The Chopping Block

just.wing.it

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#1
After browsing through several old threads with the Search Tool, I see that there is some confusion about when is a proper time to do a Trunk Chop on a Trident, or any maple...

#1) Chop at repotting time, when buds are swelling.

#2) Chop after leaves have hardened off.

My thoughts / questions:
I would be concerned about excessive sap flow when chopping a maple trunk.....so maybe way #2 is better for that reason.

I would also be concerned with the amount of time left in the growing season to really recover from a trunk chop....so maybe way #1 is better for that reason.

I think earlier is better because it gives the tree more time to establish a new leader, and begin healing the chop.

Since my reason for chopping is to create a new leader and build the trunk, I think way #1 is the way for me.

Any thoughts?
Should I have different concerns?
Are there more reasons that chopping later may be a better way?
Any maple trunk chop experiences you'd like to share?
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
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#2
Lol!

Do you have to PM me!

My big thing is a branch big enough to cut back to.. (Think safety cut.)

For extra protection.

Remember...

The Japanese don't do this. Chinese neither.

And we have only been doing this...eeee...incorrectly as others have stated.. Since WWII .

Sorce
 
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#3
After browsing through several old threads with the Search Tool, I see that there is some confusion about when is a proper time to do a Trunk Chop on a Trident, or any maple...

#1) Chop at repotting time, when buds are swelling.

#2) Chop after leaves have hardened off.

My thoughts / questions:
I would be concerned about excessive sap flow when chopping a maple trunk.....so maybe way #2 is better for that reason.

I would also be concerned with the amount of time left in the growing season to really recover from a trunk chop....so maybe way #1 is better for that reason.

I think earlier is better because it gives the tree more time to establish a new leader, and begin healing the chop.

Since my reason for chopping is to create a new leader and build the trunk, I think way #1 is the way for me.

Any thoughts?
Should I have different concerns?
Are there more reasons that chopping later may be a better way?
Any maple trunk chop experiences you'd like to share?
depends what kind of maple. I trunk chopped a kiyohime a few years ago in early summer and it killed it. I would say late winter for trunk chop, right before the energy starts to go upward?
 

just.wing.it

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#4
depends what kind of maple. I trunk chopped a kiyohime a few years ago in early summer and it killed it. I would say late winter for trunk chop, right before the energy starts to go upward?
I am working with a trident in my case, but I also have a regular Acer P and a mystery seed grown volunteer JM.

The only one I'm chopping this year is the trident, and I'll be doing first time exploratory surgery on the roots too.
 

just.wing.it

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#5
Lol!

Do you have to PM me!

My big thing is a branch big enough to cut back to.. (Think safety cut.)

For extra protection.

Remember...

The Japanese don't do this. Chinese neither.

And we have only been doing this...eeee...incorrectly as others have stated.. Since WWII .

Sorce
I'm OK if they don't do it...
I know it's a safe bet on a healthy tree.....doesn't mean I don't wanna avoid any potential problems.

And I'll have to look again... I could certainly reduce it slower over some years, but I was probably going with a blind chop, way down low.
 
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#6
I am working with a trident in my case, but I also have a regular Acer P and a mystery seed grown volunteer JM.

The only one I'm chopping this year is the trident, and I'll be doing first time exploratory surgery on the roots too.
Hi JWI,
So I have tried both winter (dormant)and late Spring after first growth has hardened. I have had no problems with either BUT I don’t get any snow so no freezes below -5C.
I have heard from others that it is the “sap flow” thing so definitely not in early spring at re-potting or it might bleed too much.
I don’t think tridents any different re chopping and when.
Interesting thread and will enjoy reading others answers etc.
Charles
C22FA38D-90FB-4021-A25C-34C1DA3284AE.jpeg
 
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#7
I'm OK if they don't do it...
I know it's a safe bet on a healthy tree.....doesn't mean I don't wanna avoid any potential problems.

And I'll have to look again... I could certainly reduce it slower over some years, but I was probably going with a blind chop, way down low.
also i trunk chopped a trident that had a 4 ft branch with leaves in june and it never put out even on leaf the rest of the year! or bud! It's probably a goner but I kept it hoping for the best this spring. it's still alive by the bark scratch test. probably not doing any more trunk chops on maples (or other plants) in the late spring/summer because of both of those
 

just.wing.it

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#8
also i trunk chopped a trident that had a 4 ft branch with leaves in june and it never put out even on leaf the rest of the year! or bud! It's probably a goner but I kept it hoping for the best this spring. it's still alive by the bark scratch test. probably not doing any more trunk chops on maples (or other plants) in the late spring/summer because of both of those
Thanks for mentioning that....sorry to hear, hope it pops out for you.
 
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#10
also i trunk chopped a trident that had a 4 ft branch with leaves in june and it never put out even on leaf the rest of the year! or bud! It's probably a goner but I kept it hoping for the best this spring. it's still alive by the bark scratch test. probably not doing any more trunk chops on maples (or other plants) in the late spring/summer because of both of those
Shock? And subsequently no more flushes? Go easy if it's ok I reckon.
 

milehigh_7

Mister 500,000
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#12
After browsing through several old threads with the Search Tool, I see that there is some confusion about when is a proper time to do a Trunk Chop on a Trident, or any maple...

#1) Chop at repotting time, when buds are swelling.

#2) Chop after leaves have hardened off.

My thoughts / questions:
I would be concerned about excessive sap flow when chopping a maple trunk.....so maybe way #2 is better for that reason.

I would also be concerned with the amount of time left in the growing season to really recover from a trunk chop....so maybe way #1 is better for that reason.

I think earlier is better because it gives the tree more time to establish a new leader, and begin healing the chop.

Since my reason for chopping is to create a new leader and build the trunk, I think way #1 is the way for me.

Any thoughts?
Should I have different concerns?
Are there more reasons that chopping later may be a better way?
Any maple trunk chop experiences you'd like to share?
Just read @Smoke's threads or go to his blog here: https://bonsaial.wordpress.com/category/trident-techniques/

You don't need anything else.
 

Bonsai Nut

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#14
After some research they tap in late winter. As the snow melts with higher day temp and low night temp. I wouldn't chop then.
Having tapped sugar maples for sap and boiled it for syrup (on a farm in Wisconsin), let me share a little insight. You collect the sap in the late winter as the tree is coming out of dormancy and the sap is flowing upwards to the buds. So you have to wait until when daytime temps are above freezing but it is still below freezing at night. After bud break you can still collect sap but it will not be as sweet, and it will have off-flavors that many people do not like.

FWIW you can also collect sap/syrup from black maples and red maples. Black maples are very close to sugar maples as far as sugar content, but red maples are not quite as sweet.
 
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#16
@just.wing.it It depends on the reaction you want from the plant. If you wait until after the first flush, the tree has already spent its energy growing. Chopping then produces slower, finer growth.
If you chop at bud break, the tree still has stored energy, and will produce strong new growth. The main thing is to make sure the tree is healthy and growing strongly before the chop.
 

just.wing.it

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#17
@just.wing.it It depends on the reaction you want from the plant. If you wait until after the first flush, the tree has already spent its energy growing. Chopping then produces slower, finer growth.
If you chop at bud break, the tree still has stored energy, and will produce strong new growth. The main thing is to make sure the tree is healthy and growing strongly before the chop.
That's kinda what I was getting at...thanks!
 

JoeH

Chumono
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#18
was just looking at this myself for a red maple, also when is the best time to reduce roots, I need to do a first reduction, its in a 7 gallon pot right now. Been it in for over a year for sure. It was grown at the college for science and then thrown out. I took it home last spring, all I've done so far is chopped it back to 16 inches, it was 6 feet tall.
 

just.wing.it

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#19
was just looking at this myself for a red maple, also when is the best time to reduce roots, I need to do a first reduction, its in a 7 gallon pot right now. Been it in for over a year for sure. It was grown at the college for science and then thrown out. I took it home last spring, all I've done so far is chopped it back to 16 inches, it was 6 feet tall.
Best time to reduce the roost is right before buds open....or as they are swelling up in the early spring.

I'm still going back and forth in my head about the trunk chop...
 

JoeH

Chumono
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#20
I had to do mine, it wouldn't fit in the car otherwise.
 

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