Early 2013, about the same time I picked up the Blue Star Juniper I also picked up this Japanese maple. I was so excited I brought it home, repotted, and wired it up all in one night. When I say I wired it up, I mean,,, yeah the whole tree.
If you take a close look you will see this poor tree was wired from head to toe. Hey, I didn’t know any better. HA! To funny. Anyway, if you notice how closely the wire is wrapped along the trunk. This is much to close. Also, it lacks the 45 degree angle that wire should be placed at. There are times when wiring this close and tight might be needed. Such as when moving a large branch. The extra support might be needed however, there are more techniques that can be done for this. I learned that not only had I done to much to this tree at once but I had also wired it incorrectly. I removed the wire shortly after this picture was taken.
Now, Japanese maples need winter protection in my region. Colorado is considered a 5 for grow regions. We can reach -20 here. We also have very high ultraviolet rays. Luckily I have a green house and I allow this tree and several others such as my Paracanthia, Chinese elm and redwoods to get down to the high 30’s to low 40’s during the winter. This allows them a good dormant period however keeps them from freezing. I will touch on the other trees on another page.
During the summer the tree will need protection from the afternoon sun rays. These will scorch the leaves in my region and may heat the pot and therefore the roots to a dangerous temperature.
Now on to more lessons learned. One of the problems with trying to cram as munch info as I could into that coconut between my shoulders is that I began to pinch out each center inter node as it appeared on the branches. You will and probably should read this in your research. This is done for ramification. Also, I was pruning back to 1 to 2 leaves once my branches reached 5 leaves. Again, this is for a mush more mature tree. Again, if you look at the above picture, this tree has hardly any structure.
Moving on, regardless of all of my false practices my Japanese maple lived. Not only did it live but it made it through the winter. I began heating the greenhouse up slowly in March and although evenings in March can be frome freezin to 50 degrees keeping the greenhouse at a constant temp allowed for the tree to come out of dormancy and begin to bloom.
I have not pruned the tree at all and already it is blossoming into a wonderful tree. The only thing I am doing is wiring the young branches after the new leaves harden off. This allows me to give good shaping to the young pliable branches before they become to stiff.
Also, you will notice that I removed the tree from the small bonsai pot and placed it back into a larger nursery container. This will allow the roots, trunk and branches to thicken up.