Red Maple 'sapling' ...

BobKat

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Greetings Friends ... I 'harvested' 3 young red maple saplings last year ('21) & I really like what this one is doing naturally. I'm planning on root pruning, putting a small ceramic plate underneath & cutting this down at that 1st long internode, then letting it 'thicken up' for another year. Any thoughts for a 'novice'? (BTW - I can't recall how to just send this message out to the 'general' audience for responses, so hope I'm doing this right!)
 

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Kanorin

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I think you can wait another year to do that chop you described (and could you put some bends in with wire at this point?) but otherwise sounds like a good plan to me! It's got nice short internodes down low, that's good!
 

BobKat

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I wondered if I should wait another year for the 'chop' ... yes, I could put a couple bends in (carefully, of course) ... might try that at about 8 inches up.
Love those nice short internodes down low, too. All 3 of the ones I harvested last year are pretty much like this one. This is the 'middle-sized' one.
Thanks again for the input.
 

Shibui

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Wiring seems pointless (except for practice?) when the plan is to chop low at some stage. New shoots growing after a chop will give a much better bend in the trunk than wiring will give. My best maples are developed with a series of grow and chops.
There are lots of ways to develop maples. Some people let the trunk grow then do a single final chop but I found that gave one really large cut that takes many years to heal. I prefer to use a series of smaller chops that heal quicker. Even if that delays thickening by a year or 2 that time is more than saved in the next phase when cuts are healing and new apex developed. I now chop early in order to get plenty of leaders growing. Multiple leaders build taper far better than a single trunk, allow choices for trunk bends and direction and allow for smaller chops when reducing the trunk.

I also prefer to get good root system sorted as early as possible. Nebari is really prominent so developing good roots is a very high priority and early is best. A ceramic plate may help but nothing is as good as specific root pruning.
 

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