My Larger Maple

A forum dedicated to bonsai, the art of growing dwarfed, ornamentally shaped trees or shrubs in small shallow containers.

Moderators: Forum_mod, Pam, taffyman, DrDuncs

My Larger Maple

Postby taffyman » Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:02 pm

Hey Eric - you stole my title for this topic :lol: (I wasn't quick enough :evil: ) No problem mate - they're only words.

Anyway, I got this one from a Bonsai nursery in Sydney back in about 1992/3 (not sure which). It was a ‘reject’ they were trying to get rid of – I got it for $25.00. It was in an 8 inch black plastic pot and was originally about 18 inches taller than it is now and the trunk was parallel all the way to the top where it had been cut straight across. There were only three reasonably thick branches on it and a couple of little twigs.
I have some earlier photos of it but I can’t find them at the moment. When I do, I’ll scan them and post as an edit to this topic.

I’ll use the fourth photo to explain what it originally looked like (sort of).
I cut the trunk off at an angle where the blue arrow is. There were no more branches up the trunk till right at the top. Those were small ones that had started to grow from the rim of the cut off trunk. The two branches (red arrows) and another where the yellow arrow is were the three main branches when I bought it. The one where the yellow arrow points to was cut off because it was very thick and growing almost parallel to the trunk. The two branches with the green arrows were only little shoots. If I had known at the time what I know now, I would have cut all the branches off and started from scratch because there are a couple of pretty bad faults with it as it is. There are three main roots that show above the soil level. One is pointing forwards, one pointing directly to the rear and one towards the left. There isn’t a root growing from the right side till you go down about 2 inches into the soil mix. This makes the tree unbalanced on the right side (1st photo, red arrow). That’s why in the last three photos there is a piece of rock beside the trunk. It sort of gives the illusion of the base spreading to the right as well. I’ll take some more photos tomorrow of the base from different angles and do an edit to show what I’m talking about.

Another fault is the bar branching where the red arrows are in the 5th photo. I’ll most likely remove the one on the right along with the one marked with the blue arrow on the left and the one with the green arrow on the right – that’s actually two branches coming from the same branch near the trunk.

The branch marked with the orange arrow is a real ‘problem child’. It’s totally out of place and I was hoping to be able to bend it down, but it’s too thick, so I think that will come off as well. If so, the apex will need moving more to the left. I’ll leave it now till I next defoliate the tree and see how it looks then.

At the moment, all the branches look rather flat, but as new shoots appear I’ll wire them down slightly (not flat), to gradually build up the foliage pads.

1st photo was about 2005, 2nd was 2006, 3rd was winter 2007, 4th was the Flower Show 2007, 5th photo was taken on 10th September (2008 Flower Show), and the last was taken two days ago.
I’ve no idea just how old this one is, but I’ve had it now for 15/16 years and the trunk hasn’t thickened much over that time as it’s always been in this pot since I got it. At a guess, it could be about 20/25 years old.

Image Image Image Image Image Image

Edit:
Yesterday (3 Oct), I attacked this one again. It had put so much foliage on in seven days, it was badly in need of another prune. While I was at it, I removed the branch with the orange arrow in photo 5 above. It was out of place and was annoying me :evil: I also wired some minor branches and gave it a prune all over. I've got a two day exhibition and demos to do next Saturday and Sunday. The Orchid Society in Hervey Bay asked me if I'd display some of my trees and do 'ongoing' demos along with their annual Orchid show, and I wanted this one for the display.

Before the show, I'm going to liquid fertilize all my trees and do a foliar spray as well, so in a couple of weeks time, I'll completely defoliate all my figs and if this maple has put out more foliage then it will get done as well. I didn't expect such a profusion of foliage in such a short time.

Image Image


Edit 23 November:
I’ve done some more work on this one to reduce the height of the apex. The red lines in the first photo are where I cut the top back, so you can see I’ve brought the top down quite a bit. I’m still not completely satisfied with it for a couple of reasons:
First, the height of a tree should be approximately six times the width of the base. Where it is now is over seven times the width.
Second, the first branch of any tree should be at approximately 1/3rd the way up the trunk. This one is higher than that.
Third, the top is too wide and heavy for the rest of the tree. Fourth, there is too wide a space between the second branch up on the left and the one above it.
Fifth, there is still the problem of the right side of the trunk being completely straight – it looks totally out of proportion.
So, where do I go with it from here? I’ve got a few options.
1. The apex can be cut down even further and the top regrown.
2. With some serious wiring, the lower left branch can be wired down more and then levelled out. It will take some pretty thick wire and done over time. Mature Maple branches are fairly brittle so it will have to be done little by little. If I snap that branch it’ll wreck the whole tree.
3. The width of the top branches can be shortened.
4. The lower branches at the top can be wired down more to fill in the gap a bit better.
5. I could turn the tree so the front is from a different direction. Looking at it from the left rear quarter, there are two good roots forming a ‘buttress’ on either side of the trunk. That would get rid of the fifth problem above – the height of the tree would be more in proportion to the width at the base.
It would also mean the lower branch on the left would then become the lower branch on the right, but pointing more towards the front instead of straight out sideways as it is now. Along with wiring as I said above, it would suit the trunk a whole lot better. Unfortunately, doing that would introduce another problem. There would be a severe change of direction to the right just over half way up the trunk. It would put the entire tree totally out of balance – 2nd photo.
Another option is to graft a rooted cutting onto the side of the trunk to give the appearance of a buttress on that side and when it has fused with the trunk, the top of it can be cut off.
I’ve now lowered the top some more,
The lower left branch has got some pretty heavy wiring on it and I’ve managed to bring it down a bit more. At least now it’s below the horizontal.
I haven’t shortened that branch on the top right hand side yet – I’m waiting for it to develop some more leaves back along the branch. When I do shorten it, I’ll also shorten the lower right branch a bit as well.
Some of the upper branches have been wired down more, and the 3rd photo is as it looked on 8th November.
The fourth photo is just taken from a different angle and shows a bit more of the spread of foliage on the branches.
In the fifth photo, the yellow arrow branches will be left to develop more and fill in both sides of the trunk. The blue arrow is the branch I need to shorten.
In regard to the right side of the lower trunk, I’ve decided to graft onto the side of the trunk, but that’s going to take a while before I can do it. I’ve taken a couple of cuttings so I’m waiting and hoping they’ll set roots. I also have an aerial layer on another Trident Maple that has roots in the moss ball at the moment, and this has a diameter of about 12mm or more. It’s also long enough that it could go all the way up the trunk to the first branch on the right if I want to do it that way. I’ll sever the aerial layer and on-grow it for a couple of months then decide how I’m going to tackle it.
The last photo has been digitally modified to show how I’m hoping this tree will develop. If I use the air-layer as a graft, I could quite conceivably grow a new lower branch on the right side of the tree using the branching on the air-layer. That would put the first branch in just about the right place – about a third of the way up the trunk.

Image Image Image Image Image
Taffy
Have fun, life is way too short for anything else
User avatar
taffyman
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 2314
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Fraser Coast Queensland

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby Mister Wisteria » Mon Sep 29, 2008 8:57 am

Great looking (little) tree Taffy. :D
Slip Slop & Slap and Don't Forget Your Hat.

Anti Skin Cancer Foundation.
User avatar
Mister Wisteria
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 6061
Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:10 pm
Location: Glen Waverley

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby imonetwo » Mon Sep 29, 2008 12:58 pm

That Trident would have to be atleast that old Taffy, all the really large trunk tridents,and there are lots down here in Vic, have been grown in the ground first.
But that is still an impressive trunk for tree that has been in the one size pot for so long.
My trident is 10 years old Taffy and yours makes it look like a sapling :)

Regards
Eric
imonetwo
Head Gardener
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Nov 17, 2007 10:20 pm
Location: Noble Park

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby taffyman » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:07 pm

Guys, I've just edited the topic up the top with a couple of new photos and an explanation. I did an edit as opposed to a new reply so that the photos were together - much easier for comparison.
Taffy
Have fun, life is way too short for anything else
User avatar
taffyman
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 2314
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Fraser Coast Queensland

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby MacMaples » Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:11 pm

Beautiful. Great work. :)
MacMaples
Senior Curator
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 11:45 am
Location: Canberra

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby lmrk » Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:51 am

That's amazing Taffy!!!! (Y) It looks magnificent. Do you have it under a shade cloth so the leaves don't burn?
Does a watched bonsai ever grow?
User avatar
lmrk
Curator
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:00 pm

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby taffyman » Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:50 pm

Yes I do Leah. Maples up here grow ok in the ground, but they do suffer in our heat and humidity in Bonsai pots.
I noticed when I posted those last two photos that like my smaller maple, It's actually too tall for the size of the trunk, and I was talking to Rod about it today. we both came to the same conclusion - the leader at the top has to go. So in the next couple of days it'll get a little bit of a re-model up the top.
Taffy
Have fun, life is way too short for anything else
User avatar
taffyman
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 2314
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Fraser Coast Queensland

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby taffyman » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:19 pm

Just done another edit on this one - "Edit 23 November".
Taffy
Have fun, life is way too short for anything else
User avatar
taffyman
Garden Wizard
 
Posts: 2314
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:38 pm
Location: Fraser Coast Queensland

Re: My Larger Maple

Postby lmrk » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:41 pm

Thanks for the update Taffy!!! It's fantastic! (Y)
Does a watched bonsai ever grow?
User avatar
lmrk
Curator
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 4:00 pm


Return to Bonsai

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron