tree in his yard.
 

tnaz71

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Sorry I haven't updated, I had a mini incident where a screwdriver somehow got lodged into one of my fingers so I haven't gotten over to her house yet. Ya.. Don't ask lol.

I mentioned it to her about putting a ad in and trying to get some money out of it, but she said it needed to go now or be chopped way back till I can pull it out or just remove it and trash it if I don't want it. I will try and convince her to at least try to sell it till I can get over there. If not I guess I cut it to a stump and hope for the best it would be better than seeing it end up in a landfill.


Thanks all for the replies
 

Bill S

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Talk amounts, a large good looking tree could fetch 10K. See if there is a company around that has the equipment to lift this tree, and see if they have any needs. If no then take the thang, but it will be lots of work.
 

reg-i

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maple

I would keep it, you can air layer the hell out of it well its in the ground then cut it to the desired height before it leafs out in spring, leave it in the ground and fertilize for faster growth if the roots are not disturbed the tree will try to catch up really quick and you should get some really good growth I collect wild maples and hackberrys before they flush out I have some amazing specimens well not the jap maple variety cause im in zone ten mostly rubrum I would buy a rooted air layer from you and try it in the shade here in florida good luck
 

mholt

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I second what Bill says here. I would venture to guess that the tree could be about $1,000 per inch caliper if the rest of it looks nice. If you're gonna keep if for yourself, recruit a large number of people, stock up on cases of beer for afterward and be prepared for anything. Call to have underground power, gas, etc. lines flagged first. Plenty of people on here from CA that might be interested or know people that know people. Place an ad here as well.
 

tnaz71

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I know this is kind of old but, I went over to my aunt's house today & the tree was gone! Or I thought it was gone. I asked her about it if she sold it or gave it away. Nope, she had it cut down about 2wks ago & it is now a 18" tall stump sitting behind a large potted plant.. It has new shoots started everywhere, but looks like it is bleeding sap quite a lot still. I went ahead and took off the suckers & always keep my bonsai gear in my truck so I put some cut paste on the wound. I was really disappointed but, I guess it's not mine to care about.

She said that the place where she lives came and cut it down because it wasn't supposed to be there in the first place. She asked the person to leave it as a stump because she figured I would want the bottom part at least. So now I guess it's mine. I am hoping that a new leader pops up and I can just let it grow for the rest of the season.
 
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togishi

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Good luck on bringing it back! Being in SoCal, the weather is getting hot so make sure it's got a ton of protection (which I am sure you know). I do a lot of maple work here too but no where near the massive size of that tree. Have fun, a great challenge!
 

rockm

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LEAVE the new growth alone. The tree needs it to recover...:D
 

tnaz71

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LEAVE the new growth alone. The tree needs it to recover...:D
Yeah, I just can't get over there very much so I didn't want to come back and have a lot of suckers taking away from the main tree.


It is fairly shaded and now she has a fairly large pot in front of it so people don't complain about what's left.

It will be a long road but it would be so cool to get this thing out of the ground and looking like something in the future. I just wish she would have told me they were coming & I would have cut it where I wanted instead of where it was cut. I guess beggers can't be choosers.

I didn't get a picture (like always) next time I go over I will make sure I grab some and post them here.
 

tnaz71

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Well I finally went & got this tree out of the ground last weekend. It wasn't nearly as big a round as I thought, It's about 6" across. I was able to get a good sized root ball. I put it in a big pot since I couldn't put it in the ground where I live.

It's ugly.... Hopefully I can do something with it in the future. I was thinking of starting a new apex about where the bend is since It has a ok taper to it till then. But for now I am just going to let it grow & recover for a few years before I touch it.
 

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plant_dr

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I don't think it's ugly. Let it grow for a few years to recover. Just let it grow and grow and get strong. It's going to look like a big mess, but that's ok. Then later you can pick your primary branching and work it from there. Good Luck!
 

edprocoat

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True story! A contractor I have worked with on many jobsites contracted with a man to refinish his siding on his house in Dayton Ohio around 1988. The homeowner specified that he did not want his over 20 feet tall Japanese maple tree hurt while the work was being done, but he relented to allowing the back branches to be trimmed that were brushing against the siding as they had to to complete the work and preserve the work form damage. The contractor explained to his trusted employee EXACTLY what to do and left to run some estimates, upon leaving, his trusted employee decided as nobody was home to smoke a few joints with the new guy and then tackle the tree trimming. They placed a ladder near the top of the house and leaned to the left to try and trim the topmost branch off and in a dope fueled haze he lost his balance and fell onto the tree, grabbing it to keep from falling, both he and the tree fell to the ground, he hurt nothing but his ego and employment status while snapping the tree off at the trunk about 11 inches above the soil line. The contractor lost the job, was sued for $10,000 and acquired a bad reputation in the neighborhood, eventually causing him to lose his business. And that is one of the reasons why I never hire any workers and complete all jobs on my own.

ed
 

akhater

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glad to know it is still alive !

Too early to decide if it is ugly or not I guess, leave it alone and let it recover
 

akhater

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glad to know it is still alive !

Too early to decide if it is ugly or not I guess, leave it alone and let it recover
 

Dav4

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It would help to see pics lower down and from different angles but I would suggest that your best course of action with this material would be to chop low where the that first heavy trunk/branch is. My reasoning is that even with the little taper present in that main trunk, the next portion of trunk needed will take many years to develop the size and thickness needed to fit. By making that smaller trunk the next main trunk section, you will instantly have much more dramatic taper and the time needed to grow the rest of the trunk will be much shorter. Again, I'd need pics from the other side of the tree and from just above soil level to be sure. Making the smallest tree possible with the material you have usually makes for a much more dramatic image. Good luck,

Dave
 
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