Growth/architectural pruning advice(NEWB)

Discussion in 'Maples' started by Dandiestpanic, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    Hey there,
    I'd like to start off by saying that typically any interests I have I do my best to research on my own and avoid reaching out.

    Unfortunately for you all, every time I searched for information and this forum popped up, the posts I read were all so sincere, genuinely nice 20210419_194945.jpg and ridiculously open/friendly that after the twentieth time of stumbling onto another topic here I decided to bite the bullet and ask for some help or clarification. Again, you people are too welcoming and generally understanding.

    You brought this on yourselves, really.

    After all of that hot air I'll try and keep the balloon animal tiny.

    I have a couple of smaller Japanese maples, off shoots from a friend's plant, not grafted, but pretty, I like them and they were free.
    Kept them in pots for a bit and then kicked them back into the earth. I buried them in their pots through a winter and then bare backed them into the ground a year later. No fancy soil stuff, just straight in. After doing some reading for this new one I was given, I'm amazed they survived.

    Another friend randomly snagged up another "Japanese red maple" for me. Probably stands around roughly five feet. Chunked it in the ground the a few days ago.

    I'm not attempting to Peter pan them and keep them small, I honestly am hoping they get to a decent size, I would however like to nudge them into a vaguely similar appearance.

    Alright. After all of that, I've read so many opposing thoughts and opinions, completely polar opposite, some meeting in the middle, etc. I just want a little bit of guidance. My questions are;

    For the new tree,
    Should I do nothing at all and just let it stretch out and relax from being crowded in Lowe's for who knows how long and give it time to just take a breath and chill out?

    There are some branches and leaves that severely crowd each other. Action?

    The main trunk comes up and then out of no where explodes into four other branches(is this the correct way to describe?)

    There were four (two on either side) off shoots coming off of the trunk two inches or so above the base, I had read enough to where I felt confident to cut off two of those on one side and another up higher that sprouted directly under another branch, severely crowded. Then figured that was enough trauma, along with rubbing off some buds and sprouts here and there to give it a break.

    I won't inquire about my other two plants for the time being. This is already infinitely more than I am comfortable asking.

    I want to say thank you all for having me, I do greatly appreciate it regardless of whether I have any answers or not.

    Here's some crappy picture of the congested big guy.
     

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  2. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    Also I suck at life and have horrible signal and no ability to get internet where I live. I apologize. I am not sure why or how i messed up posting the pictures but, again, sorry and hopefully here are the rest. Taken in a hurry.
     

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  3. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    Also cant edit my posts in time because of the internet bit. Really feeling the dolt here. This is my last addition.

    This has been friggin brutal...

    Pictures include the trunk terminating into the four branches, a leader is one of those four I suppose.
    The remaining off shoot at the bottom and an over all (crap) view of the fella. I like the direction it has so far, i do want to add more motion and reach/stretch over time, but there is a lot of crowding and not sure if I should just leave it to grow and do its thing or if I should cut back and maybe even cut below those four pieces and let it go from there. And again, so many conflicting opinions as far as timing, I think some of them are saying this is the perfect time to do lop and chop, some seem to say just do a bit of clean up and prettify it, others I read hint at just letting it sprout and branch all over the place like a couple of teenagers alone for the first time and not even think of interrupting them for another year or two.
    That's it. I'm done. If anyone read any of this I'm amazed.
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    @Dandiestpanic good morning and welcome to the Maples forum, that was very kind of you to mention the members and how welcoming they are. I am certain it is well appreciated by all.
    Next to your new trees. You asked if they should be pruned now. IMO I would leave them to grow naturally for this year at least. Then in 2022 around the end of June you can carry out some shaping, 'if necessary'.
    The thing you want to be looking for is any crossing branches or rubbing branches that can cause bark to rub off and so allow infection into the tree. Obviously any dead or diseased branches can be removed at anytime of the year.
    What you should be looking for IMO is an open tree to allow light and air to circulate, so many trees suffer a lot of dead wood inside through nothing more than a lack of light.

    So, I would leave them for this year and ensure they get enough water and let them settle and thrive. If they were mine and I had the room, then they would be left to do their own thing. They look so good in their own natural shape.

    Hope thats of help.
     
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  5. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    Wonderful! Thank you again for the reply and patience to put up with the rambling and jumbled mess of a post.

    So no real concern for the four branches forming next to each other and the termination(?) Of the main trunk?

    I definitely want it to have it's own growth and an ability to do what it wants to naturally, but I am curious about experimenting with one of them to add a hint of the "bonsai" aesthetic, subdued.

    Thank you once more for your time. I hope I havent come off as showing up to a cook out uninvited and jumping into the deep end of someone else's pool

    -Henry
     

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  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good evening H, I would leave them alone this year and let the trees settle, but if you want to remove a stem from the four you have shown, then remove the one that is going to go inwards or that in a couple of years will cross another branch. An open structure is the order of the day.
    But don't do it now, wait until the end of June, that is when I carry out aesthetic pruning. If you do it now it will bleed and this IMO is not good for the tree. It's only a couple of months to wait and if you have any questions when you are going to do it, then come back on the forum with a set of photos of your tree how it is then and I'm certain members will help.

    D
     
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  7. Shin-Deshojo

    Shin-Deshojo Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome to the forums,
    As you mention bonsai esthetics,
    There is a rule/trick, when you have 3 or more branches from the same node you always keep only two, otherwise it will form a conicity inversion by inflating and that will look bad after a few years, but it doesn't apply that much on garden trees I guess.
    I do that on my ornamental trees when I have time to prune them, once you learn it, it's hard to not do it.
    It also helps to have good continuity of esthetic branching and can help to not have cross branching etc like @Acerholic mentioned.
     
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  8. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    @Acerholic Alright, wonderful. Thank you again. A question of curiosity/clarity for myself, not a question of doubt, but for my area June is when it starts hitting some of our hottest spans, is that still around the time I should do a snip or so if it came to it? Either way I will definitely be checking back in and posting better pictures.

    @Shin-Deshojo so in that context it is less regarding the thought if wiring the "prettier" branch and hoping to train it away from crossing/interfering and more about leaving the two branches that are already growing away from interference on it's own? As I've told @Acerholic, the same goes to you. I really appreciate you taking the time to read and offer the advice, thank you.

    And these I'm growing more for an attempt at large ornamental/focal direction if that makes sense?
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Of course H, I should have said at the start of Summer, which is probably slightly different to me. So for you the end of May would be better.
     
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  10. Shin-Deshojo

    Shin-Deshojo Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your kind words @Dandiestpanic ,
    It is normal to help each other and interact when it comes to japanese maples : )
    I was very kindly welcomed aswell when i first posted here.
    This is just how we(you) are and IMO the whole world need more friendly and peacefull behaviours between each others when you see how the things are going on at any level of the society.

    It does make sense.
    First let me tell you that i am not native english speaker and that unfortunately sometimes my posts don't translate exactly what i mean to say, at least not so clearly as i am limited in my vocabulary and you will notice it takes me ages to reply...

    I am not particulary experimented in bonsai but i do read a lot and try to share what i experimented by myself and learned from books, videos and poeple on forums...

    I didn't mention the fact of selecting branches and intending to work them the way it should be to get visual attraction and control over them to archive what it can be done in bonsai or niwaki.

    My advice was just about conicity inversion , but if you want to go further...of course you should also apply this technique by mixing it with selecting the best branches and train them by 'clip and grow' to give them the direction and shape you want over the time.

    When selecting the 2 branches you will keep out of 5 for example, you do it for the first purpose i mentionned and at the same time you can choose the prettier or the ones that are going to the direction you want.
    You can shorten them back to a better previous node to remove a flaw so you restart at a better point.
    That rule of only 2 branches is also the way to get good balanced and fine structure at the end of each branches allowing the tree to get light, air and aerated structure when looking at the whole tree.

    I am a bit lost in my explanation but I do hope it made at least a little sense lol.

    Have a look at this video if you have time:



    He speak in Japanese but I am sure you will understand him better than reading me...lol.
     
  11. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    Haha that was what I assumed @Acerholic , but still felt I should make sure and I'm sure you know how that saying goes about assuming things. Thank you for confirming for me.

    (Cant figure out how to add a second quote, but this is in regards to the helping and being nice etc.)
    @Shin-Deshojo I appreciate you saying this, and I cannot agree more. I feel it is so much easier to treat people with respect and to be kind and generally friendly. I feel being mean or rude takes far far more energy. I suppose I just dont understand the majority of people very well. I am very glad to have met the two of you here. Even if it is just for plants and such, you and @Acerholic have been refreshing to exchange words with.

    But anyways @Shin-Deshojo I think your English is more than understood and your points are very well conveyed. I understand your meaning and will attempt to see if I can translate it real time to one of my little trees in the future! Not before watching that video though haha.
    Thank you again for taking the time for me. I appreciate any tid bits and tips. I do understand they look amazing naturally and intend to keep most of them free to do their own growing. But I do want to experiment with one or two to encourage a larger more bonsai oriented growth. (Curving and spreading). I am receiving an Orangeola today at some point I am excited for.

    I'll be adding more pictures. Sorry for the late replies all.

    Thanks again for patience and time taken to respond to my questions.

    -H
     
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  12. Shin-Deshojo

    Shin-Deshojo Well-Known Member

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    Hi H, you won't be disapointed with Orangeola in full sun.
    Excellent choice!
    Again...thank you for your kind words.
     
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  13. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Now that sounds like another member of the maple holics club. Lol. A great choice H, you will not regret it one bit.
     
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  14. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    So very kind H and you will find everyone on this forum extremely friendly. Very pleased that you are now in our maple community..
     
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  15. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    The orangeola looks pretty amazing, I'm excited. Thank you guys!
    Quick question, supposed to be possible frost tonight, should I hold off on putting that thing on the ground? It's been on a truck for a day or two so a little worried.

    Also I have some hardwood mulch and some organic potting soil/worm casings I was going to mix into my semi-clayish soil. Is that fine or should I get some fertilizer as well?

    Thank you all again, sorry this one didbt have any personal bits to it, but just got off work and rushing at the moment.
     
  16. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Good evening H, yes hold off. It will be under stress as it is. Don't add to it with a frost.
    Regarding amending the soil, this is quite a hot topic on the forum and some say yes, and others say no. The science as it is atm says 'not' to amend.
    I have amended my clay soil over a period of 40 + years, with compost, peat and grit. I did this due to my parents who lived only 50 yards away from us, lost a lot of maples in this soil. I was not going to let that happen to my babies.... So I amend and all has been fine for my trees for a few decades.
    But as I said, the science says not to do this. So it is really your choice.
    Do have a look at Dr Linda Chalker Scott online. She explains her position on amending soil and then H it is up to you.
    Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

    D
     
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  17. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    Thank you D, that's also what I thought, but after I've been reading so many different things and so many conflicting thoughts and instructions I am constantly doubting myself at this point. So thank you again. I promise I'll leave you all alone for a bit at some point. I should leave it outside though (covered) to let it adjust yes? Or should I keep it inside and let it crash on the couch until the the weather normalizes.

    -H
     
  18. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Crash on the couch definatly, lol.

    Seriously though, as long as it's protected from frosts that will be fine.
     
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  19. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    A very intyeresting video. I just watched part of it, but I noticed :

    1/ as you said, when there are 3 branches, only 2 are left
    2/ pruning is done when the tree is in full leaves
    3/ he applies cut paste on some of the bigger cuts (see for instance around 8'10" and on)
     
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  20. Shin-Deshojo

    Shin-Deshojo Well-Known Member

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    Good morning A,
    Glad you liked the video.

    Not sure what to say about your 3 points.
    Everything seems ok to me, maybe except the use of cute paste that can be or have been debated and I know a lot of members here are against it...as I use it in bonsai and believe it somehow works...I am ok when I see that on an ornamental maple...but again, I am new to this world so I can be wrong.
     
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  21. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    Hey there all.
    All two haha.

    Sorry for the lack of updates, here's a quick run down;
    Tucked the little fella in and let him watch movies and hang out for the night, made sure he knew it wasn't going to be a normal thing.

    Did a mix of organic potting soil and tree tone, can't remember the brand off hand. Did less than half the recommended dosage.

    Mixed, filled, set the tiny tiny tiny root ball in there, filled. Mulched ontop, kept away from base.

    Watered and then it rained. Ground is crazy soggy and more mud than anything else. Wish I'd mixed maybe more rocks in and chunky potting soil to help it drain a bit better, but I was super nervous.

    Pics to come later hopefully!
    Thank you all again.
     
  22. Acerholic

    Acerholic Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout Maple Society

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    Sounds good H, look forward to the photos. And remember what I said on the PM a few minutes ago.
     
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  23. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    It seems he only applies a very thin layer. That's very different from the "sealing" wax one can buy in a garden center.
    Some bonsai enthusiasts use glue for wood, or the kind of aluminium sticking tape used by plumbers, and I saw a video of a Chinese grafting Ginkgos and using candle wax on the cuts.
     
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  24. AlainK

    AlainK Generous Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society 10 Years

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    That can be a problem : maples like to have wet feet, but not a soaking soil. In "Bonsailand", the rule is "free-draining mix".

    Right. But if by "rocks" you mean rocks like pebbles, or very hard, non-retaining rocks, and the "chunky potting soil" retains a lot of water and expands when wet, then the mix will be compacted following periods of dry/wet weather.

    Try to get lava rock, or pumice if you can, and add only about 30% "chunky" organic soil.

    My 2 €uro cents...
     
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  25. Dandiestpanic

    Dandiestpanic New Member

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    @AlainK thank you for that!
    I do appreciate you tossing in your bits, they all add up for me.

    In regards to rocks, yes to more pebbles less boulders. I'm not really sure why I never even took a moment to consider the whole, "chunkier" soil + water = expansion/compaction. Totally makes sense. Seems obvious. Definitely didn't even register in my mind.

    I think it's alright for now, the other younger plants have survived just fine in it without any amendments or coddling, just been a bit paranoid and over doing it with these newest ones. I will be getting some lava rock though. I dont see how a little extra drainage would hurt.

    Here's a few pictures, top to bottom (hopefully) will be the newest Orangeola, looking a little bleak.
    The palmatum that I originally was asking about.
    And then the two originals, just off shoots from a big Japanese maple. Not sure what type it was or if it was grafted.
     

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