New Field Maple

thomas22

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I picked up this Maple Friday at a Nursery Sale for $45. This will be my first real maple (besides a stick in a pot maple) so I am looking for some advise. I've done some research and believe this is a field Maple, Acer Campestre and was pleased to see they can make good bonsai. My first question is where do I chop and where should I go style wise? I am thinking of chopping next spring and repotting/rootwork the following spring but if anybody has a better plan I would like to hear it.
The trunk is 4'' at the base but as you can see it is very straight.
20160612_131337.jpg 20160612_131312.jpg 20160610_121509.jpg
 

bleumeon

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Looks like a sweet gum, not a maple but still definitely good material for bonsai. Probably could get several air layers off it.
 

jquast

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Trunk does not look like a field maple. I've got several in the yard and this looks different.
 

ColinFraser

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No that is acer campestre, not sweet gum.
After double checking photos of the leaves on mine and looking again at the bark on this tree, I'm almost certain my first guess is right. I have both species, and if I have time in the morning I'll try to photograph the leaves side by side . . .
 

bleumeon

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OP lives in socal and I see these in a lot in bonsai shows and bonsai nurseries here. Fairly certain its sweet gum, the variety Colin mentioned.
 

BobbyLane

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I have a couple Field maples and this looks very similar,
2016-06-13_10-00-20 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
2016-06-13_10-00-06 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_0807 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

Great species to work with and you have a nice trunk there, sometimes the bark does appear dark and crusted in places, especially where you've given it a good soaking. I'd be looking to reduce it to a shoot just below the fork.

This WP maple might inspire you i think your trunk has similar characteristics.
http://walter-pall.de/Bonsai Gallery of Walter Pall/1 Gallery Broadleaved Trees/Maples - Field Maple nr. 8/index.html#
 

AlainK

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A very simple way to make the difference:

All maples have opposite leaves.
Liquidambar have alternate leaves.

Though it's not that easy to be sure from your photos, I think your tree has alternate leaves, in which case it is a Liquidambar of some sort (prob. orientalis, styraciflua has a much coarser bark).
 

sorce

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Nice either way!

I'd layer it this year and get it down to your final height AND repot next spring.

Sorce
 

thomas22

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Thanks for all the responses. This tree was next to other maples at the nursery so I thought is was a Maple also. I checked several leaf identification charts on line and came up with Field Maple. My leaves are almost a dead ringer for a Field Maple leaf. But as AlainK pointed out this tree has alternating buds so I think it is a Sweet Gum. I was hoping for Field Maple but I will do my best with it. I want to talk a bit about styling and respond to some other post but it will have to be later when I'm done working.
20160613_115222.jpg 20160613_115231.jpg
 

thomas22

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I'd be looking to reduce it to a shoot just below the fork.
Just below the fork was higher than I was thinking but I'm just getting started on this tree. I would like to figure it out soon because this may effect where I air layer. I would be curious where other people would chop to. Assuming there are plenty of buds to choose from, what general area would you chop 1, 2, 3, or non of the above.
Sweetgum Chop.jpg
 

plant_dr

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Deepends on what style you you want to do with it. For a sumo- chop even farther below the lowest line. Re-grow apex from there. For informal upright, chop at the first line, grow out that branch as the next section of trunk, chop again, grow, etc. to build taper. For a broom- probably cut at the second line. But then cut a "V" shape in the remaining trunk so the new branches will grow out in a spray pattern creating the broom shape.

The only reason to cut as high as the top line would be to have a tall literati style,which would not suit this particular tree. The trunk is not feminine enough. Or a flat- top style (generally reserved to emulate a bald cypress) or baobab tree which would not really suit this species either.
 

ColinFraser

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Thanks for all the responses. This tree was next to other maples at the nursery so I thought is was a Maple also. I checked several leaf identification charts on line and came up with Field Maple. My leaves are almost a dead ringer for a Field Maple leaf. But as AlainK pointed out this tree has alternating buds so I think it is a Sweet Gum. I was hoping for Field Maple but I will do my best with it. I want to talk a bit about styling and respond to some other post but it will have to be later when I'm done working.
View attachment 108179 View attachment 108180
They can be amazingly similar. Here is yours with two of my trees' leaves, a Liquidambar orientalis and an Acer campestre.
image.jpeg

They are somewhat related, so it isn't a huge surprise they are similar, but the alternate leaf arrangement pins it down for sure.
 

thomas22

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Thanks for offering your opinion Mike. I was acutally leaning towards a low chop. I know it depends on what style I am going for like the @plant dr suggested, but I guess my question is what type of style should I go for with this fat but straight trunk. Should I go for a informal upright, broom, or a sumo?
 

M. Frary

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Chop and grow lends itself to informal upright perfectly. It depends what you like best. Broom is the other route. Either way you got some time involved.
 

plant_dr

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Can you take some pictures from the other sides so we can see where any of those other low twigs come out?
 
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