Prune Mountain maple.

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Prune Mountain maple.

Post  llantrisant on Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:28 pm

Hi all this is my first post.I have a large mountain maple,that has been growing in the ground,which I am going to lift in the spring.It has been in the ground for 5 years.There are some large branches I want to remove,but am not sure when is the best time to do it.I live in Wales U.K.and would be glad of any advice I can get.          






Very Happy

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  LanceMac10 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:30 pm

Branch prune when you lift it, it will weep less, and be able to heal faster.

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  LanceMac10 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 6:32 pm

As I can assume you will be working the roots as well?

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  Richard S on Tue Dec 16, 2014 9:19 pm

As I understand it, the main argument against spring pruning of Japanese Maples is that they bleed heavily at that time of year and this can cause more die back than would otherwise be the case.

At least that's the theory according to Harry Harrington's bonsai4me web site.

This might be a concern if you are planning on making big cuts.

Mind you, if you're really committed to digging the tree next spring I guess you don't have much choice.  

Regards

Richard

PS  It's an great tree!

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  LanceMac10 on Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:00 pm

I've referenced Peter Adams' fine book "Bonsai with Japanese Maples", and he suggests that heavy branch pruning for shape should be preceded by repotting, prune branches, seal with cutpaste and then water the tree in. Also stated, when not scheduled for repot, prune branches in August. Personally, I do most of my work on maples in early to mid February, before maple sugar season. Of course, I don't have anything like this in the ground. Nice tree, keep us updated!!

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  yamasuri on Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:47 am

by the way great tree with very strong potential....Thanks for sharing

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PRUNE MOUNTAIN MAPLE.

Post  llantrisant on Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:16 am

Than you all for your comments.I will lift tree in spring and pot in large box.Dont think I will take off too many branches but will shorten most of them back.I just read an article by Walter Pall,hedge clip method,which I am going to give a go.Will see what happens.





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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:46 pm

Japanese Maples are incredibly forgiving trees. I have moved large ones from one garden to another under emergency conditions, chopped the top six foot off and lifted and boxed up in mid winter etc. I have never lost one, apart from the inexplicable death of a couple of otherwise healthy garden trees, that suddenly succumbed to verticillium wilt. If you are worried about bleeding and sap withdrawal, just leave a stump and remove it later. I do that regularly with branches that I've airlayered off and never have a problem. I have also given up using branch sealant completely with Maples.

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Prune Mountain maple.

Post  llantrisant on Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:11 am

Thanks for the info Kev,feel a lot more confident now.

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  Bruce Winter on Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:55 am

In Issue # 130, Sept/Oct pg 24 of Bonsai Focus is a good article on this subject.

When the leaves turn red
You can go ahead
and cut.
Too late for that now but if it were mine I'd cut the branches now rather than spring.

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  LanceMac10 on Thu Dec 18, 2014 12:02 pm

As an experiment, I cut a couple of branches of a Japanese maple clump 2 weeks ago that I bought this spring. Its still weeping, even with cut-paste and putty. My location is probably a bit colder than Wales, UK. Maples will bleed when cut, it's just gonna do it, regardless of season. Reference Bill Valavanis' latest book. He explains pretty thoroughly his methods for shaping maples, Trident and Maple. Presented within is a sequence detailing COMPLETELY removing all branches and repotting in February. I try to time this work for when nighttime and daytime temperatures are not too disparate. Cold nights and daylight temperatures above freezing or warmer will trigger the sap to really push as it re-invigorates. A previous post remarked, when it's red, go ahead.....well, around here, that was about 2 months ago!! Hopefully, Mr. Valavanis will see this post and offer a few pointers. This tree is really very nice and has as much potential as any tree I've seen. So many options, good taper and basal flare which can only improve with time. And please, update after you work it. Great tree, and have a happy holiday season, mate!!!

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Prune Mountain maple

Post  llantrisant on Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:24 pm

Hi LanceMac10,sorry not replying sooner,had a few problems.Seems that pruning maples is not as easy as I had thought.There seems to be many different thoughts on when to do it.Must admit I am not sure when to do it now.Will just have to bit the bullet and have a go.

Confused

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  0soyoung on Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:46 pm

That weeping sap is the makings of maple syrup, so don't get in a stew about it. It is not a pine and the bleed is not resinous. It is just watery simple syrup with a few complex organic molecules that can make it quite tasty - highly soluable in water (rain or sprinklings from your watering can or hosepipe).

During the gowing season, some sugars (photosynthate) are converted to starch. The starch is stored as grains in living cells throughout the tree. The enzyme amylase is called into action by the daily warm cold cycles that occur during late fall and early spring, converting starch back into sugar. This is fundamentally how all trees harden for winter - sugar in cellular fluids is tree antifreeze. In maples, especially, living cells in the xylem also expel some of their sugar into the xylem lumens. A 'stem pressure' then develops by osmosis. This stem pressure is routinely eliminated by the extension of the first leafs and shoots in spring (or by pounding a tap into the xylem and hanging a bucket on it, which is what they do in eastern Canada and the New England area of the US).

So, if you have a phobia about bleeding, don't prune from the time of first frost until the first leafs have hardened in spring. The rest of the year (the 'growing season' let's say) no bleed will occur, not that it really matters.

As far as pathogens are concerned, always sterilize your pruners/scissors beforehand with either a household bleach solution or isopropyl alcohol. Even though 'vericillium' is always mentioned with 'japanese maple', my experience is that nectria canker is a far more common problem (it will exhibit orange fruiting bodies in early fall).

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  kingfisher on Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:57 am

Thanks for posting that reply Osoyoung,vey informative post.
They say you learn something every day,well I just learnt a weeks worth of useful info,

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Prune Mountain maple

Post  llantrisant on Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:58 am

Hi Osoyoung,thanks very much for your great post.I feel a lot more confident about pruning my tree now.Do you think I will have to seal any large wounds or just leave them.

thumbs up

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Re: Prune Mountain maple.

Post  0soyoung on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:56 pm

llantrisant wrote:Do you think I will have to seal any large wounds or just leave them.

I don't use cut pastes. Acer palmatums will inevitably die back to a lower node.

However, cambium is exposed at any cut and will die by dessication until a callus has formed. Keeping the cut moist for 2 or 3 days until this callus has formed will minimize this aspect of die back. Polyethylene film is great stuff for this as it is impervious to water but transmits oxygen. A wad of damp sphagnum also works. But it is often difficult to wrap some film over the cut for the 2 or 3 days it takes for the callus to form - some water impervious goo is indeed convenient. My point is that it only matters for the first 2 or 3 days after the cut was made.

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Prune Mountain maple

Post  llantrisant on Sat Jan 10, 2015 9:30 am

Hi Osoyoung,thanks again for all your info.I have a much better picture of how to proceed now.

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