TOPIC: Japanese maples in the ground

Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25020

Today I got my two Japanese maples in the ground, one straight and one weeping. After much reading about this tree, I found late summer and early autumn are a good time to plant this type of tree in Michigan. I am excited to see their progress over the years. In a few years I can see how the roots are doing and if the board they are planted on works. My design varies from what i saw online but there was no way the branches were fitting through the small hole that needed to be cut for the trunk. I didn't want to sacrifice branches at this point, even though I know when bonsai time comes they might all have to go depending on how I decide to shape it.
I might pick up one more of each type. I have a sunnier spot across the yard from this one. I'm curious to see at which place they progress the best.

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  • Ruth
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25021

Ruth wrote: there was no way the branches were fitting through the small hole that needed to be cut for the trunk.


Branches fitting through the hole ? :huh:
Am I correct that you placed the board on top of the roots?
Is that a technique that I don't know about?
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25022

They put the board over the root with not much space. The idea is so it acts like a tourniquet to the trunk as it grows. This causes swelling in the tourniquet area and roots appear above the board. As the years go on you take the tree out of the ground and arrange the the new roots how you want them for a good nebari. Replant and let it grow until the trunk is the size you want. The old trunk and roots under the board are then cut off. You have your thickened trunk and hopefully a good nebari. I saw a few articles on it. Some people used a tile.
  • Ruth
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25023

Ruth wrote: They put the board over the root with not much space. The idea is so it acts like a tourniquet to the trunk as it grows. This causes swelling in the tourniquet area and roots appear above the board. As the years go on you take the tree out of the ground and arrange the the new roots how you want them for a good nebari. Replant and let it grow until the trunk is the size you want. The old trunk and roots under the board are then cut off. You have your thickened trunk and hopefully a good nebari. I saw a few articles on it. Some people used a tile.


Yeah... already deleted my post :)
Never tried this myself. I have done tiles under the roots.
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25024

How did the tiles work.? They would hold up better than wood. I love the nebari created by the article I read. Just to see if it works on my trees
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25027

Hm.. Curious to see whether it will work with such a mature tree. The sticking it through a hole thing is typically used with young seedlings that fill the complete space in a matter of months.
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25028

I have never heard of it either, I woner where you saw this. The usual idea of planting in the ground is to get trunk girth. I would think it will stop that happening.
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25037

Nope, it won't. The tree will grow into the tile, and this will force root-creation just above it. Roots canot go down, and thus stay very shallow on top of the tile. It works well for seedlings, and is one of the standard development techniques.
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25040

leatherback wrote: It works well for seedlings, and is one of the standard development techniques.


So it's safe to say that this technique is mostly used for training a seedling and not an established tree?
If so... That's probably why I've never heard of this, because unless I'm going to leave a tree in my will for my son to take care of, I'd have no interest in it as a man of my age.
Don't most Bonsai enthusiasts try to hit the ground running for best results?
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Japanese maples in the ground 1 year 11 months ago #25041

I read about it on bonsai4me.com . It was under the heading 'creating new nebari on bonsai part 2'
Leatherback-im excited to see if it works also. The trunk was under 1", but it may already be too old. I've seen other trunks where they used the tourniquet method on larger trunks ans it seemed to work. As long as it doesn't hurt my two little trees I'm good. It was difficult to get dirt under the board to fill in any gaps . I still don't know if I did that part well enough. If I use this technique again I have already learned things to help the process go easier in the future.
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