Most excellent Peter Tea blog post about summer work on Maples!

Adair M

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#1
#3
I got 3 nice trident maples from Bill V this past spring from his spring sale. I was fortunate to come across Peter's blog to help me start the bonsai process on these trees. LOTS of good information for a new hobbyist like myself.
 
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#6
https://peterteabonsai.wordpress.com/2012/06/12/the-trident-maple-project-and-summer-maple-work/

This blog post is a couple years old, but I find it instructive to re-read it every summer! There is simply so much info contained in it, that you cannot retain all of it!

I highly recommend this blog to anyone doing Maples.
The theory behind cutting all but the terminal of a branch you want to extend seems a bit strange to me.
 

Adair M

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The theory behind cutting all but the terminal of a branch you want to extend seems a bit strange to me.
The goal with this process is to build a primary branch. Thicken it. So it can be cut back. Which will build taper when done repeatedly.

The approach is to concentrate the tree’s resources on building wood on that branch. The strongest auxin source is the terminal tip. The tree will build up the most vascular tissue to support that auxin source. If you allow side branches, those side branches consume resources. Resources that are not building tissue on the main branch. And you will be cutting them off as you cut back to build taper.

The same concept is used on removing side branches on sacrifice leaders on pines.

@markyscott has several threads on Trident Maples where he illustrates exactly this process on a couple tridents he’s building.
 

Adair M

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Beats the pants off the $30 master class video I bought. Thanks Adair (and peter!!)
When Peter was apprenticing in Japan, he made some awesome blogs. Since he’s returned, not so much. I guess he’s busy.

I do recommend taking a workshop from him if you ever get the chance!
 
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The goal with this process is to build a primary branch. Thicken it. So it can be cut back. Which will build taper when done repeatedly.

The approach is to concentrate the tree’s resources on building wood on that branch. The strongest auxin source is the terminal tip. The tree will build up the most vascular tissue to support that auxin source. If you allow side branches, those side branches consume resources. Resources that are not building tissue on the main branch.
This is just made up nonsense. Removing anything reduces growth. If you want a branch to thicken and extend quickly don't remove anything.
 

Adair M

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This is just made up nonsense. Removing anything reduces growth. If you want a branch to thicken and extend quickly don't remove anything.
Nope, it’s focusing the growth.

You don’t have to believe it. You don’t even have to try it if you don’t want to. I’m just sharing the techniques the people who make the best Maples use.

But, before you put me on ignore...

Let’s take a typical tree. With a first branch. Usually the section of the trunk higher than the first branch is thicker than the first branch. Right? But that section of trunk is younger than the first branch. The first branch was allowed to grow out unfettered. Yet, somehow the trunk was able to put on more wood than the branch!
I’ll
In both cases, the trunk and the branch, both were allowed to grow unchecked yet the trunk grew thicker. There is some process in the tree that makes this happen. What we are trying to do is stimulate the tree to put on wood where we want it.
 
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#14
it's funny people don't "believe" in this technique (except those who tried it seems), it s very well known in pines to thicken the trunk and works with any species. It seems it's not so much the volume of foliage that counts for thickening but rather the total lenght of the shoot (which is longer when you don't let it ramify), the tree must put on more wood to support the arm of leverage created by a very long unramified branch. It's well known that trees deposit more wood where there is the maximum mechanical stress.
 
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#15
it's even more funny because this technique is the perfect opposite of usual bonsai maintenance to preserve twigginess, and FINE ramification and nobody is constesting it : don't let elongate too much, distribute vigour across the whole tree, remove apical buds, thick terminals, the more you ramify the more your leaf/shoots will be small/fine. By doing the exact reverse, you obtain the exact reverse result, it's as simple as that.
 
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I don't know who is right since probably no one ever tested this but... Why reduce shoots coming from the same place down to 2? Cause otherwise it builds wood there faster creating bulges. So yes, leaving more means more growth.
 
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#17
My uneducated opinion...The total overall growth is the same regardless of the amount of shoots/sidebranches left on. The difference is the total growth is distributed roughly equally over the total # of branches.

Reducing to one main leader focuses 100% of the growth to that single piece. Leaving more than one divides the same amount of growth over the total # of branches.

Growth rate is the same for both, it’s dividing that growth by the amount of leaders/branches available.
 

Anthony

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#18
Steve,

a lot of this depends on the tree's response.

If you extend the branch of a local ficus by 3 feet, the trunk thickens.

If you extend the branch of the cousin, the fustic, the branch thickens.

So it is a case of knowing your tree, and how it responds.

We use multiple branchlets on most trees to get smaller leaves
and not defoliation.

Defoliation we use to get new undamaged leaves.

This is why LUSH and a healthy tree is important. So you can thin out
for DESIGN.

BUT this is with Lingnan = Grow and Clip.

We can do this easily with the J.B.Pine, ramification I believe it is called.
Now to time removal or other for smaller needles.
Good Day
Anthony
 

petegreg

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#19
This is just made up nonsense. Removing anything reduces growth. If you want a branch to thicken and extend quickly don't remove anything.
Michael, I have linked that blog post few times here on the forum.
If I remember well in case of tridents he talks about what I call sellective pruning:
- clipping growth in the upper part of tree,
- defoliating, removing all leaves but terminal growth from branches we want to thicken.

This two things will pump up the growth in places we need... why? Because we left terminals untouched there, because we opened the branch to the sun, it will bud from almost every single node and we will have much more foliage than before and in places we need in a very short time. At least this is how I understand this.