This past winter, I received a number of Japanese maples with good roots but no movement or taper whatsoever. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, so I considered my options. I figured I could:
- give them away
- develop them for landscape material
- destroy them, or
- make a big cut and start from scratch
I went with the last option, though I’m not convinced I made the right choice. As the first branches on most of the trees were fairly high, this meant I had to generate the shoots that would form the upper part of the trunk. I wasn’t sure how the trees would respond to such drastic cutting so I left the trunks fairly long. Here’s what they look like today.
A few of the trees show no signs of life or are growing slowly.
Japanese maple – no new buds at this point
Japanese maple – a few young shoots have emerged low on the trunk
Other trees are growing vigorously.
Japanese maple with plenty of new shoots
New shoots high up and down low will provide good options for future styling
Most of the younger trees are growing well, and because the trunks aren’t so large, it will be relatively easy to transition from the existing trunks to new leaders.
Young maple with new shoots
Spring foliage on young maple
As it doesn’t take long for vigorous growing maples to produce shoots that are too large for wiring, I’ll have to decide whether or not to wire before too long. Until then, I’ll enjoy watching the new shoots develop.
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