Japanese Maple Partial Defoliation

DSC_0374I’ve been planning to  defoliate this maple for a while now but as usual never got round to it.  It was briefly critiqued by Peter Warren earlier in the year and he’d pointed out that there was a problem with the direction of the tree.  I had assumed the tree was going to the viewer’s right due to the thickest branches and lowest branch being that side.  It was potted last year with this in mind, slightly to the left.  However, the trunk does the opposite and so the result is a bit of confusion for the viewer and a lack of overall harmony.  I can’t do much about the trunk so I’m going to try and increase girth of branches going in the same direction (the viewer’s left) so that eventually they will be more dominant and produce more foliage.  The branching on the right will be kept shorter.  The left side hasn’t been that vigorous, very small internodes produced and no extension in some places.  I decided to investigate the root mass and lift it out of the pot incase of any pest problem but none was evident.  It was pot bound though so I’ve decided just as a temporary measure to wire it into a slightly bigger plastic container with a thin layer of new soil on the bottom and around.  Hopefully this will help the tree through the winter until, all being well, I can root prune in spring so that it sits deeper into the green ceramic pot.