luvinthemountains Japanese Maple #2 (clump)

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Acquired in May. I am unsure of the cultivar, but it has beautiful small leaves and pink-red bark on young branches. The previous owner didn't know either, but did say it originally came from Brussel's.

There are a few issues with this clump that will have to be worked out over time.

0619211230_HDR.jpg

The roots are awkward and immature, although the right side has some significant melting started. Next spring I will transplant it into the ground or a grow box, on top of a board to encourage further fusing.

I like the balance being toward the right in this composition. In my mind, then, that center trunk is a few inches too tall and should be reduced at least to the next highest node in late winter. There is already a shoot there I can use to build a new apex. The other trunk chops will be cleaned up around that time.

I do not have a before pic, but this tree was quite bushy before today. I thinned it out considerably, removing crossing branches, reducing multiple shoots at the trunk to one and branches to two, and cutting off long spring growth. I am hoping for a new flush of growth, but that may have to wait for the current heatwave to end.
 

BobbyLane

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Not sure i would put it in the ground now. you may end up with course growth on the trunks and ugly knuckles. i like the roots, maybe try burying deeper. maybe the far right trunk could be reduced. i had a field maple clump that im a bit gutted about i cut it back very hard, it should of been a clump like this, so i wouldnt be quick to make it all shorter. this is how multi trunks generally look. Look at Walters famous one with all the tall stems.
 

BobbyLane

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if you still did want to make the base more of a stump though, 3-4 years in a grow bed should do it. just watch the trunks, dont neglect.
 
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this is how multi trunks generally look. Look at Walters famous one with all the tall stems.

I could imagine Walter's tree looked like mine 50 years ago! :D

If I reduced the right trunk, and could develop sufficient branching I might create an image like:

0619211230_HDR.jpg
 

0soyoung

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I don't think you are photographing it from the proper view to be the front. For perspective (illusion thereof) the thickest trunk should be in front and the thinnest in back --> suggests rotating the composition clockwise 45-90 degrees (IOW, the front is or is toward the right side, as pictured).

Wile I agree that the nebari needs some work, it bothers me more how boring all the trunks are. None have any kind of taper or movement. Well, one does, the right trunk. It does have a bit of curvature and it has some taper, but it is so high up as to be irrelevant.

I think you are right to be quite excited about this clump, but there is a long road ahead, IMHO.
 

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