Update Japanese Red Maple

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Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  moyogijohn on Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:59 pm


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Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  moyogijohn on Fri Mar 16, 2012 10:02 pm

O K,,,This is as far as i could go with the pruning !!!!! how is it ???take care john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  Jishwa on Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:09 am

Very cool. I just got an acer palmatum bloodgood that was maybe 2 years old about 24" tall. I planted it a month ago in a regular pot to train it before I transfer it to a bonsai pot. I chopped maybe 10" off the trunck, hardly any sap bleed so I think I did it the right time of year. I have buds but none are opening with leaves. I could use any adivse you have on what I should do to promote healthy living for it... I used a mixture of potting soil and small gravel and some generic bonsai soil then added a little bit of organic Azelea food since I heard they like slightly acidic soil.

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Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  moyogijohn on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:18 am

Thank you Jishwa,,I like the way the tree looks now.. I would not use too much regular potting soil,make sure it drains good..do you have the tree outside in the sun??? it should be putting out growth where you are.. can you post a picture for us ?? i would not repot again this year....good luck take care john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  RKatzin on Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:00 am

Hi John, Please, do not think anything negative into what I'm saying here, I sincerely want to help with this tree. The consensus gave the quick fix for this tree, but I see you have chosen the path of learning through a more intimate relation with the tree and perhaps maples in general. So let me give you a heads up on what to keep an eye out for. As you watch these things develop you will learn all about maples, especially what not to do, or rather, what not to let develop.

Let's walk through some of what you have set up. Take the very top structure. A straight stick with no taper dividing into two leaders. That is one of three stems emanating from the end of a long taperless trunk. You also left a new straight extension between the two at the top.

So where's the problem? The two stems at the top are going to go off and by mid summer will be the size of the green part of the stem below and everything below that will respond in kind. You have three of these feeders that divide the end of that trunk and that will form into a huge inverse taper, as will the two at the top.

If you insist on keeping the three main trunks you must cut them back to a taper. For instance, if you want to leave the top up that high, I would remove both the big leaders and the center stem leaving only the little one pointing away in the pic. I still don't like that straight stem in the top of the tree.

Coming down that trunk, you need to eliminate the inverse taper forming at the junction of the three big stems. You see John, I would have just taken that whole configuration back hard. The smallest stems you have left are the size you want on the tree to grow out. You have to work back through the bigger pieces to get branches with movement and taper. That straight chunky stuff just will not ever look right, they just get bigger and blockier the older they get. Eliminate them all now and do not let them develop, which means cutting them out before they get going.

Perhaps you can see why so many suggested starting from scratch. When you're done cutting out the straight pieces and the forked trunks you're left with a heavily scarred, mediocre trunk at best. Live and learn, John, I know I did, spend a few years trying to fix what I should have chopped to the ground in the first place, and I did end up going that way. It was a good learning experience that cost me a few years of development on a good trunk, but I'm certain you will enjoy the journey, or you could take my word on it and skip the few years interim and get right to growing a good trunk. Best wishes either way, Rick

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Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  moyogijohn on Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:48 pm

RICK,, Thank you for looking and your comments... could you mark on my picture the chop areas you think should be done ???? thank you and how are all your trees comming along ??? I KNOW YOUR ARE BUSY BUSY !!!!! Take care john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  RKatzin on Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:43 pm

Hi John, this tree really is a good teacher. You can read its history like a book. On the center trunk, that three way split was the top of the tree a few years back. That is how what you have left will develop in a few more years.

That three way fork should have been checked a few years back, when it was the size of your new top. Leaving three stems has allowed that portion to gain too much power and it is literally becoming a tree within the tree. Reducing that cluster to only one stem would have kept it in check and taper could have been achieved with some lower sacrifice branches.

This was not done properly in the past, and now you are repeating the same. The virts have been done for you already and I felt they were spot on. When mistakes are made in the past, the only way into the future is to drop back before the mistakes were made and start forward again.

That's a stern statement, I know, but with my limited education I don't know any other way to put it. Some folks with more experience may know of a workaround for a situation like this, but I'm not there yet. I am planning to attend a Japanese Maple workshop in a week with Peter Adams, authur of, 'Bonsai with Japanese Maples' and will certainly bring the subject to the table.

Can I drop in a plug for that workshop, a shout out to all my Northwest neighbors? We need to have at least six participants to go forward and we're still short a couple. Anyone interested can hook up at weetree.com. The workshop is at their Philomath facility, near Corvalis, Or.

Thank you, John. Look at your tree, and read the tale of the years gone by. It is showing you exactly where you are headed. You don't need anyone to tell you, just accept what you see in front of you and take the steps needed to get the tree back on track.

You will be amazed how fast and pleasant the return trip will be. You will have all the root mass pushing all its juice into your new start. I'm telling you, they go off like a Roman Candle! This would be enhanced even more by coming out of that pot and into a good growing format, a box or tub that would accommodate the roots or into the garden. It will come along quickly even as is, but cramped quarters are counter-productive when growing out a tree.

John, if you are going to work with Japanese Maples, you must become familiar with this process of grow and cut, grow and cut, as it is an essential element of growing and maintaining these trees, throughout the entirety of their life. What you see is the nature of these trees and you must take care to avert these developments. You have to keep removing pieces that get too big and replace them with smaller pieces. When these get too big you drop back to the next small twig an start again. The branches are in constant revolution.

I am busy, yes, I had to chuckle when I read some folks are done with their spring roundup cheers . I can honestly say I've got a good start on it, but this is a learning experience for me too, and that is a major part of bonsai also that we must always make time for. Thanks for the opportunity to learn with you, Rick.

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Update: Japanese Red Maple

Post  moyogijohn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:57 pm



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Sorry:( this is better:)....Update: Japanese Red Maple

Post  moyogijohn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:01 pm


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japanese red maple

Post  moyogijohn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:26 pm

HEREIT IS !! After more chopping last night..thank you john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  RKatzin on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:34 pm

TaDa! Bravo John, now we're getting there. I'd still go back to your first branch, then dock it at the first branch and you'll have a nice tapering trunk all the way. Start your first branch off to the right where your wire starts.

You busted me on the virts, and I have to admit I just don't know how to do them. Maybe someone else can pencil that in for you.

Wath out for forks at the ends of your branches, trim them down to one end leaving the smallest stem. They draw too much energy into the base of the split and cause inverse taper there, like we see where you cut out two of the three stems up higher. If you want to leave the top up that high, remove both of the big leaders and leave the little red one.

If you leave it as is you need to correct the inverse taper in that section where the three big stems were. Remove all stems from the swollen area and let some sprout in the narrow part. Keep the section above this trimmed back so as not to feed it from above. Once the narrow swells you can adjust the branches to fit into the overall design.

I still say go back to your first branch, but we'll work it anyway you want to go with it. Rick

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japanese red maple

Post  moyogijohn on Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:40 pm

RICK,, Thank you so much..it took me a long while to do this much... thanks take care john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 19, 2012 12:40 am

take it back to that first branch!

I know you can john! I know you can!
-Jay

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  RKatzin on Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:13 am

I went through the same termoil with my first few maples, wanting keep as much tree as possible and endeavor to 'fix' what I could. If it's a choice between a hundred jabs or a good sock in the jaw, just hit me and be done with it! That's the way I feel about maples now. Just one cut and be done with it, if that's what's called for.

The new trunks develop in less time than the 'fixes', and you get better tree in the end, and you'll always be able to tell. Someone with a keen eye will pick out the scars and go,"Oh, I can see where you tried to fix this, why didn't you just chop it?" Embarassed Git'er done! Rick

PS: I hated hearing that because I really had no valid answer, and I'd thought I'd done a great job on the cover up, LOL

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:25 am

One of the most difficult things for me in learning Bonsai has been knowing when to, and having the confidence to, cut back HARD. And I mean back to stubs. The trees that I started three years ago that I didn't cut back sufficiently are having to be chopped back this year, effectively removing everything I have been doing for the past 3 years. Why? Because its terrible....!

I should have just done it at the beginning and not wasted all this time.

This is the lesson of my experience for whatever its worth to you John.
-Jay

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  coh on Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:42 am

drgonzo wrote:take it back to that first branch!

I know you can john! I know you can!
-Jay

Here's another vote of confidence! You can do it! I suspect you'll eventually be doing the same to the crabapple in the other thread.

It's tough to get used to removing so much material, isn't it? I've only been "doing" bonsai for about a year and a half now so I'm in the same boat. This spring I cut down an 8 foot tall sweetgum to about 8" and it was painful. But I know it had to be done to build the tree I want.

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japanese red maple

Post  moyogijohn on Mon Mar 19, 2012 10:45 pm

THE CHOP IS DONE !!! All of you know what it looks like now,, SO i will post it again after this growing season ok??? thank you all for your help and incouragement !!! Take care john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  drgonzo on Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:47 pm

moyogijohn wrote:THE CHOP IS DONE !!!

YES! YES JOHN!

We all knew you could do it, now in a few years you'll look back at that taper step and you'll know that was the right thing to do.
Well done sir
-Jay

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Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  moyogijohn on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:09 am

Thank you JAY,, We will see how it does,,Lord knows i have done all i can do !!Take care john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

Post  RKatzin on Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:35 am

Good for you John, now in a few years when it's time for the next chop you can take in stride. We're making progress pilgrim Very Happy Now about that crab apple.....

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japanese red maple

Post  moyogijohn on Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:04 am

Thank you RICK,,, We will see what kind of tree we make !! crab apple ??? i just don,t know....thanks take care john

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Re: Update Japanese Red Maple

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