This tree (of sorts!) recovered from its problems last year and after letting it leaf out and harden off, I’ve decided to follow a friend’s advice from two years ago and air layer the top.
Here’s hoping it takes. I’ll let the bottom grow out and decide what to do with it after the layer is removed, hopefully later this year.
My aged trunk of Amur maple put out a few new shoots last year but unfortunately none in the middle of the trunk. I’m hoping for more adventitious buds this year and a rootprune was overdue. As you can see from the moss on the lower trunk, it’s been a bit neglected otherwise.
First, I cleared the soil surface of moss and other debris and reminded myself of what there was to work with.
A comb out and trim of fine outer roots followed by thick rootage left me with the above image. A wide root base but the very thick root surface root on the left has always bothered me. Time to address it.
I discovered that the end of the root was dead and so cut it back a bit. I’ve read of splitting thick surface roots to improve nebari but this was too thick to attempt. Instead I went for some carving with my dremel tool.
I carved a wedge shape that hopefully wasn’t too unnatural looking. Removal of more rotten wood underneath left an exposed root image, but I’m definitely happier with the appearance now.
New soil and shallower training pot.
Off work over half term. My usual time to begin repotting. You should expect a flurry of posts after I see a friend about acquiring some pots today. Had a look around the garden/greenhouse and pleased to see the early sprouters behaving true to form.
Fuji Cherry flower buds
Amur Maple buds fattening and needing thinned out.
Mame birch in training.
Now that the growing season is coming to an end I’m evaluating the progress of my bonsai material and trees. Are there noticeable differences in terms of appearance and health? Not everything has improved one year on but I’m very happy with this wee shohin Amur Maple:
Chopped Autumn 2014
This is the small tree that originated as a hardwood cutting from the parent tree in the post two days ago. It was dramatically chopped last autumn too in the hope that new buds would set over winter and this tree fared better. I’m very happy with the new branching and I’ll continue to pinch out emerging buds and build up girth in the bottom branches and leader.
Before. Summer 2015
The back of the tree
Well after removing all branching last autumn and leaving a bare trunk, I was happy to see some new buds earlier this spring but unfortunately not enough appeared. Some at the apex and some clustered around an old wound too low down. One has popped in a suitable location for a bottom branch so I wired it and am letting it thicken. The others at the apex have been repeatedly clipped and the new emerging buds nipped to promote short internodal length. I’m feeding vigorously to try and get these new buds in the middle of the trunk. I may have to try more threadgrafts at some point. Large old wounds were also reopened to try and encourage more callousing which has been pretty poor over the last year.