Progression of Acer palmatum C

parhamr

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This is another Japanese maple I've started from seedlings collected in 2012. The form will be clump, but maybe I'll find a way to sumo the tree if the base starts to fuse together really well. I'm intending to add a fifth trunk for balance.

April 2013
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June 2014
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October 2015
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January 2016, the first "real bonsai work" was performed (root trimming and raking, plus heavy pruning for form)
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In 2016 I did some pruning here and there. This is how the clump looks today after minor root work:
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The oversized mica pot is for development and ramification purposes. The straightness of the main trunk and the near-T-branch at its top are both a little unsettling to me. The main trunk may likely receive another hard prune at the end of 2017. In 2018 I'll be adding a fifth trunk, which will likely be done in the seedling approach graft technique.
 

parhamr

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Feedback and virtuals are welcome; clump and sumo styles are difficult for me!
 

Gustavo Martins

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From an aesthetic point of view, you should use an odd number of trunks. Four is kind of "bad"...
 

parhamr

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I’ve repotted this clump today and also added a fifth trunk. The trunk color and leaf size and shape appear very similar on this new tree, so I’m optimistic about how it’ll look. It’s situated in a gap between two trunks and it’s the most backwards-leaning trunk of them all; I hope it give the right illusion of depth.

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Yes, I did mess up a bit and planted the clump too far to the right of the pot.

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I used fairly aggressive tie-down wiring with rubber protection around it. The goal of this repot is to get the fifth tree incorporated, so I also went a bit liberal with sphagnum top dressing to protect the roots.
 

RobertB

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Wow. and nice. I guess repotting this time of year is ok for you. I think i need to wait another month before i touch my maples.
 

parhamr

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@just.wing.it and @rnlabarnes this is indeed a bit early. Our winter has been super mild and I’m taking a minor risk. I live in a bit of a heat island within the central city.

Daytime highs are just starting to hit the upper 50s and overnight lows are above 40°F. My buds are just starting to swell.

I’ve previously repotted maples around this time of year without issue.
 

Victorim

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Well it's dormant so will take it. Repotting at bud swell is when the energy has moved from the roots up, but as the tree has been reduced from the season, it should have more than enough to push to the smaller frame, and I doubt it was heavy work. He obviously overwinters well doing it now. But yeah, why now? Time short?

*edit - the above post was not there as of typing :p
 

River's Edge

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@just.wing.it and @rnlabarnes this is indeed a bit early. Our winter has been super mild and I’m taking a minor risk. I live in a bit of a heat island within the central city.

Daytime highs are just starting to hit the upper 50s and overnight lows are above 40°F. My buds are just starting to swell.

I’ve previously repotted maples around this time of year without issue.
Do you have a greenhouse for protection at this time of year?
 

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