ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

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ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  wabashene on Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:20 pm

Hi,
Haven’t posted in ages.

This is a grafted Acer Katsura purchased from a UK Garden Centre bargain area for GBP 25 in 2003 and is one of the few trees I have taken from the beginning to an initial presentable position on my own.

It had a massive root ball but with the beginnings of interesting nebari (surface root structure) which is what attracted me to the tree in the first place.
A large mass of root was removed and many branches pruned off with a knob cutter . The tree was planted in a garden border for 8 years to grow on largely undisturbed except for an occasional prod and prune. Over this period, heavy pruning scars healed reasonably well.

The tree was lifted in 2011 and further  root pruning and development undertaken to form a main structure including anchoring down of main branches.

Over the last 3-4 years this tree ( in this pot)  has been subjected to heavy “hedge trim” pruning as advocated by Walter Pall which has increased fine branch density immensely - the profile of the tree being reduced by up to 4 inches (10 cm) most times.

There is a mass of fine twigs under all those leaves that need serious attention in order for this tree to improve to a higher standard and to present a worthy, leafless, winter image.

Bit of a clunky pot I know but about the right size imo. Looks OK from the other side as well.

Height is around 2 ft / 60 cm and nebari spread about 4 in/ 10 cm

Early stage practitioners please note – 14 years from a rather substantial stick-in--a pot to this.
 




Thanks
 
TimR
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  Vlad on Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:56 pm

wabashene wrote:Hi,
Haven’t posted in ages.

Never mind. This post has made it up more than enough.

Nicely documented development of the tree.  The mass of folliage and the flared trunk look quite impresive.  Can't wait to see the winter silhouette...

For a similar maple tree I would select a pot of similar length but  more shallow one  ( providing there is a reasonably flat rootball... )

Would you please share with us the pictures with the changing color in the autumn later on?
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Post  John Quinn on Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:31 pm

Very satisfying to bring along a stick in a pot into a nice tree. Thanks for sharing.

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Post  BrendanR on Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:12 pm

Very very nice.  Show us more trees! ThumbsUp

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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  wabashene on Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:11 am

Here's an early spring picture - just emerged from under a foot of snow.

Needs a bit of a trim and about ready for a final pot methinks.

Thanks

TimR

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Post  BobbyLane on Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:51 am

Thats looking very good, nice progression too. do you have native trees too? love to see em Very Happy
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  wabashene on Tue Mar 06, 2018 11:58 am

Yes I do have natives Bobby , apart from my acers - all of them more or less and have posted the odd one on here over the years.

Couple of ex Harry Harrington trees, along with 2 chunky-ish oaks - 1 collected and 1 from an acorn, 5 hawthorns (2 small 2 medium and 1 large), some larch, loniceras Bag Gold a big beech and a scattering of odds and sods including a big ligustrum/privet.

If you do a wabashene post/topic search you'll find a few of them.  Should post some updates I guess or fakebook 'em or whatever.

Have very much cut down on bonsai activity on and off-line as I'm a grandad now but me and the trees I still have are well looked after.

:-)

thks

TimR
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Post  BobbyLane on Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:56 pm

ah yes, i remember commenting on one or two of your posts in the past now. good stuff, keep up the good work Cool
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  Clicio on Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:04 pm

wabashene wrote:
Early stage practitioners please note – 14 years from a rather substantial stick-in--a pot to this.
 



Wow. The results show your patience and dedication.
Congrats!
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  Richard S on Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:24 pm

Nice progression with excellent results!

Definitely worthy of a nicer/more complimentary pot.

Out of interest how easy is Katsura to develop as bonsai? It looks to have quite fine foliage and small buds. Is it apically dominant or is it one of those maples where the top is weak? Also can it stand full sun or does it need shade etc?

I only ask because I'd love to develop some more Japanese maples myself but there are a bewildering array available in UK nurseries but rarely the varieties that are typical of imported bonsai.

Katsura is quite common though so judging by your results that might be worth the investment.

Regards

Richard
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  wabashene on Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:32 pm

Hi Richard.
 
I have a selection of acers - this Katsura, a Kiyohime, a Seigen (pink)  an Arakawa (rough bark), a Bloodgood, Sango Kaku (Coral Bark) and a couple of non-specific types which I refer to as Acer Palmatum Communus Gardenii.  
 
All sit fully exposed in  south facing garden areas BUT the ones out front get early to late afternoon sun and out the back they get early morning/mid afternoon sun due to housing/fencing orientation.
 
In my opinion the few days/week or 2 of intense sun we get in the UK is unlikely to mean that you would ever need major sun shading but don't go out of your way to put them in full sun all day -especially in a small pot - as lack of watering in high temps will do major damage.
 
Apart from this Katsura, most are  in big training pots or the garden border pending lifting, and a look-see for potential further development.
 
Have found the Katsura relatively straightforward in development with no pronounced weakness in the apex.

Kiyohime have a weak apex supposedly but I haven't noticed as I cut my one in the ground right back each year with no ill effect.

 
As you will see from this thread I have adopted the hedge-trim approach as advocated by Walter Pall (in the main) with all of them. This entails a savage cut back of the extended shoots in late May-ish and sometimes another in late Sept-ish. I go right back into old wood with full monty hedge shears leaving the trees leafless more or less and reducing the overall profile by maybe up to 6 inches in some cases.

If you're going to buy a nursery tree , look for a good trunk thickness and root base with a low down, unobtrusive graft - as grafted it most probably will be.

I found this Katsura for 25 quid iirc in the bargain sell-off area of a Berkshire nursery. It was pretty substantial but has still been 15 years in development to get this far. Most of the original branches were removed and the tree was 80%  re-grown. Have been lucky as the graft union has not become distorted as can sometimes happen due to differential growth rates between the root stock and grafted-on scion.

 
I would avoid the fancy lacy leaved, and/or variegated types and do not overlook native types like Acer Campestre which you could probably find as hedge stock in the right place.
 
Hope this ramble helps
 
Thks
 
TimR
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  Richard S on Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:52 pm

Thanks that's really helpful!

If your Katsura's grafted you certainly can't tell from the photos. Ugly grafts are without doubt one of the biggest problems with general nursery stock. Most of them are shockingly bad.

I do already have several Japanese maples and field maples but you can never have too many bonsai or potential bonsai can you (although as I have discovered already you can easily have too little space to keep them all in  Rolling Eyes ).

Anyway, I think I'll keep my eyes open for a Katsura. If your going to invest the time required to develop a tree from raw material it's as well to start with something you know can deliver in the long run and your example has certainly proved itself worth the effort.

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

Richard
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  Thomas Urban on Mon Mar 19, 2018 10:59 am

Great tree and great results!

I have the same problem here, I just want a standard Palmatum! Is that so hard to ask! Apparently yes as all the nurseries I go to around town have a plethora of horribly grafted cultivars, I feel like this is a species that just isn't meant to be for me but I will keep on searching. The best alternative I thought of is to find one in a garden somewhere and air-layer but I still haven't found that.


Richard - I do already have several Japanese maples and field maples but you can never have too many bonsai or potential bonsai can you (although as I have discovered already you can easily have too little space to keep them all in
- I have the same problem, just space Very Happy
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  JudyB on Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:45 pm

This tree is wonderful in leaf! And the documentation from where it started is really nice, good to show how long it really takes, and you've moved this one on quite fast.
Just as a curiosity, do you ever wire your tree? It appears that it has amazing ramification but has not had any shaping with wire.

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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  wabashene on Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:10 pm

Hi Judy

It's been 80% "clip and grow" more or less - often with hedge shears as mentioned already ad nauseum

The main lower branches were wired down to develop a flatter plane for 3 -4 years whilst in the ground and in a pond basket  and there's a bit of wire scarring evident

Will certainly need some finer detailed work with wire and pruning to achieve a really 1st class look - if I ever get the patience - but a good start imo.

I don't like the triple under/over looking branch bottom right for instance.

On a scale of 1-5, I'd put this about a 3, with 5 being club competition/show ready and that may be over stating it.

The long, straight juvenile shoots are making it look a little immature particularly when leafless.

A lot of these will need to be removed, branch extensions selected and then wiring into a more mature looking shape.

Thanks.

TimR
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Re: ACER KATSURA FROM SCRATCH

Post  JudyB on Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:26 pm

Thanks very much for that explanation. I agree, the tree is very nice and will be so fabulous once you get it detailed. I'm in much the same state with one of my bigger maples, so that is why I'm asking the question. I have a big wiring planned after leaf harden this year.
regards-J

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