Japanese maple talk!

Tiffinit

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Recently purchased this pre-bonsai acre palmatum. It is a grafted plant and I believe it’s a purple ghost? Don’t know much about maples but I love them lol I’m new to bonsai and am wondering when I could see some growth from this tree!! Have had it for about 2 months and I can only see color change lol just curious
 

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Adam D

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Recently purchased this pre-bonsai acre palmatum. It is a grafted plant and I believe it’s a purple ghost? Don’t know much about maples but I love them lol I’m new to bonsai and am wondering when I could see some growth from this tree!! Have had it for about 2 months and I can only see color change lol just curious
Japanese maples are fairly slow growing trees compared to other acer species such as trident maples so they typically don’t throw out long shoots unless heavily fertilized and you can’t reliably get multiple flushes of growth on Japanese maples like you could on a trident.

with that said if you want to see some growth just fertilize pretty heavily but it may not throw out a lot of growth until next spring
 

Tiffinit

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Thanks Adam! This is my first maple and my first grafted maple at that. I didn’t know if grafted trees are more “sensitive” to fertilizers or anything like that, the person I bought it from told me to use filtered water with dyna gro bonsai pro fertilizer and I have been, but does the filtered water really make a difference? Could I just use my garden hose? (Our house has well water) I’m in Fort Worth tx, zone 8 I believe
 

Adam D

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Thanks Adam! This is my first maple and my first grafted maple at that. I didn’t know if grafted trees are more “sensitive” to fertilizers or anything like that, the person I bought it from told me to use filtered water with dyna gro bonsai pro fertilizer and I have been, but does the filtered water really make a difference? Could I just use my garden hose? (Our house has well water) I’m in Fort Worth tx, zone 8 I believe
I believe your tree is grafted on regular acer palmatum rootstock so it shouldn’t be sensitive. I don’t think the filtered water would make too much of a difference. Try hose water out and if it responds better to the filtered you could always go back but I think you’d be fine.

here is what I would do for this tree if it were mine. I’d feed it heavily with a high nitrogen fertilizer, something with a nitrogen value over 10, like osmocote plus to encourage rapid growth in the tree. Then once it reaches an appropriate size in the trunk I would air layer the tree above the graft union.

the reason for this is 2 fold: 1) grafts like this are typically meant for landscape trees and they can cause aesthetic problems for bonsai. so by air layering you take the desirable part of the tree and remove the “flaw” 2) by air layering you can start over with a perfectly radial nebari or surface root structure which is highly desirable for bonsai especially Japanese maples.
 

Tiffinit

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Okay so couple questions..1) when air layering do I just a “strip” around the whole tree above the graft and put wet/damn spahgnus moss in a bag and tape off the top and bottom? Do I have to put rooting powder on it? How deep? How long do you keep it wrapped up? And if I air layer in-correctly will it kill my tree?
and when is the best time to air layer? Should I wait till the tree thickens up?
 

Adam D

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There are many resources available online for learning how to air layer. If you go on YouTube and searc Japanese maple air layering there will be videos detailing the process. I wouldn’t consider air layering until it thickens up. It might be a few years just focus on feeding and keeping it healthy and read and learn about bonsai in the mean time. Enjoy the journey
 

Deep Sea Diver

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Welcome aboard Bonsai Nut!

Here is a good starter resource for air layering Japanese Maples.... Yours are grafted for sure.

You could air layer it right now! Yet considering that these are your first acquisitions, it would be better to grow these out until next year this time, then air layer. That will give you time to learn your trees and learn to safely winter over your trees, which shouldn’t be too hard, considering these are maples.

Osmocote plus is ok for these maples. You might want to do supplemental fertilizing using a fish emulsion... and also humic acid and CalMag if you wish, every two weeks until the end of September, depending on your location.

A side note, please double click your icon and enter your approximate location. I helps us when to give specific advice'

cheers
DSD sends
 
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VAFisher

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Personally, I like standard green japanese maple better than most of these fancy cultivars. This one seems to be grafted pretty high so it's a perfect candidate to just cut it off right below the graft and let it bud out from the root stock. Either air layer the cultivar off first - or don't bother. You could end up with 2 trees, but the regular JM will make the better bonsai.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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That is well said.

After reading advice here for a number of years, sometimes I think we all are inclined to narrow down our focus on which is the ‘better tree’, which is important for folks that are of all levels of experience to be able to understand. Nothing wrong with that.

Maybe it’s due to my teaching background, or just me, as I am inclined to think there are times, especially with beginners, where it is of high importance to encourage new folks to start in by developing and honing their skill on basic techniques, which I consider to be proper horticulture, seasonal care, rootwork and air layering.

Cheers
DSD sends
 

Tiffinit

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Thanks everyone! When I saw this tree I fell in love with the dark greens and purples mixed throughout it and honestly thought a “purple ghost” maple was a made up name, mainly because I can’t find one picture of video of a mature purple ghost bonsai.. I believe I’m going to let it grow for about a year and practice air layering on some other trees until I can get the basic gist of it!
One more question to all of you, I’ve had this maple on the edge of the patio and it recieved morning light till about 11 o’clock and then it’s shade all the way till about one hour before the sun sits. I’ve noticed the tips of the leaves are beginning to curl but aren’t crunchy? What could cause this? A buddy of mine said that even if it’s in shade the hot air blowing across could cause leaves to curl? If this is the case what could I do? I’ve blocked as much wind as I can for the tree to where when put outside the leaves barely BARELY move
 

ibakey

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Hi guys, don't mean to hijack the thread but I thought it was related.
I found this website of a nursery in UK having very good pictures of the different japanese maples varieties.
It was very useful for me to understand and see the different leaves of the various japanese maples.
So, I hope that it can help you guys out too.

 

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