A Japanese Maple - drop your 2 cents off, please

stopped by Green Thumb Bonsai in SC on my way to VA for work and picked up this maple. i liked the trunk and the decent price. he had quite a lot of field grown pre bonsai tridents with huge trunks, but nothing i was feeling. definitely worth a check see if you’re in the area.

can’t wait to repot in the spring and cut back all these dead branches

there’s a ton of dieback

You can cut back right now, don’t have to wait until spring. Best time for hard pruning or cut back is in winter months, try choose slightly cold day for that job - sap flow is minimal

Very nice tree with great nebari by the way

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I like the fact that there is a change of direction and size quickly. Would choose the smaller leader with lower branch coming off it as the next leader.
From my experience i would choose to cut back in the spring just prior to bud break. I tend to be cautious about heavy pruning in winter when the opportunity for healing is limited and the risk of fungal infection is higher. For maples in particular i consider this aspect important due to damper cooler winters and the increase of fungal issues over the past decade. Not saying that you cannot prune heavy now, just that i prefer the other approach.

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I’ve learned to avoid picking up deciduous species this time of year because the health of the tree can be difficult to determine, but for that trunk and nebari I would’ve done the same :blush:

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i like cutting back in the spring because of the same reasons Frank mentioned. fungus is a big problem in my area due to the all year round rainy, moist conditions. you know, i was thinking about reducing down to one leader, but i kind of like the Y shaped sub-trunks type of tree. i was definitely thinking about reducing these sub-trunks down to around half the length of the main trunk.