Deciduous Early Development Part I: Japanese Maple

2 years ago Nebby 0

Source: Crataegus Bonsai Blog.

The first part of this development series covers a few gangly specimens of Japanese Maple. Japanese Maple is one of the most challenging early development deciduous trees because of its propensity to make long internodes. It’s also one of the best examples of a theme that runs throughout the next few posts on early development, and that is: Leave some unwanted shoots and branches to shorten the internodes of everything else  This is really counterintuitive. But it also really works. And, naturally, to thwart us from easy riches, the concept is not the easiest to apply. For if we leave everything, then we get big problems down the road. The idea is, thin selectively. Take out some of the overly thick branches or those in danger of becoming so, and some of the long internode ones. For example, if there are four shoots arising from one place, two of them strong, perhaps cut one off. Leave the rest. Later the other strong one can be removed. The reason we do this piecemeal is that if you do it all at once—make our early development trees ‘pretty’ by cutting off all the ugly stuff, or to perfect structure—we make them grow too strong the next year. Which translates to long internodes. Cutting off everything we don’t like might end with a big pile of branches, maybe 50% or more of the plant. We’ve just made a huge imbalance in roots to shoots, too, and that will force the tree to replace…

Go to the source blog (Crataegus Bonsai Blog) to read the full article: Deciduous Early Development Part I: Japanese Maple