When to chop Maple?

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:24 am

sun not shade. your question brings up something I often get frustrated with. They say for trees in general to protect them from temps in the 40s once roots have been disturbed yet it seems to me if you waited till 40 degree nights are gone, then the trees are in full leaf. Also moving them into and out of the garage etc.. disturbs the roots. hopefully someone has opinions on this. Of course if you had a greenhouse you could just pot them up and stick them in there and not worry about it. One advantage of the wooden boxes over plastic if you have the money or time is that when picking them up to move them they do not torque/bend and hence would be less likely to damage any fine root hairs. Despite this I use plastic and nothing has died from this torquing. I sometimes use 2 tubs nested inside one another for extra rigidness.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  lordy on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:13 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:sun not shade. your question brings up something I often get frustrated with. They say for trees in general to protect them from temps in the 40s once roots have been disturbed yet it seems to me if you waited till 40 degree nights are gone, then the trees are in full leaf. Also moving them into and out of the garage etc.. disturbs the roots. hopefully someone has opinions on this. Of course if you had a greenhouse you could just pot them up and stick them in there and not worry about it. One advantage of the wooden boxes over plastic if you have the money or time is that when picking them up to move them they do not torque/bend and hence would be less likely to damage any fine root hairs. Despite this I use plastic and nothing has died from this torquing. I sometimes use 2 tubs nested inside one another for extra rigidness.
At this point in our collective east-ish locale, with the temps for the next 2 weeks predicted to be at or above 70 I would not bother with taking trees back in at night. Mine are out at least 3 weeks earlier this year than last only because of the warmer temps. **caveat** my trees are kept outdoors all year with only a wind break and mulch as winter protection.
I would also be more safe than sorry and put anything I've worked the roots on in the shade for a couple of weeks. Virginia has a bit longer season than me, and this is a marathon not a sprint, right? What's the rush? Is it worth possibly harming the tree? Probably wouldnt, but patience might pay off, and certainly wouldnt hurt.
Boon did a pretty hard prune on one of my Tridents 3 years ago I think, while in leaf, and there was no bleeding at all. I put cut paste on it, and after one year there was probably 1/4" of callous all the way around the two major limbs he removed (limbs may have been 1" diameter).

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  drgonzo on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:23 pm

lordy wrote:At this point in our collective east-ish locale, with the temps for the next 2 weeks predicted to be at or above 70 I would not bother with taking trees back in at night.

Its funny you should say that as I got up in the middle of the night and I happened to glance at my indoor/outdoor and noticed it was JUST above freezing outside when at midnight, when I went to bed last night, it was still in the 50's ...Out I dashed (4am) to grab my Trident, who's just leafing out, and bring her in...

My wife has learned to just accept this sort of madness...bless Very Happy
-Jay

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:27 pm

the reason I say sun is because the soil will warm up better and help the roots. The trees I am talking about are trees that have not leafed out yet. brent waltson at evergreens garden works says something along the lines of, as long as the leaves have not opened you dont need to worry about putting it in shade after root work because the damaged roots will just open whatever buds they can and if there is not enough root then just fewer buds will open (but there will still be plenty). But I agree with you that trees in leaf need protection from the sun when their roots are worked on.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:12 pm

Full sun it is.

Going back to what Marty suggested, there is a branch about a foot and a half up or so. What if I chopped the tree there now, then come late spring I use the buds that pop from that chop and chop the tree even lower?

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:20 pm

Ryan wrote:Full sun it is.

Going back to what Marty suggested, there is a branch about a foot and a half up or so. What if I chopped the tree there now, then come late spring I use the buds that pop from that chop and chop the tree even lower?
I would chop once...preferably after buds formed but before the leaves are out. Do not disturb the roots unless you have to. In your case, you have a reason (to put the tile and improve your nebari) so do it at the same time. Do the root cuts strategically, weaken/chop the strongest to give the weaker ones a chance as the tree compensates. You might have to do this a few times over the years. Avoid cutting the weak roots now if possible.

Good luck!

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:47 pm

Poink88 wrote:
Ryan wrote:Full sun it is.

Going back to what Marty suggested, there is a branch about a foot and a half up or so. What if I chopped the tree there now, then come late spring I use the buds that pop from that chop and chop the tree even lower?
I would chop once...preferably after buds formed but before the leaves are out. Do not disturb the roots unless you have to. In your case, you have a reason (to put the tile and improve your nebari) so do it at the same time. Do the root cuts strategically, weaken/chop the strongest to give the weaker ones a chance as the tree compensates. You might have to do this a few times over the years. Avoid cutting the weak roots now if possible.

Good luck!

So then are you suggesting I do cut the roots or I don't?

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Poink88 on Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:49 pm

Ryan wrote:
Poink88 wrote:
I would chop once...preferably after buds formed but before the leaves are out. Do not disturb the roots unless you have to. In your case, you have a reason (to put the tile and improve your nebari) so do it at the same time. Do the root cuts strategically, weaken/chop the strongest to give the weaker ones a chance as the tree compensates. You might have to do this a few times over the years. Avoid cutting the weak roots now if possible.

Good luck!

So then are you suggesting I do cut the roots or I don't?
Read my original message Wink

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Jesse on Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:19 pm

This has been a very good and informative thread. Thanks to all who have contributed.

This quote by Jay just made me laugh, hehe.
drgonzo wrote:...when I went to bed last night, it was still in the 50's ...Out I dashed (4am) to grab my Trident, who's just leafing out, and bring her in...

My wife has learned to just accept this sort of madness...bless Very Happy
-Jay

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:10 pm

ryan, as poiken says, just cut once. If you cut down to the existing branch and leave it, you will not get as much budding down low because you will still be having a shoot apical meristem preventing budding from occurring lower on the trunk. and also by chopping it twice in the same season you will really weaken the tree because it will put all that energy into growth that you would have to then chop off again, the roots can only send out so much food to the tree to make growth in one season. Besides, as i mentioned earlier you will have more than enough shoots to chose from for a leader if you chop real low.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:23 pm

Thanks everyone. I'll chop the tree this weekend and reduce the rootball by at least 50-60%. Now I just need to find a suitable container to plant it in.

Ryan
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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:41 pm

Here are some rootball shots, showing lots of healthy, growing roots:




There's about a foot of rootball.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:43 pm

take a saw and cut the bottom 60 percent of the root ball off for starters, otherwise youll never be able to tease out those roots up above.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Dave Murphy on Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:33 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:take a saw and cut the bottom 60 percent of the root ball off for starters, otherwise youll never be able to tease out those roots up above.
...what he said...

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  bucknbonsai on Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:36 pm

Dave, im saying 60% now and then even more once the top 40% are untangled

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Dave Murphy on Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:05 am

bucknbonsai wrote:Dave, im saying 60% now and then even more once the top 40% are untangled
I agree completely...that's how I have attacked pretty much all of the root bound nursery stock I've re-potted in the past. I'll do the same with conifers, but I'll be a bit more judicious reducing the remaining 40% as compared to a tree like a trident maple.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:39 pm

Thanks for the input everyone!

Something someone else suggested on another forum is that instead of chopping the tree, I scar the side that has little to no surface roots, bury it, then wait for roots to sprout there. I then chop it once roots have formed.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  lordy on Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:46 pm

Have you been to NoVa's bonsai club meeting? It's in Arlington on Saturdays I believe. Cut the trunk short enough to get it into a vehicle, and take it to them. There are some very accomplished and very easy to talk with people there who can give you some help and direction. They've been there.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Poink88 on Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:55 pm

Ryan,

Note that there are different ways to achieve the same end result. You can do this one at a time; concentrate on the roots or trunk/branch first. You can also do it the same time. The choice is ultimately yours to make. You need to decide soon though.

If you observed well enough, your countless experiments with ficus should give you some idea what the tree will go through and how it will react/respond. It is (in most part) the same, just much slower so you will need more patience. Wink

Good luck!

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:24 pm

Very true Dario, good point.

Well, I went ahead and chopped and did rootwork today. I reduced the rootball by half and chopped the tree down low. And just in the knick of time, too, as the tree was just starting to push leaves:


My only concern is that not all of the rootball is covered at the surface. I ran out of turface and am. unable to get some until Monday. Hope this doesn't cause problems. Check out the pictures below.

Bought a concrete mixer:


Drilled holes in it, then covered them with netting:



Then chopped the rootball:


Removed that root that was too big:


And potted it up and watered it:



Ryan
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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  lordy on Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:20 pm

looks good for the soil level. Now sit back and wait for buds. Check for moistness about 1/2 to 1 inch down. ( I would soak it good now and wait 3 or 4 days to check again) It wont use much water until it has leaves. No fertilizer for a month or so.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:56 am

Thanks Lordy.

At what temperatures should I bring this guy in at? We're supposed to get into the low 50s tonight, I assume that's probably fine?

Ryan
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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  lordy on Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:40 am

Unless we get some weird cold snap, I think you're good for the season. I have all mine out, and for good. Yours already leafed out so it's ready to be out for the duration. Put the pot on the ground so that IF we get a frost or freeze the ground will moderate the temp of the soil. I'd think you could put the pot in the sun so the roots would be warmer and possibly accelerate recuperation. The sun wont be of direct aid to the trunk but the warmth may also help it push buds quicker. Now comes the patience thing with bonsai.

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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:45 am

lordy wrote:Unless we get some weird cold snap, I think you're good for the season. I have all mine out, and for good. Yours already leafed out so it's ready to be out for the duration. Put the pot on the ground so that IF we get a frost or freeze the ground will moderate the temp of the soil. I'd think you could put the pot in the sun so the roots would be warmer and possibly accelerate recuperation. The sun wont be of direct aid to the trunk but the warmth may also help it push buds quicker. Now comes the patience thing with bonsai.

Forgot you were reasonably close to me. Good advice about the roots being warmed up. I'm hoping since it's in a black container that will help absorb the heat.

Ryan
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Re: When to chop Maple?

Post  Ryan on Sat Mar 31, 2012 7:35 pm

I noticed a bud starting to push, right down where a branch used to be but was cut off. Hoping it continues to push Dance

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Re: When to chop Maple?

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