Refurbishing a Japanese Maple - the "Hedge Cutting Method"

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Post  Walter Pall on Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:07 am

And here the other one one year later.


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Post  Walter Pall on Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:09 pm

Now winter can come. This series should be proof enough that the hedge cutting method works very well in building fine ramification quickly. so where are the expected too long internodes? secret: they were there, a couple dozen. I could remove them entirely and nothing is missing because there were too many small branchlets anway. That's a luxury problem one wants to have.

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Post  Guest on Fri Nov 08, 2013 4:12 pm

Hi Walter

I like your clumpstyle acer very much Smile 

I have a 60 cm tall 9 trunk clumpstyle acer too, from Japan....after a few years of reducing  trunks, and setting the branches better, is the tree now close to be ready to grow the canopy...I will look a lot on your tree to hopefully make it right.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Post  Jkd2572 on Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:17 am

Thank you walter for your continuing education in bonsai technique.

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Post  Gary Swiech on Wed Nov 20, 2013 4:50 pm

What Walter's hedge cutting method makes perfect sense from a horticultural standpoint.

Let's say you had a plant growing in the ground and each year as it put out it's Spring growth you pinched all the buds back to 1 or 2 internodes, it would set the plant back and as a result
the said plant would have to muster up enough energy to heal those spots where it was pinched and also to put out secondary buds needed to put out a second set of leaves to carry out photosynthesis.

This technique sets back the plant and it doesn't grow as much that year.

I let my bonsai grow in the Spring to produce energy, then after they are out of shape, I cut them back like Walter does. That second growth produces a lot of new shoots which are shaped for the next
Spring.

Of course this technique is for bonsai that are still in training and need more trans-location of auxin to other parts of the tree.

So called, "finished bonsai" also need the technique from time to time as they get to big and dense.
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Post  Walter Pall on Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:50 pm

Gary Swiech wrote:
Spring.

Of course this technique is for bonsai that are still in training and need more trans-location of auxin to  other parts of the tree.
So called, "finished bonsai" also need the technique from time to time as they get to big and dense.
Gary, is this a tree in development or is it finished? This is the result of hedge pruning. All my broadleaved trees regardless of quality or years in training or fame are treated the same. How much denser do you want ramification? I actually had to cut out quite a few shoots because there were too many after hedge pruning. As you can see I treat every tree as being in development. There is always room for improvement.

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Post  Neli on Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:58 pm

I love this tree Walter. Any pictures without foliage?
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Post  Gary Swiech on Mon Nov 25, 2013 5:30 pm

Walter wrote:Gary, is this a tree in development or is it finished?
It is unfinished.

I understand your point. A bonsai is really never finished, that's why I said "so called" finished.

I'm always trimming inside branches that sprout after the hedge pruning method.

I think it is a valid method of training.
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Post  MKBonsai on Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:55 pm

Dear Walter,

We are indebted to your words of wisdom, and you are certainly to be congratulated on such as excellently presented and informative post.

This reminds me of an article in Which? Magazine some years ago when they tested out the best method for pruning rose bushes to allow them to grow and flower well. Conventional advice was to carefully prune using secateurs, ensuring that the correct buds were chosen, that the stems were pruned at the right height from the ground, etc, etc. However, the result of their trials showed that the best way of pruning rose bushes was to carry out a single height, single pass using a chainsaw.

An interesting parallel perhaps.

Thanks again,

JT
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