Lorax7 Amur Maple #1 progression

Lorax7

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My first “real” bonsai. Here it is in 2017:
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Spring 2018:
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2019:
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2020:
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2021:
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Lorax7

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Here it is now. It’s had several branches die, probably due to rookie mistakes I made before I became aware of how prone to die-back this species is. I’m open to restyling ideas for its future. For now, I’ve left the dead branches on the tree since I haven’t decided whether to try to replace them or incorporate them into the design. I won’t be restyling it for a while though. My plan at the moment is to repot in the spring to get it back to growing vigorously and generally focus on health. I’m thinking I’ll put it in a larger container when I repot to encourage vigor.

Front:
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Back:
C03003CA-21C6-47EC-AF63-378C088F3235.jpeg

Right side:
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Left side:
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HorseloverFat

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Nice trunk! I like the roots as “a feature”...

Buuuut I think, I honestly like the “back” better for the front.... Those bar branches aren’t as obvious.

Cool Ginnala.. I can’t wait to see where it goes.
 

Brad in GR

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Cool tree! Flower market by chance?

what have you learned regarding dieback? I am trying out fall pruning (works well for most of my deciduous) this season in hopes I can avoid dieback.

I’ve noticed pruning at bud break, AND pruning during the growing season causes some dieback back. Still figuring these out but lovely how hardy they are, no worries for winter!
 

Lorax7

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Oooh i see... do you possibly have die-back down that whole side?
Quite possibly. I'm not entirely sure of the extent of it yet. I guess I'll see in the spring if nothing buds anywhere on that side. There are a couple of branches on the other side that also died.
 

Lorax7

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Cool tree! Flower market by chance?

what have you learned regarding dieback? I am trying out fall pruning (works well for most of my deciduous) this season in hopes I can avoid dieback.

I’ve noticed pruning at bud break, AND pruning during the growing season causes some dieback back. Still figuring these out but lovely how hardy they are, no worries for winter!
Yes, it is indeed a Flower Market tree.

As far as what I've learned regarding dieback. Mainly, I've learned that this species is especially prone to it and trying to apply techniques from books written about Japanese maples or Trident maples can get you into trouble as Amur maples do not respond in the same way. I still haven't really sorted out best practices for pruning it. It seems like if I even just look at it funny another branch dies back.

The fall color and the cold hardiness are the best features of the species.
 

HorseloverFat

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I’ve noticed pruning at bud break, AND pruning during the growing season causes some dieback back.
This has been my experience, as well.. after/at budbreak, or during the growing season is kind of a gamble... I’d imagine more careful and proper handling would help.. I’ll try that.. next time. 🤣🤣
 

Divide_by_zero

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Just a thought, do you leave a stub when you prune to allow for die back? And do you seal all cuts? I do both as a matter of course on all my trees and luckily haven't had much problem with die-back.

As a disclaimer, I have not had an amur maple in my care for more than ten years now. So you shouldn't necessarily rely on the memory of an old fart.😉
 

Lorax7

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Just a thought, do you leave a stub when you prune to allow for die back? And do you seal all cuts? I do both as a matter of course on all my trees and luckily haven't had much problem with die-back.

As a disclaimer, I have not had an amur maple in my care for more than ten years now. So you shouldn't necessarily rely on the memory of an old fart.😉
Yeah, I always leave room for die-back and use cut paste for cuts, at least in recent years. No doubt I made some n00b mistakes when I was first getting started for the second time around 2017. I did bonsai a bit in the 90s as well, but that hardly counts as I only had one tree (a juniper) and only one book on caring for bonsai… I didn’t know about any clubs or know anyone else who did bonsai back then.
 

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