Acquired a Japanese Maple from Home Depot in a off season sale. The tree was tagged as $16, thinking that it is a pretty good deal, not knowing that it ringed in as $8, which made it a REALLY good deal. The plan is to air-layer the tree to utilize the good branching up top. I will eventually work my way down towards the roots, then create a bonsai from the root. I poked around the roots prior to buying, and there seems to be some good surface roots.
After getting the tree, I spent some time inspecting the branch structures to see what branches should be kept and which ones should be removed, and decide on a new apex. The air-layer will be attempted next Spring/early Summer. In the meanwhile, I’ve created a virtual to help me visualize what I want the tree to look like.
Will try to grow (or graft?) a second branch to the left once I got a successful air-layer. If the buds develop to a branch, that’ll be excellent, if not, then the grafting will probably happen two years from now.
For the time being, I wouldn’t want to make any cuts yet, as the tree is going into pre-dormant stage. I trained a few branches to ensure that they don’t get too thick to be wired later. Will go ahead and heavily cut back all the branches once it loses all its leaves in a few weeks. Namely, there are two thick branches which I’ll be removing, since they won’t contribute to my final design. Upon losing some branches, I’ll slap some cut paste on the wounds, bury the tree into the ground and visit it again come next spring.