Progression of Acer palmatum ('Sango kaku' coral)

parhamr

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May 2012
KWoPDBY.jpg
Found discarded at a curb in the city.

February 2014
OEfVSKL.jpg


March 2015
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The fertilizer is Osmocote 14-14-14.

October 2015
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December 2015
Y7dr0qd.jpg
After a heavy prune back to the first or second internodes. I removed each of the above-soil roots at left and right because they were weak, too high, and suitable replacements were growing underneath each. Some recent bending work is visible; I’m trying to significantly bend the right branch upwards and the left branch I might eventually air layer.

January 2016
SYAIAzE.jpg
Repotted into an Anderson Flat in screened diatomite rock and white pumice and then inoculated with endo mycorrhizae and fed humic acid. The lower portion of the soil had way too much organics and there was the telltale odor of anaerobic bacteria rotting away the old, waterlogged nursery soil. I just about halved the height of the root mass, washed it, and sawed out some large, heavy roots from way back when it was nursery grown.

Updates will come when relevant. This season I’m planning to continue with some wire training and to also let it grow out.
 
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parhamr

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@just.wing.it Yeah! Of course… these sorts of quality genetics and cultivars are all over the valley I live in. My local Craigslist regularly has postings requesting that somebody come dig up old hedges and unwanted trees, many of which are desirable for bonsai.
 

Eric Group

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Those bending jacks are probably the worst invention of the bonsai world ...... but good work with the tree.
I hear this a lot... They are good though for certain things wire cannot do. They may/ probably WILL- leave a scar and for that reason I generally only use the ONE I own on Juniepr and Pines in places I anticipate a deadwood feature might be nice... But I have gotten some good movement with those things I just could not get from wire.. Not saying they are the best tool or anything, but they have a place in the box IMO.
 

augustine

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Question, do you have Sago Kaku or the understock (regular green Japanes maple). the reason I'm asking is that I don't see a graft. Did you chop below the graft point?

Regardless it's still very nice and you're doing a good job. (and regular Japanese maple is a great species for bonsai).

Good luck,
 

parhamr

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@augustine I've wondered the same! Based upon how the color of the new bark and leaves compares to the rest of my Acer palmatum this one seems to be different. I will have to post photos of the original foliage for comparison. I did chop above any potential graft site but the graft site may indeed be where the new branches have come from.
 

aml1014

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@augustine I've wondered the same! Based upon how the color of the new bark and leaves compares to the rest of my Acer palmatum this one seems to be different. I will have to post photos of the original foliage for comparison. I did chop above any potential graft site but the graft site may indeed be where the new branches have come from.
I obviously don't know if its grafted but I do have a couple sango kaku, and your tree shows all signs of being one including the leaf color,size, and shape, and the fact the bark has the coral color in winter.

Aaron
 

LanceMac10

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That second photo from Feb. tells me it's a coral bark.......
Just look at those three branches, all salmon-y pink.....definitely coral bark.
Been growing a badly grafted one for about 4 years. Actually starting to have some propagating options, layering, cuttings, etc.....
Love JMs!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

KennedyMarx

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Nice progression. If you can get that branch bent upward more it will have a nice flow to it. I have a coral bark J maple that I acquired from a garden center last year. It needs a chop down low. Shoulda did it last year I suppose, but I tried and failed to get a couple air layers from the top.
 

parhamr

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2012

Original bark from above the trunk chop:
f8nCP5w.jpg

Original leaves:
seGGvx0.jpg

Site of the buds:
bIsXTCC.jpg

2014

lPiq1Uh.jpg RD8JH9F.jpg
 

TheSneakyTruth

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In my (albeit thus far brief) experience with coral bark maples, the foliage has a tendency to lie horizontally rather than sort of hanging or even dropping like some other Japanese Maple. It gives the canopy a light and airy feeling which works well for bonsai. I'd say you do indeed have a sango kaku cultivar there, and even if it isn't, it still looks like a very pleasant tree to look at and work with, no love lost!
 

parhamr

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This tree's buds are swelling but not quite yet breaking.

At last night's Bonsai Society of Portland monthly meeting, Owen Reich was kind enough to provide a kind, blunt, and thoughtful critique. Summary:
  • Beni kawa is a cultivar with genetics much more suitable for bonsai; my strong effort would better be put to use on one of those
  • Use only organic fertilizer so the micorrhiza are happy and the tree is protected from disease
  • My internode lengths are far too long for a later development stage but reasonable for now while putting on sacrificial/thickening growths
  • I'm gutsy to attempt an informal broom with this; since it's decidedly an odd tree, I might as well go full on weird like with a chunky raft style
  • I could be pruning much more frequently since the cultivar grows so strongly. Defoliation and aggressive cuts would be in my favor—the growth habit is a bit coarse and headed toward a 4–5 foot final size
  • We both agreed that if any of the main branches comes off, it'll be the left one
  • I would greatly benefit from techniques to fully heal over the hole; concrete and saran wrap is how this is achieved in Japan
  • He strongly wanted to chop off the strong leaders I had growing; I protested and said those were the only parts I didn't want cut :) (they're for the next layer of the broom)
Owen is great. I like his skills and techniques for good deciduous trees.
 
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