The 2010 Bonsainut Maple Project

Smoke

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For this project I intend to post several trees to make sure I have some stuff to exhibit in this discussion. Example no. one will be the tree I started in the last thread. It has already been chopped and is ready for growout. Not much to say about this one except to check back later this spring when I have some growth to share. The trunk on this one is just a little larger than a US silver half dollar. When was the last time you saw ole Franklin?

Trunk is 1.5 inches across.
4cm
1.75 Whitworth
.09 of a cubit
or .03 of a British Ell

There that should just about cover it.
 

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Smoke

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Example No.Two I just found the other day. Grizzlyone (Brett) was over helping me repot the behemouth Myrtle. I was looking for something else to repot to show how to prune back roots on a stump. Tridents can be taken back with out mercy for growout because they respond so favorably to root pruneing. It is like they become energised.

This one was lounging around and had escaped into the ground a little. The root outside the can was already about 1/2 across when Brett trimmed it up to remove from the can.

Beware, further reading not for the faint of heart....


What insued after removal from the grow container was short of murder. Brett said I would need to get the saw. Probably would have been the smart thing to do.

No...I had to get the trusty hatchet. This is not a typical hatchet, this is an old fashioned chicken killing hatchet that weighs 5 pounds and has a broad head cutting surface. Looks like something from medieval times or maybe ancient Persia for beheading criminals. I took the entire rootball off in four strokes. Cutting thru dirt and all. It was a surgical cut right thru the root ball.

Had I stopped there all would have been good, but oh...no I had to take it back about 1 more inch. Problem was that I hacked off all my ballest (dirt) and the thing took several more whacks because it kept springing back. Well I never hit the same place twice for several whacks. Needless to say I took it back pretty short, but OK I think. Still good roots after a little clean up with a concave cutter.

Hey its 2010, live a little. Hell I'm glad I even made it to 2010. So everything from now on is a gimmy!

After surgically removing the rootbase I took off two long limbs with a large pair of loppers. The top was about 9 feet tall. Brett loaded it up in his truck to carry out some kind of Dr. Mengeli experiments on what was left. It was then potted up.

Now this subject was put into the pot with no air space so at least I have controll subjects during this project.
 

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Smoke

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Tonight with all the excitement of all the posts and everyone wanting to get on board the trident express, it was time to examine my charge with more scrutiny. Looking at the poor bastard I think I saw something that may work.

Do you see it too?
 

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Smoke

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I got out the die grinder, loaded a 1/2 router bit into it and started to work. 15 minutes later I had the makings of a rudimentary stump. This stump could be considered phase two of what we look for in this process and is what we want about three years down the road.

I'm sorry folks, sometimes this stuff gets lost in my backyard and I have no idea what is there. I knew it was there but my backyard is landscaped. During the summer months it is all pretty with flowers and garden statuary. I hide the bonsai projects in strategic places to keep them out of view. Sometime they are so good at being out of view I forget they are even there. Such was the case with this plant. I had no idea it had grown so large so fast.

Three inches across at the base and 5 inches tall.

The last photo shows a little wire on the two branch stubs that needed bending. There are about 5 branch buds on the tree. I will develop these thru this year as well as work on addtional taper in the top. It is possible that when spring hits and I see response and all is safe I may cut back pencil size leader by half. Time will tell here.
 

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Smoke

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Maple project No. Three. This is another one of those plants that I water every day but pay no attention to. It had been used for thread grafts for a number of years and I let three stubs grow large and kept cutting it back to have all the long skinny whips for thread grafts.

I think the time is ripe for a chop. Now seems as good a time as any to begin it journey. Base on this one is nearly 5 inches at the soil, trunk is about 3.5 at this point. Has a good flare and a ground layer is ready to be done. I think I will chop and layer later.

This will be a good tree, very strong right now and ready to go. Chop to be done later next month. I will repot now and chop in late February.
 

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Smoke

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This will make project No. Four and the end of my maple project for trunk chops this year. This maple is about 5/8 across. I was saving a few of these for broom projects but decided that I will give one away to a person to work on. I will do the other one this size and two more will be reserved for larger chops in the future. Barbara your tree is sister to this one. About as large as your thumb.

This size for a starter will yield a tree about 5 inches tall with a trunk around 1.5 to 1.75 inches in three years. Branches in four.


This will make 7 trident stumps being developed at the same time.
 

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Maple project No. Three. This is another one of those plants that I water every day but pay no attention to. It had been used for thread grafts for a number of years and I let three stubs grow large and kept cutting it back to have all the long skinny whips for thread grafts.

I think the time is ripe for a chop. Now seems as good a time as any to begin it journey. Base on this one is nearly 5 inches at the soil, trunk is about 3.5 at this point. Has a good flare and a ground layer is ready to be done. I think I will chop and layer later.

This will be a good tree, very strong right now and ready to go. Chop to be done later next month. I will repot now and chop in late February.
Al, not to be too much of a stickler, but exactly what kind of a maple is that? The leaves look more holly-ish to me. Unless that's some other plant growing in your pot.

Chris
 

timhanson81

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I think Al needs to do some weeding. Those look like Carolina cherry volunteers. It's amazing how many of those things can come up on their own.
 

Smoke

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I think Al needs to do some weeding. Those look like Carolina cherry volunteers. It's amazing how many of those things can come up on their own.
Thats exactly what they are. I have them by the thousands. They come up everywhere. The birds eat the cherries and poop them out like a pez dispenser. Thats what happens when you put a tree around the corner out of site. The weeding never gets done, not that it would get done even if I did see it...

Anyone want to chop down a cherry tree?
 

painter

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maybe i missed this in the other thread but can you talk a little about timing.
when is it that you perform trunk chop and root work?
trunk chop before bud break ( i think) as well as root work?
do you perform one before the other?
how bout directly after leaf drop?
have you noticed any difference?;
thanks for all your work it is truly inspirational.
painter
 

Smoke

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This maple has a pretty large trunk but a terrible taper and top. Nothing to do but start over and chop it down. This is the beaheading. Will work on this over the next few years and take it to a different direction.

The tree was chopped with a saw and then it was smoothed over usuing a die grinder. I do not want the exposed cambium to dry out like the blurry shot so the whole thing is covered over with rubber cut seal.

Will get a better shot of the chop tomorrow with a side view.
 

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tmmason10

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How did maples 1-4 fare this year Al? I think I am getting myself a trident this spring for my classes.
 

Smoke

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No. 1 died. It never did sprout. I think I may have been a little radical of the root pruning on this one.

This is update on no.2, the chicken hatchet tree. It is doing fairly well, though I still need to dress that hacked side. It's wound is still gaping.
 

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Smoke

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This is no. 4. I never dug out the large stump (no. 3 )since I used it last year to graft some branches onto some other tridents. This one though no. 4 is looking pretty good. The lady I was going to give it to divorced, and quit coming to the meetings. I think she dropped out of bonsai altogether. She was a member here.
 

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Smoke

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Here it is two years later already. I can't believe where the time goes. Today I spent most of the day just pottuing up material for the future. A signifcant amount of time must be spent potting up material or pruning for shape as material grows. There is nothing to be gained by just putting somethingin a large pot or the ground and allowing it to just "grow and see what we get". We must be the artist all the time an prune and change direction with leaders and allow for taper.

Many times I see people growing out material for future use and do chops. What I see is leaving too much making the second chop. That second chop has to be close to the trunk so as to allow for the future scar tissue to "smooth over" the chop and make a smooth transition to the smaller size. Leave too much of the neck above the chop and it will alway look like a giraffe.

This small stump is being reduced today. I have used a band saw to cut the stump where I need it to have roots. After sawing there are roots about two thirds a round the trunk. In the areas where I have sawed the roots off I will prepare for making roots. After cleaning with a sharp knife I apply rooting gel. After that application I cover the rooting areas with paper towel, smoothing it into the gell and alowing it to stick. After that I have applied 2% IBA dilluted with a brush to the paper towel. Then it is planted out in a cut down basket with sifted 3/16 grain size soil mix.
 

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Smoke

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Most of this shelf is tridents that were repotted today. There are 28 tridents on this table, a couple hornbeams and a zelcova or elm or two.
 

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