This winter has been warmer than usual and the other day i noticed buds getting larger on my Lions Head maples. ( Acer palmatum ’ Shishigashira’. Previously i had wired branches in position for thread grafting. This species has somewhat brittle branches so this was done in late august while the branches were still flexible. here are a couple of pictures to show the before and after of one of the trees. Please keep in mind that this tree is stil in very rough stage of development. placing branches where i think appropriate. Today i was able to add three branches to this tree
I really like this tree. Very nice subtle trunk movement and lean towards the viewer in the top third. I like the branch placement, too; right through the edges of the big scars to help heal them up quicker.
Thanks for the positive response. This tree has a long way to go still. You are correct in that the placement was considered both for style and to help heal some larger scars. Because the tree was purchased from a nursery and reduced in size, the lower branches were way too thick for bonsai purposes, resulting in fairly large scars. Also one part of the lower trunk was removed to aid taper, resulting in another large scar.
I decided on thread grafts rather than approach grafts because the end result is cleaner. The trade off with this species is the difficulty of very brittle branching and repositioning the branches for specific entry and exit angles. This necessitated the pre-wiring of the branches last year. I hope the grafts have been embedded far enough into the healed portion of the scars to take well. Should be able to judge the response by the end of this growing season.
Nice, looks like a great project Frank! Knowing how quickly these maples develop, it’s clear you’re off to a good start!