JM Multi Trunk Progression

Drew

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So I've had this tree for a few years now:

Picture May 2014:
IMG_4091.JPG

The top branches were allowed to grow by the previous owner and had become thick and leggy so on the 2nd August 2014 I air layered 6 branches:
IMG_2499.jpg

On the 6th April 2015 they had rooted and came off:
IMG_4298.JPG

The tree also looked like it hadn't been repotted properly for 10 years! the roots have actually grown up and out the top of the pot and its actually ground layered itself:
IMG_4064.JPG

The roots in the original pot have fused together into a solid block of wood:
IMG_3601.JPG

IMG_3603.JPG

This is it once repotted.....
 

Drew

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Repotted 8th April 2015:
IMG_3605.jpg

I let it grow and cut back growth May 2015 to let light in for buds to develop closer to the trunk:
IMG_4504.jpg

This is it today:
IMG_5429.jpg

And my idea for its future:
Multi Trunk Maple 3.jpg

What do people think I should do with the root issue and any advice on design etc is more than welcome! there is buds popping all over the trunks so won't be a problem cutting back to the trunk and starting again in any area.
 

MACH5

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Drew it will need time and work but I think a nice tree can be had out of this material. What does the tree look like from the other side? Have you uncovered the nebari to see what it looks like?
 

JoeR

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Oh also why did you wait until may after bud break to cut it back?

Awesome progression, we need more of this too!
 

Eric Group

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These guys take a massive cutback to their roots in stride... It looks like you had pretty much all your effective roots fanned out on top of that block of wood the old roots turned into... If they are comI off the trunk above the old roots... You essentially HAVE a ground layered tree that just needs to be remove from the old base... If they are off shoots form the old roots... Then it is not so simple, you may need to start a ground layer above the old roots and recreate the nebari from scratch. Layering it is one option, or do a couple thread grafts each year, until you have a nice new radial root system, then remove the old block of wood... People have done it...

Again though Acer P can take a BIG root reduction without missing a beat if the tree is healthy... Get in there and take that old wood off the bottom... Do it in chunks if it makes you feel better, but I bet you could most of it gone in one go if you treat the tree well after... The ground layer/ thread graft route are the more careful options.
 

Drew

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Drew it will need time and work but I think a nice tree can be had out of this material. What does the tree look like from the other side? Have you uncovered the nebari to see what it looks like?
Hey M5, this is the best front IMO because the middle trunk at the back (in my pics) is just too straight and doesn't look any good from other angles. Yes, when I repotted it, I removed all the roots that had grow around and under the block of wood. I cut back the roots above the 'block' and tried to comb them out to get a better look but they where just too matted together I just left it. I'll try again next repotting. I even found old mesh within the rootball from when the tree was slip potted I guess:
IMG_3598.jpg
IMG_4300.JPG
 

Drew

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I wanna see the six airlayered branches now, they look like awesome material as well. Jealous
I was going to start another thread for these as I have a few questions about them as well.

These guys take a massive cutback to their roots in stride... It looks like you had pretty much all your effective roots fanned out on top of that block of wood the old roots turned into... If they are comI off the trunk above the old roots... You essentially HAVE a ground layered tree that just needs to be remove from the old base... If they are off shoots form the old roots... Then it is not so simple, you may need to start a ground layer above the old roots and recreate the nebari from scratch. Layering it is one option, or do a couple thread grafts each year, until you have a nice new radial root system, then remove the old block of wood... People have done it...

Again though Acer P can take a BIG root reduction without missing a beat if the tree is healthy... Get in there and take that old wood off the bottom... Do it in chunks if it makes you feel better, but I bet you could most of it gone in one go if you treat the tree well after... The ground layer/ thread graft route are the more careful options.
Hey Eric, I'll have to take a closer look next repotting. I would like a 'pancake' nebari but I think it will be too hard to achieve with this 'block' as I already have roots on top of what I'd be using so like you said will prob have to cut it away and start again.
 

LanceMac10

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A piece of nursery stock from a couple years ago that didn't even make it till summer.
I suspect that not enough old soil was removed and some roots were left too long. I think it was over potted as well. Not my call, just helping.
Perhaps the interaction behind the roots in the old soil and the new soil wasn't good.
Inspecting it showed no real new root growth after leaves wilted and died. Really not quite wilted either, but certainly unhealthy.
 

LanceMac10

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Here is one of mine so no shots of repot but you get the idea of how much I took off.
Totally not ready for a pot. But the spot with the good lite is around the pool, so the ladies frown upon a bunch of nasty nursery containers lying around!
Plus, I wanted to see if I could do it. Still growing strong and ready for a repot and well, actually start it on a path to being something other than a low growing shrub!:mad:
 
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ColinFraser

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Cool project, and a nice job on the air layers.
What does the tree look like from the other side?
I'd like to see other angles too. Is there any chance that removing one of the four trunks could open a way forward? I'm not suggesting that you do, but I wonder if you'd considered it . . .
Edit: perhaps even the largest one.
 
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Drew

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So I'm into my growing season now with this one and I wanted to open this one up as the canopy is quite dense and the light is struggling to penetrate as you can see from the yellow inner leaves.
I hope you can see from the pics, it has loads of shoots all over the tree so my plan was to cut the majority of the shoots at the top back to the first bud, Not touch the branches that I need to thicken and if necessary cut the leaf pairs back to one to let more light in.
What do you guys think of my plan? I was just about to do it the other day but wanted to see what other people would do before I pulled the trigger

image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg image.jpeg
 

Vin

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So I'm into my growing season now with this one and I wanted to open this one up as the canopy is quite dense and the light is struggling to penetrate as you can see from the yellow inner leaves.
I hope you can see from the pics, it has loads of shoots all over the tree so my plan was to cut the majority of the shoots at the top back to the first bud, Not touch the branches that I need to thicken and if necessary cut the leaf pairs back to one to let more light in.
What do you guys think of my plan? I was just about to do it the other day but wanted to see what other people would do before I pulled the trigger
That is exactly what I would do. MACH5 is the Maple Magician. I would follow whatever he says is the best course of action.
 

LanceMac10

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Look thru some of @markyscott 's posts about spring/summer work with Tridents. Some good information there as well.
Do you expect to get a second flush of growth? If not, be careful how much you prune.
Try removing shoots that you know you won't use first, see if it opens it up some.
If it's still too dense, remove hanging leaves. Still too dense? Remove alternate leaf-pairs, one on one side, move up the shoot, remove the opposite.....leave the tips to grow.
Looks like a lot of lateral growth compared to the top. Do you know the variety? Some varieties are a little weak, apically.
 

Eric Group

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Looks real vigorous to me, you could probably defoliate without any issues.
 

MACH5

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Yes pretty much this tree seems that it can take whatever you throw its way. One quick note. I see in one of the pics, there are lots of shoots coming out from the same point or area. Wherever this is happening, I would cut all but one as it will quickly create an ugly swelling.
 

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