Practice Maple

Swill

Sapling
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I caught the bonsai bug last year though I admit up front to having practically no horticultural knowledge so I got a tree to just test stuff out on basically. I chopped it and practiced wiring a few branches but it all ended in a bit of a disaster. The bottom branch and a branch I had wired to be the new apex broke off in a wind storm when the tree crashed to the ground (that was an important lesson learned). One branch also has some nasty wire damage. It wasn't brilliant material to start with and now it's a real mess.
Moving forward I'm thinking of sticking it into a grow box or maybe a large container like a plastic concrete mixing trough to give myself a little practice with trimming roots. I've heard the most ideal time to re-pot maples is before the tree leafs so is it a bit later than that for this maple?

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woodguy

Mame
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Yes. Assuming those pictures where just taken, you missed the repotting window. You want to do it just after the buds swell but before the leaves start to emerge.
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
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When the buds look like that, it's a perfect time to repot...
 

woodguy

Mame
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Sorry my mistake. Thought you were supposed to pot before they opened that much.
 

Bill S

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Woodguy that is typically true.

Swill where are you located? Are you keeping this inside?

Large hint, get horticultural knowledge, it's very useful, especially if you like trees that are alive.
 

rockm

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The leaves are a bit far along for repotting, but it shouldn't be a huge issue.

Maples are outdoor trees, however since the leaves on this one have begun to grow, it should be kept sheltered from frost and freezing. Once leaves are at this stage, the tree's ability to withstand deep freezing is limited. Frost will also kill all those new leaves....
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I think we tend to repot a little early...buds at this stage are ripe for repotting. I have a few tridents and palmatums that are further along and won't be touching them until later this week...
 

Swill

Sapling
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Swill where are you located? Are you keeping this inside?

I live near Boise, Idaho. It has been in my unheated garage and we had a couple of really warm weeks though the temperatures are dropping again. In a large nursery pot like that it should probably have just stayed outside all winter I'm guessing? I didn't really mean for it to bud already.
 

Bill S

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No an A. Palm. probably wouldn't make it outside like that, they need protection, mainly the wind. Problem is sometimes those unheated sheds/garages build up warmth during those sunny days and create this problem. Venting, can help keep it colder, keeping the pots/cans mulched thru the winter helps keep them cooler so less early sprout outs happen. But as rockm pointed out, you need to keep from freezing now.
 

Swill

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I went ahead and re-potted it after an aggressive root pruning. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Edit: One thing I forgot to add was that isn't acer palmatum. I think it might be a ginnala.
 
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