Plan of attack? I’m open to suggestions:)

Sean Walker

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I was at a local greenhouse and saw this fella sitting alone outside one of the buildings and asked about it and they gave it to me.
Now what? Let it grow out, trunk work, root work ? I’m not experienced and would love for suggestions.
Thank you in advance
image.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpgimage.jpg
 
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HorseloverFat

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I was at a local greenhouse and saw this fella sitting alone outside one of the buildings and asked about it and they gave it to me.
Now what? Let it grow out, trunk work, root work ? I’m not experienced and would love for suggestions.
Thank you in advance
View attachment 313185View attachment 313186View attachment 313187View attachment 313188View attachment 313189

Nice Tree!

I like the trunk, got some “beef” established.... I cannot be certain, but it looks a LITTLE like a graft union present there. (Not sure, at ALL. But either way, can’t beat the price)

My next move (once I was certain of the tree’s health ((most paramount, as I’m discovering))) would be (Rather bold) to ensure the timing for pruning is correct (Also hugely Important) and take ‘er down... down to that first branching... then come spring, re-evaluate. (Someone else’s idea will DEFINITELY better, just wanted to throw my thoughts down)

:)
 

Sean Walker

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Nice Tree!

I like the trunk, got some “beef” established.... I cannot be certain, but it looks a LITTLE like a graft union present there. (Not sure, at ALL. But either way, can’t beat the price)

My next move (once I was certain of the tree’s health ((most paramount, as I’m discovering))) would be (Rather bold) to ensure the timing for pruning is correct (Also hugely Important) and take ‘er down... down to that first branching... then come spring, re-evaluate. (Someone else’s idea will DEFINITELY better, just wanted to throw my thoughts down)

:)
Yep! Pretty sure it was grafted:)
 

NaoTK

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I personally dislike lacy maples for bonsai, too flashy. I would cut back to the lowest leaf to encourage budding from the base (non-lacy) and make a really awesome mame/shohin. Chop below the graft once you get a shoot. Finish to 4-6" tall to accentuate the base.
 

Forsoothe!

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You got a lemon, but it was free and you can still make lemonade. Feed it generously, don't mess with the roots and don't prune anything until autumn after it has lost all the foliage. Then I would prune the top at a 45° angle starting from about 1" above the then-existing growth that is now the lowest clump. Use any good wound sealer.
Sean Walker 2.JPG

In another year or two you can carve the sharp top end of that angle into a radiused shoulder. Meanwhile back at the ranch, next spring repot into a suitable cascade pot and begin wiring the very thin branches characteristic of cutleaf Maples. Use heavier than typical wire that you can make into cages that look like spring tunnels that surround the little branches but don't actually wrap around the branch surface, they will just surround it and guide the branch which will not be able to escape. It takes two needle nose pliers to do this. One holds the wire and the other makes the rotation. You can only form about 1/3 of a loop, then you have to re-position and continue, step & repeat, step & repeat, ad infinitum. You don't hold the branch, you just make a little spring shaped cage around it. It will look crappy but it can stay on for a couple years with no wire marks.

Bury the graft. You don't need or even want much of the nebari to show on a cascade. If you had a wonderful nebari you would show it off, but the foliage you grow can cover the trunk as it emerges from the soil and nobody will think about what's under all that foliage, if you plan and execute it well. The smaller the pot, the sooner this puppy becomes a finished bonsai.
 
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Sean Walker

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It’s all good..

The old saying “what do you want for nothin’?” comes to mind..

Annd you DEFINITELY “got” SOMETHING!!

:)

(at least it wasn’t “drafted”... it’s soul seems too gentle)
I forgot to mention that when I was speaking with the fella at the greenhouse he told me to come back a few weeks prior Black Friday because they clear out things for Christmas trees and he said they will have quite a few things I could use for Bonsai !
I may now have “a guy” !!
 

Shibui

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This is a weeping JM. I think the leaves look good but the weeping habit will need to be allowed for in any design and that can be challenging. At least yours has a low graft so don't need to manage a tall trunk.
It probably needs to be allowed to grow this summer to recover from the decapitation so you have time to think and plan.
I am not convinced that the trunk needs much more thickness but I can't see that top branch ever being attractive so further reduction is probably the best option next year.
After that you will need to work with whatever grows. This will be a long term project and may or may not amount to brilliant bonsai but the journey will be interesting and educational.
 

Bonsai Nut

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Don't take what I am going to say too harshly, but I wouldn't bother with it for bonsai. If you have tons of room and a large lot, I would plant it in landscape and see what it looked like 5 years down the road.

The problem is that the top is bad AND the bottom is bad. You have a low graft and a big ugly bulge at the nebari. So you would want to prune off the top (where the 90 degree branch is) and eventually air-layer off the bottom. A lot of work to end up with a 4" stub of a tree that will have a big pruning scar on top.

The question isn't whether you CAN develop it for future bonsai use, but whether the investment in time would be worth it (or rather, whether you could invest the same time in something else, and get better results faster). I've got a soft heart towards "project" trees that require a ton of work... but you have to learn to let some trees go or else your entire garden will be filled with crappy trees that still have years and years of work remaining before they look like anything. Just my opinion!
 

Sean Walker

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I appreciate all the thoughts and advice. It is great to have so many people with a common interest right at our fingertips!
When I initially saw this tree I walked away...... then I walked back about 10 minutes later and thought what do I have to lose? If anything I’ve gain a couple things with this stubby little fella, first is the opportunity practice your ideas (after I first read up on some of your terms and how to go about doing them 😉 ) and to learn from all of you and see what you see with your years of experience and that is super valuable for the next time.
 

sorce

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I too wouldn't work it for bonsai.....

Well.....

Not directly...

But it will be easier to grow this back into a worthy yard specimen, for sale or trade for a good bonsai later.

It's like delivering pizzas with a Pinto to save for a Ferrari.

Plus you'll learn the habits of bitch ass maples along the way!

Sorce
 

penumbra

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This is why I say put it in the ground and let it be the tree it wants to be.
I planted this for a client about 25 years ago and the tree was damaged when his overzealous boys played football a bit too close. It came home because half the plant was broken off as shown by the picture of the trunk. I set the plant at the end of my gravel driveway and it took root there. It was never actually planted. It is about 6 to 7 feet tall and about 8 to 9 feet across.
It used to look a bit like yours but a tad larger.IMG_3138.JPGIMG_3139.JPG
 

sorce

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This is why I say put it in the ground and let it be the tree it wants to be.
I planted this for a client about 25 years ago and the tree was damaged when his overzealous boys played football a bit too close. It came home because half the plant was broken off as shown by the picture of the trunk. I set the plant at the end of my gravel driveway and it took root there. It was never actually planted. It is about 6 to 7 feet tall and about 8 to 9 feet across.
It used to look a bit like yours but a tad larger.View attachment 313351View attachment 313352

That's is a great look at how interesting that bend can become.

It's clear bonsai artists have a better understanding of how time and growth works, than landscape folks.

Over time, that bend will be coveted by bonsai artists and landscapers alike.

Future Vision.

Sorce
 

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