Vine maple

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Vine maple

Post  JWT on Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:01 pm

Vine maple (Acer circinatum) I purchased last summer. Garden center stock, came with a pallet Shocked :





I chopped it late in the Autumn (and was horrified):


Now:




It is in a cold frame and growing in the ground. I dont think I need to do anything for the nebari Very Happy. Dont know yet what is there though.

I have two options.

One, let it grow this year, so that those wounds would start healing. In the Autumn cut back to fit the cold frame. Next Spring cut top branches very short, leave bottom branches as they are. Hopefully get new branches.

Two, start make branches right now. This would mean shortening top branches to make lower ones stronger and hoping to get new ones pop up lower the trunk.

Opinions?
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Re: Vine maple

Post  Tentakelaertje on Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:24 pm

So option one will leave you with the wounds healed quicker and perhaps better, while option two will leave you with a better branch structure, right?

To add my cent, wounds will heal, but a shitty branch structure will cost the tree years. So I'd rather go with option two, as that appears to be a shortcut to success.
Can I ask why you were horrified?

Regards, Maarten

Note: I'm still new, so my knowledge is limited. Please correct me if I'm wrong Smile

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Re: Vine maple

Post  Marty Weiser on Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:19 pm

Why not a third option? Set the base of the branches in the desired positions now and let them grow wild. Cut back in the fall one node beyond the correct cut back and then cut back to the proper node in the spring? If the bottom branches really need to thicken you can leave them longer. As I see it, even the top branches will need to thicken a fair bit.

I would see about repotting next year to start working on the nebari. I have found it generally takes longer to create a good nebari than good basic branch structure since you can only work on the roots every 2 or 3 years.

Marty

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Re: Vine maple

Post  JWT on Tue Jul 14, 2015 10:33 am

Thank you for commenting.

Maarten, horrified because I consider this very good material, and I chopped it rather hard.

Marty, perhaps its not visible in the pictures, but root flare is there already, thats why I thought basic nebari work is done for me. I hope Smile.

Top branches seem to grow like 5 times faster. Lower ones are in shade.
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Re: Vine maple

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:37 pm

I agree the basic flare is there which is great. However, I have found that what takes time with nursery stock is to develop the secondary roots and then bring the fine roots in so that it fits well in a nice shallow pot. In many cases, the fairly hard root chops necessary to do this will set the top of the tree back for a year - I prefer to do this while developing the top rather than after the top is fully developed since a top set back on well ramified tree can mean loss of key branches.

Regarding light for the lower branches. Can you pull away the cold frame sides to allow more light? Can you remove the 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc pair of leaves as appropriate on the upper branches to allow more light? My understanding is that for most maples the growing tips drive branch thickening (and therefore wound healing) more than the side branches and leaves on a sacrifice branch. Yes, allowing both the tip and the sides will give more total growth, but removing the middle leaves will give a lot of the growth and provide light below.

Marty

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Re: Vine maple

Post  JWT on Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:37 pm

Ah, I see. That makes sense.

Yes I have thought of making south facing wall removable. Bottom of the frame does not get too much light.

I will remove leaves close to the trunk for upper branches.

Thank you very much, Marty, for your insight.

Jan
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Re: Vine maple

Post  JWT on Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:46 am

Update, last spring:



I just love those leaves, I could give up everything else and just grow maples.

Now:



I lost top inch of the tree, there was a die-back. With some carving should be ok.

It is in a grow bag, doing well. I let it grow all summer, cutting back at autumn.

Now the question. Internodes are huge, mostly 5-8cm . There are some nice small twigs here and there, like on the base of the low left branch. Is is too much if I cut away all the coarse growth? Or is it ok as it is.

I am in no hurry. I don't mind it taking as long as it needs.
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Re: Vine maple

Post  my nellie on Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:03 am

I copy/paste here a post by Al, username:Smoke in Jan 17, 2017 from B-Nut Choppers, cutters and wishful thinking
It is very helpful and I hope you would like to read it.

There are really just two things to remember about maples and once that is understood the rest is rather easy.
1. Build the top first.
2. Build the base second.

Building the top
One has to decide what kind of maple is going to be made. This is important. One is very easy to do and the other is very difficult to do. This is why there is a severe shortage of maples that look like trees and an over abundance of maples that look like pines. While it seems the Japanese grow either very well, here in America growers seem to gravitate to the pointy topped overly exaggerated tapered trunks so commonly seen.
The other commonly seen maple is also very tapered but has branches that seem to splay out and reach skyward getting away from the horizontal branching or even worse, the downward pointing branches of the pine tree style. In this style even though the tree is upright and tapered the trunk displays a sort of graceful nature.
In either there are just a couple things that can be done to help make the tree good from the start. Maples over time seem to melt and flow with regularity. In other words you can count on them to fix itself and make itself beautiful. Not many trees have the ability to do this , which is why maples are so much fun to work with. Make no mistake, there is no fast road, to make a high quality tree, it may take four or five decades to have a flawless trunk with no scars. Many people pay huge sums of money to have that in their lifetime and I am OK with that, I just don't have the bankroll to do it. I have to make mine. I can share with you what I have found out along the way.

Hint no. one
Short makes big. On maples and a lot of deciduous trees in general, making short makes things big. Don't always think height, think roots, branches and also trunk. Maples in general if left to grow all season unchecked will double the next season if cut back near the trunk. This part is very hard for most people to do. It means that for five or more seasons the tree is a wonk. Branches left to grow five feet long only to cut it back to one inch the first year, two inches the second year, three the third, etc., etc. By the third year there should have been some secondaries reserved along the branch length that will get the same treatment along the way.

  • First year grow long
  • Second year cut back to one inch from trunk, Allow divisions to grow.
  • Third year, cut back divisions to two inches total from trunk. Allow new divisions from these new secondaries to grow,
  • Fourth year, cut back last years growth to one inch from last years cut and overall branch should now be no more than four inches long.

After this point the branch will have good structure and ramification can now be worked on.

Hint no. two
Chop every year, even in the ground. Always let the tree grow all season. Remember we are making trees not grooming a tree. In the fall let the tree be all winter. In the spring, when the buds are swelling, about a week before they break, we chop. We always chop to a bud, or better still many buds. Chop as low as you can, keeping in mind the need for the buds or node rings, they will sprout also. What we want is for all these basal buds to sprout and grow. Gather them up when they get about two feet tall and tie them together to keep them growing straight up. If it does fork, cut one off, keep it to one leader if possible but individual shoots is OK, rather like a clump. At each years chop, always chop back to no more than an inch from the previous chop. The most interesting trunks come from trees grown with as many directional changes as possible. No straight sections. Wire is OK here, keep in mind that it will grow fast so be careful about scars. With each yearly chop it is to be expected to almost double each years previous girth. If you start a 1/2 sapling on this plan you can expect a 2 inch trunk in about three years with a good season. Northern climates will not experience rapid growth as the southern locations will.

Hint no. three.
Do not dig the tree up. You can plant it in a colander and set it on the ground to escape or plant it in the ground, or in a big box on the ground that can escape. Escape is everything, without the ground the doubling will not happen. One can grow shohin size maples in boxes with out the ground but to grow a 30 inch tall maple with a 5 inch trunk we need the ground. The bottom of the tree will be developed later.

Hint no. four
Year three is the time to decide what type of tree is going to be made, spreading oak or pine tree. At year three branches will be decided upon or forking of the trunk to get the oak look. The trunk should only be about three inches tall or so at this point and is the perfect time to start the branching process. At this point by years five we will be back to hint one and the shortening process of the sub trunks or branches we are doing along the way.
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Re: Vine maple

Post  JWT on Wed Nov 08, 2017 3:51 pm

Well thank you. I take it that would be a vote for chop the branches short.

Surprisingly many ways to do things, I would never do the top first and just expect the base to follow.
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Re: Vine maple

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