What to do with this maple?

Forum for discussion of Deciduous bonsai – Maples, Crabapple, Hornbeam, Elm species etc.
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by greg27 »

Max wrote: April 26th, 2020, 2:08 am what are the black marks down the trunk?
Not sure, here's a clearer shot of it (flash photography, sorry)
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by TimS »

Possibly a bit of sunburn on the trunk there, not the end of the world.
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by Raging Bull »

The grow-box you made.. is the bottom a chipboard or MDF of some kind? If it is,- just a word of warning: As it soaks up the water it will fall to pieces very quickly. :o I would use treated pine fence palings to nail to the bottom instead.
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by one_bonsai »

I'm no expert on Maples, but the nebari doesn't look good and it's probably not fixable. So wouldn't you ground layer it?
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by greg27 »

Raging Bull wrote: April 26th, 2020, 12:26 pm The grow-box you made.. is the bottom a chipboard or MDF of some kind? If it is,- just a word of warning: As it soaks up the water it will fall to pieces very quickly. :o I would use treated pine fence palings to nail to the bottom instead.
Hi Frank, yep it's MDF - some bits I picked up for free. I know it won't last forever, hopefully just as long as I need it. The price was right so all good if it falls apart!
one_bonsai wrote: April 26th, 2020, 2:05 pm I'm no expert on Maples, but the nebari doesn't look good and it's probably not fixable. So wouldn't you ground layer it?
Yea I'm thinking sorting that out is phase 2. This poor tree doesn't have much going for it!
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by greg27 »

I'm in the brief window where this tree has leaves that haven't been burnt to a crisp by even the tiniest hint of sun.

I'm thinking of two air layers - one on the main trunk to get a shorter tree with less boring straightness, and another a bit higher up just for the sake of getting more trees. See below for my very technical and accurate drawing of this. Hopefully the trunk below the lower layer will shoot and I can do something with that too.

Would doing both layers at once be a bit much?
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by juan73870 »

I think it looks healthy enough to be able to handle it, although I say it looks healthy from the photos - doesn't mean I'm right :?
Well done getting it back on track though, compared to the first posts it looks a lot better 👌😎👍
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by Akhi »

As you are sentimentally attaches to this and only recently moved it, suggest you allow it to grow unhindered this year and think about doing anything - I mean anything other than feeding and watering to the next year.
And as a design instead of going all out and chopping why don’t you try a broom?
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by shibui »

Multiple layers at the same time is no problem. We have found that each layer does seem to need leaves to feed the new roots and that's what your drawing shows so it should be achievable.
The tree looks healthy enough to make layers to me. It does not usually take maples long to get over transplant and I don't think layers are really taxing on a tree.
BTW. Don't be fooled into thinking that layers are a 100% certainty. We are working with living things and sometimes no matter how well the job is performed one or 2 just don't work.
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by greg27 »

I decided to just get on with layering this one. It's still looking really healthy and has put on a lot of new growth, so fingers crossed. If the worst happens and the layers fail, or the whole tree dies, I won't be too upset.
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by greg27 »

I must've done something to please the bonsai gods (or maybe it's because I followed the advice of you lovely knowledgeable folk) cos this thing is finally loving life. I had a cheeky peek at one of the layers and things are looking positive there too.

There's even a convenient little shoot popping out just below the first layer.

Thanks all :tu:
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by shibui »

Isn't it great when all the theory actually comes to be.

Well done.

Just keep an eye on the layers from now through to separation. I find that after roots start the layers begin to dry out much faster as the new roots will be taking water from the moss to feed the new tree. Check regularly to see there is condensation inside the plastic and add water if it looks to be drying. Dry roots are not happy I have discovered.
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by greg27 »

Since the weather was so mild, and there seemed to be plenty of roots, I separated these a few weeks ago. The two layers have both put on new growth so all seems to be going well so far.
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Re: What to do with this maple?

Post by Watto »

Good result, congrats.
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