Fall cutback on Japanese maple

The Japanese maple below is another beautiful tree from Gene Lynch’s collection. The basics are all in place which means the next step is to continue increasing branch density through pinching and pruning.

Japanese mapleJapanese maple

Japanese maple

In fall, this means making small cuts to improve the branch structure and overall silhouette. In places where one branch splits into three or more branches, I prune down to two branches. I also remove longer branches when shorter ones are nearby. Here’s what this looks like.

After removing the leavesAfter removing the leaves

Before cutback

Japanese maple bonsaiJapanese maple bonsai

After cutback – 31″

As you can see, the changes are subtle. I’ll repot the tree in the coming weeks and start pinching the new growth that appears in spring to keep the new shoots from elongating. By growing the tree slowly, I hope to encourage the small internodes that give maples the delicate look they’re known for.

Soil Update

I’m expecting a shipment of soil to arrive in early January. When it comes in, I’ll have akadama, kanuma, and Aoki Blend in stock on the Online Store. The soil will also be available for bulk orders. I’ll provide another update when the soil comes in. In the meantime, feel free to call or write with any questions.

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