Planning some Clump Style Maples - Help with techniques

RobertB

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So I have grown about 200 Japanese maple seedlings this year to play with, use for root grafts, etc. I want to try to start a wide variety of styles, 1 of which would be 5 or so clump / group plantings. I also plan on starting some tridents from seed in 2019 to start playing with those in 2020.

I had seen somewhere about feeding a handful of seedlings through a CD and after couple yrs time, the layer worked but not very well (cannot find the thread. have looked everywhere. I thought it was smoke but looked all over his site too). I have also seen where people cut out individual holes through a tile / board.

It seams to be that the individual holes cut out would probably work the best. Just wanted to get people thoughts on this. Or if anyone can kindly link me to some good info around.

Right now I am planning to do this with some of my more vigorous maples that have gotten to thick this year for me to wire (definitely missed a few out of the bunch). I am thinking I can make a handful of clumps of five where I drill holes in either tile or plastic cutting board sized just a tad larger than seeding. Plan on spacing the holes probably somewhere around 1/2" on center as I really want the trunks to fuse at the base (at least on some). Others I might try and make more of a forest planting with some trunks fused and partial root fusion.

Any advise on hole spacing for trunk fusion?

Since I wasn't able to wire, I think after I pot up, I will attach guidelines to each trunk pulling it in the direction I want so I can at least get some movement close to the roots and probably chop later to new leaders to get movement later on.
 

Johnnyd

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Check out Peter Adams book on Bonsai with Japanese maples. The instructions and diagrams are great. He drills holes in a ceramic plate and feeds them through. In time a turtle shell nebari will form. I never tried it, though it looks like the same principle as a ground layer. Good luck. Post some pics when you're done.
 

Bananaman

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Once your at the blog, just use the search function for tridents on a saucer. There are many projects and updates there
 

RobertB

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Once your at the blog, just use the search function for tridents on a saucer. There are many projects and updates there

Do you still have these trees? Is there a thread here with their progress? Great blog by the way!
 

Bananaman

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Check in Smokes Backyard thread
 

Bananaman

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Yes I still have most of them. I sold a couple but made half a dozen clumps or so
 

Bananaman

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I potted two of the clumps into a shallow container as a forest. Pics to follow later. At work now
 

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