Initial Styling of Japanese Maple

Last year I tried very hard to air layer this Japanese Maple, but no roots ever developed. So this year, I decided to just forget about the top, and just use the base. After a year growing in the colander, the trunk has developed significant girth. The grafting was done pretty well on one side as well, so, it would make for a good bonsai. I picked a front, and then proceeded to pick a leader, and cut off the top. I looked at where the first branch is, and went by the rule that the first branch is roughly one third of the total height of the tree.

Japanese Maple after cutting off top

The tree doesn’t look too impressive after the chop. Then I continued to style the little branches that I had left. I wasn’t too worry about it dying on me, apparently maples do very well with trunk chops.

Japanese Maple after initial styling

Now I have a main branch, second branch, back branch, and a new leader. I would say it all worked out pretty well. I’ll have to be patient and wait for the buds to form leaves. In the meanwhile, I’ll keep it at full sun, and fertilize well.

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