Creating curve & taper on Japanese Maple

(Lance) #1


I have been growing a lot of maples recently and my main goal is to thicken up the trunks (not going for a ridiculous sized trunk).

My question is, is there only one way to achieve taper and curve on a maple that is growing on? (See below diagram) Or can I also achieve taper and curve by wiring the tree in its early stages and letting certain sacrificial branches grow where thickness is desired?


(Jonas Dupuich) #2

The approach you noted in the diagram is a good approach as the goals of the sacrifice branches are to both thicken and heal the wound left by removing the previous sacrifice branch. You may find you have several sacrifice branches growing at the same time - the trick is locating them all in the back or sides of the tree to avoid unsightly scars.

Another approach would be to wire a longer section of the tree and then use existing branches to thicken the trunk. This approach can work well but is tricky as it’s not always easy to find the branches you need for thickening.

As with the pines, you have enough maples to provide good feedback if you experiment with different approaches!

(Frank Corrigan) #3

Elongation of the chosen apical leader creates the thickening, switching the apical leader to a smaller branch ( usually also a change of direction creates the taper). Wiring can create a curve ( movement ) or change of direction but does not in itself change taper or thickness.
Sacrificial branches contribute mostly to the thickening of that branch and or the healing of nearby scars. They also serve to thicken the area below the sacrificial branch but not at the speed the apical leader branch will thicken a trunk.
The most effective way is as you illustrated.