When to root prune and hard prune.

Munch9

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Today I bought a Acer Palmatum at a local nursery, I'm looking forward to make it a Mame.
So my questions are basically
When to root prune hard?
Probably will need to cut more than 3/4 of the roots...
When to hard prune?
As far as I know would be fine to cut it anytime in the early spring to mid summer.

Probably will have to wait a whole year before every step, am I right?
 

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Munch9

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This is the planned pot
 

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Shibui

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I do any hard root prune here from mid winter through to bud burst in spring. I understand that in colder areas the window is shorter because it is just too cold in winter to cut roots. Cutting 2/3 of the roots on JM is no big deal. I often cut far more with no ill effects for the plants.
Pruning the top is best done either just after the leaves fall through to very early winter or in spring after the leaves have fully opened through to summer.
I can also prune branches and chop trunks safely late winter and spring if I have also pruned the roots. This means I can do both hard root prune and prune branches/chop trunk in one operation. This is routine procedure for maples as they are dug from the grow beds. Most of the pics on Shibui Bonsai website are trident maples as I grow far more of those but I treat JM similar.
 

Munch9

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I do any hard root prune here from mid winter through to bud burst in spring. I understand that in colder areas the window is shorter because it is just too cold in winter to cut roots. Cutting 2/3 of the roots on JM is no big deal. I often cut far more with no ill effects for the plants.
Pruning the top is best done either just after the leaves fall through to very early winter or in spring after the leaves have fully opened through to summer.
I can also prune branches and chop trunks safely late winter and spring if I have also pruned the roots. This means I can do both hard root prune and prune branches/chop trunk in one operation. This is routine procedure for maples as they are dug from the grow beds. Most of the pics on Shibui Bonsai website are trident maples as I grow far more of those but I treat JM similar.
Thanks a lot!

As far as styling I'm truly in doubt, have no idea cutting the main trunk is right or wrong.
 

Munch9

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after a harsh photoshop, seems nice, I will probably need to get rid of those firsts branches.
 

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sorce

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Are these actually IN an apartment?

This is a great start of a piece, so good if it IS indoors I'd sell it to someone who could keep it outdoors for the betterment of material and high quality trees all together.

I think your goal of a mame is a righteous one, but I don't think your current path will get you there.

I agree there is little right or wrong with styling, however, with such a tiny goal, flaws that make any goal impossible are amplified.

The flaw I find in this, as many others, is this prominent initial trident that has been left to grow exactly as nature intended, perfectly straight, and utterly boring.
This look will continue to make the viewer see this as "an attempt", or "a bonsai", but never a "real tree in miniature".

The difficulty is even after removing any one of the three legs of the trident, it remains "fake looking", just without worry of reverse taper.

So I propose that in order to make a convincing mame, you may have to regrow new branches from *where the first ones currently are*, or better, use some that may sprout lower.

IMO, the first nodes on those first branches are entirely too far. Also indicative of merely a healthy seedling, not an old tree.

You can't both rely on internodes that long AND have enough nodes to create branches on a mame sized tree. It is mathematically impossible. Unless your tree only has 3 branches, but that's a fail IMO.

So the reason your path doesn't line up for me, is because you have a LOT of development to do. Development that will require more pot than that small one.

No worries though, because as @Shibui notes, they can take quite the root removal, so getting it into a right small pot in the future shouldn't be a worry. I believe your climates may be similar as well, so following his advice is probably really true.

My first move would be cutting out the center trunk and looking for lower or better buds.

"Better" buds....*where the first branches currently are*.

Healthy maples, as this has been, will throw six buds at each node, 3 on either side, one Central or "apical" branch, that the tree naturally uses to quickly expand into new territory and make "sub trunks", these are mostly useless to design, and it seems are the ones your young healthy tree gave prominence to.

The smaller side buds are "reserves" for the natural tree, if nature decides to remove the trunk extension, die to lightening, pests, or even a neighboring tree that shades the large extension that then makes for more possible sunlight back at those close short nodes.

The idea of that cut is to sprout them side nodes from where your current "ugly tell branches" emerge.
The difficulty in this scenario is the future removal of the "ugly tell" branches, as the wound is very close to the young small, closely noded branch you wish to keep.

This is why it would be better to utilize lower growth (grafts if you're gangster) which you can keep from ever giving you the difficulty of this prominent trident shape.

Prominent trident shapes are the bane of a good maple and must always be prevented.
Removing the "tell" is always more difficult than preventing it.

Sorce
 

Munch9

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Are these actually IN an apartment?

This is a great start of a piece, so good if it IS indoors I'd sell it to someone who could keep it outdoors for the betterment of material and high quality trees all together.

I think your goal of a mame is a righteous one, but I don't think your current path will get you there.

I agree there is little right or wrong with styling, however, with such a tiny goal, flaws that make any goal impossible are amplified.

The flaw I find in this, as many others, is this prominent initial trident that has been left to grow exactly as nature intended, perfectly straight, and utterly boring.
This look will continue to make the viewer see this as "an attempt", or "a bonsai", but never a "real tree in miniature".

The difficulty is even after removing any one of the three legs of the trident, it remains "fake looking", just without worry of reverse taper.

So I propose that in order to make a convincing mame, you may have to regrow new branches from *where the first ones currently are*, or better, use some that may sprout lower.

IMO, the first nodes on those first branches are entirely too far. Also indicative of merely a healthy seedling, not an old tree.

You can't both rely on internodes that long AND have enough nodes to create branches on a mame sized tree. It is mathematically impossible. Unless your tree only has 3 branches, but that's a fail IMO.

So the reason your path doesn't line up for me, is because you have a LOT of development to do. Development that will require more pot than that small one.

No worries though, because as @Shibui notes, they can take quite the root removal, so getting it into a right small pot in the future shouldn't be a worry. I believe your climates may be similar as well, so following his advice is probably really true.

My first move would be cutting out the center trunk and looking for lower or better buds.

"Better" buds....*where the first branches currently are*.

Healthy maples, as this has been, will throw six buds at each node, 3 on either side, one Central or "apical" branch, that the tree naturally uses to quickly expand into new territory and make "sub trunks", these are mostly useless to design, and it seems are the ones your young healthy tree gave prominence to.

The smaller side buds are "reserves" for the natural tree, if nature decides to remove the trunk extension, die to lightening, pests, or even a neighboring tree that shades the large extension that then makes for more possible sunlight back at those close short nodes.

The idea of that cut is to sprout them side nodes from where your current "ugly tell branches" emerge.
The difficulty in this scenario is the future removal of the "ugly tell" branches, as the wound is very close to the young small, closely noded branch you wish to keep.

This is why it would be better to utilize lower growth (grafts if you're gangster) which you can keep from ever giving you the difficulty of this prominent trident shape.

Prominent trident shapes are the bane of a good maple and must always be prevented.
Removing the "tell" is always more difficult than preventing it.

Sorce
You are completely right, my goal right now if figuring out exactly where to cut, I thought about getting rid all at once of the main trunk, but theres a little bud behind it that might be promissing as the new leader to develop a taper.
I think that I maybe should do an airlayering in that right branch, the thic one, and left behind the branche that is a bit smaller.
 

sorce

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theres a little bud behind it that might be promissing as the new leader to develop a taper

Can you picture this one? Or point it out?

think that I maybe should do an airlayering in that right branch, the thic one,

I wouldn't.

That branch is a perfect representation of FOUR excellent, perfectly diminishing in size and well proportioned segments of taper.
Capture+_2021-11-22-08-19-49.png

The problem is the lack of movement, but besides that its perfect.
So I would be keeping this as a "plan B" in case other stuff goes south.
You can cut back to this and make it a tree. You'd have to work with the given directionality, but that is way better than a tree with cool movement but shitty proportions.
I give great proportions much more value than movement.

Especially proportions that perfect for 4 entire segments.

Sorce
 

Munch9

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Can you picture this one? Or point it out?



I wouldn't.

That branch is a perfect representation of FOUR excellent, perfectly diminishing in size and well proportioned segments of taper.
View attachment 409488

The problem is the lack of movement, but besides that its perfect.
So I would be keeping this as a "plan B" in case other stuff goes south.
You can cut back to this and make it a tree. You'd have to work with the given directionality, but that is way better than a tree with cool movement but shitty proportions.
I give great proportions much more value than movement.

Especially proportions that perfect for 4 entire segments.

Sorce
 

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Munch9

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The only problem I see is that i'm insecure if this branch is even alive haha...
 

sorce

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Yeah FTB! F that branch!

What's the height to the first branches?

I'm afraid that in order to remain under 4 inches, 6 if you're lame, to make it a mame, you'd want to induce more movement and taper than even cutting to that left thick "keepest of keepers" would give.
But I meant to understand the actual heights first.

Besides the length of the right thin branch's internode being forever wrong proportionally....

Coming back to this....
You can't both rely on internodes that long AND have enough nodes to create branches on a mame sized tree. It is mathematically impossible. Unless your tree only has 3 branches, but that's a fail IMO.

To address this....
with such a tiny goal, flaws that make any goal impossible are amplified.

I think it may be necessary to restart any future from new branches from the current lowest trunk nodes (first branches), or lower, so that it remains mathematically possible to have all of , movement, interest, no "fake tells", and an abundance of Branches within 4inches of space.

But I question a bit the reality of making this a mame.

The more I look at the excellence of that left thick branch, the more I think it would be much more valuable, much faster and less risky shohin sized tree, than a true mame.

I wouldn't do anything soon.

Sorce
 

Munch9

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Yeah FTB! F that branch!

What's the height to the first branches?

I'm afraid that in order to remain under 4 inches, 6 if you're lame, to make it a mame, you'd want to induce more movement and taper than even cutting to that left thick "keepest of keepers" would give.
But I meant to understand the actual heights first.

Besides the length of the right thin branch's internode being forever wrong proportionally....

Coming back to this....


To address this....


I think it may be necessary to restart any future from new branches from the current lowest trunk nodes (first branches), or lower, so that it remains mathematically possible to have all of , movement, interest, no "fake tells", and an abundance of Branches within 4inches of space.

But I question a bit the reality of making this a mame.

The more I look at the excellence of that left thick branch, the more I think it would be much more valuable, much faster and less risky shohin sized tree, than a true mame.

I wouldn't do anything soon.

Sorce
I'm starting to see how complex would be to turn this into a mame sized...
What would be the steps to shohin in this case?
 

sorce

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I'm starting to see how complex would be to turn this into a mame sized...
What would be the steps to shohin in this case?

I reckon the same but with less worry the leaves will be too big!

This really is an excellent start, great basal flare that can only get better, nodes low and close enough.

I would definitely want to find the balance of not working it and working it. Like, contemplating a move longer will probably be much safer than making the wrong move too fast.

Err to safety but don't allow growth to ruin the design.

Sorce
 

Munch9

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I reckon the same but with less worry the leaves will be too big!

This really is an excellent start, great basal flare that can only get better, nodes low and close enough.

I would definitely want to find the balance of not working it and working it. Like, contemplating a move longer will probably be much safer than making the wrong move too fast.

Err to safety but don't allow growth to ruin the design.

Sorce
I can wait till winter without worring that that thin branch won't cause an inverse taper?
I will probably airlayer that... and wait, see what the tree offers to me.
About fertilizer some organic and oscomote is fine?
 

sorce

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I can wait till winter without worring that that thin branch won't cause an inverse taper?
I will probably airlayer that... and wait, see what the tree offers to me.
About fertilizer some organic and oscomote is fine?

I would defer to @Shibui as I don't work with maples that much, and when I do, they certainly do not grow as fast as this may for you.

All I know, that other folks don't seem to consider, is there is not only a balance between inverse taper and not.

But deeper, the balance between allowing the health of keeping pieces, while considering how much of the allowed inverse taper you will safely be able to recontour upon removal.

That is the insight that I wanted to get to in the first place. I deeply appreciate the conversation allowed to continue to get to that point.

I would definitely remove the center trunk with a cut around the x soon. But only if you are prepared to be diligent in rubbing buds in bad positions, and risk leaving the one good one.
Capture+_2021-11-22-10-00-12.png

The purple would be your future recontour line, so a bud at the red would need removal, in favor of something in a better position, as the yellow, which will remain within a pleasant contour.

I don't know that I'd want the shade of a layer contraption over where you need those buds, probably better to make cuttings. The efforts of removal also offer an unnecessary risk to your future small new branchlets.

Sorce
 

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