Japanese maple kashima as bonsai

winterfellJuly 9, 2014

Hello, not a bonsai enthusiast or expert but am considering giving it a go. I have this japanese maple in my front yard, a dwarf called kashima. I've had it for many years, been in the ground for three years now. It will never really flourish there because every spring deer browse it. Nonetheless, it has survived, and is a tough plant with a nice thick green trunk. Ill attach a pic. Is it a good candidate? Any tips?

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winterfell

Here's a pic from couple months ago

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 6:00PM
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moochinka

It would be fabulous, though has as yet to have had any 'movement' trained into the trunk line, though that's something that could be achieved by an experienced bonsai person. However, bonsai is not something to be attempted on a casual basis by someone unfamiliar with it, certainly not on the tree you have, so I suggest you first try to find a local club, etc. in your area to advise you on what to do when, and how. It would be a relatively major undertaking for a complete newbie and you wouldn't want to be the agent of doom for such a beautiful little tree... nor be discouraged from future attempts at bonsai. Please do not just dig it up now (a bad time of year for that tree) without knowledgable help. Where you live is quite important btw, so it also would be a good idea to learn your climate zone and post it in your profile.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:18PM
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winterfell

Thanks for your input. I wouldn't say i am a complete newbie. I have lots of containerized trees and plants. ?I kept a lemon tree containerized for many years, chopped the trunk, root pruned, etc. I've just never done the formal sculpted bonsai thing.

No, I won't take dig it now in heat of summer (i live in central texas zone 8b, 9a).

Do you think its big enough to go right into bonsai pot? I read somewhere once you do a hard root prune and squeeze it into a small pot it will grow very slowly. I may just pot it into a whiskey barrel for a year or two and let it add some more trunk caliper and start focusing on the shape i want.

Btw here is a pic of a kashima bonsai i found by googling. It is incredible. How long would it take to get something like this? I'm guessing by trunk size that thing is 5 to 10 yrs older than mine.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 4:58PM
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moochinka

The longer you keep it in the ground the faster it will grow... frustrating to think of, but it's the truth. Pot it when the trunk at least approximates what you're going for long term, and then work on the rest. Of course you can do some work at the appropriate times while it's in the ground though. I'm a bit surprised a maple is doing that well in your climate.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 10:26PM
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winterfell

Well it's coming out of the ground this year because something else is goimg there and like i said deer keep chewing on it. What do you think about a larger bonsai pot vs. whiskey barrel?

What about soil. I have a few bags of turface. My normal container soil usually about 30 percent turface. For bonsai i was thinking like 70 percent turface and rest coconut fibre / bark compost.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:39PM
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moochinka

Hi - a pot (unless it's very wide - maple roots are very lateral) vs a barrel is probably not as good an idea... but if there are problems, and if you dig a wide and deep enough hole now to avoid them, and just lift the whole thing out without cutting roots to short, and place it in the barrel (hole all ready for it) you might get away with it as long as the barrel has drainage below. I have a couple of very large bonsai pots (not so deep, but wide) I could lend you, but being in Canada... :-). How wide is the barrel top vs foliage spread? It's 'big' enough for a pot if you think it is... a personal choice really unless it's literally a seedling.

This post was edited by moochinka on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 15:03

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 3:00PM
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cadillactaste

I am not familiar on how to build a grow box. But I know ones over on another bonsai forum build them to allow specific bonsai's trunks to get beefier. You don't want a deep box...more a wide one to allow for lateral roots. I wouldn't put this into a bonsai pot at this time...that would slow down what you've mentioned your interested in with the tree itself.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:07AM
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winterfell

I just put it in an Anderson flat. I know its not the best time, but i removed a lot of the top at same time. Its been several days and.looks fine.for.now

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:13PM
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winterfell

I just put it in an Anderson flat. I know its not the best time, but i removed a lot of the top at same time. Its been several days and.looks fine.for.now

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 4:14PM
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winterfell

Accidental duplicate sorry ...

    Bookmark   July 19, 2014 at 9:31PM
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