Tip of the Week     #4

Welcome to our next installment of  Tip Of The Week.

This feature is for the benefit of visitors to this site, I would be happy to hear from you if there is something you would like to see covered here in future weeks. Please direct your E-mail to Paul@bonsaiofbrooklyn.com include your first name, city, E-mail address or no acknowledgement.

Interested in past articles? There's a list at the bottom of the page.

This weeks topic is trimming bonsai with leaves. Whether you live in a temperate, sub-tropical or tropical climate, there are native species of leaf trees, and there are different methods of trimming different types of trees. Following are a few pointers about trimming Japanese Maples. Next week I'll cover a few other types. Japanese Maples feature opposing buds. New leaves grow in pairs, side by side. It is best to remove one leaf of each pair, alternating from side to side. Trim off both leaves at the tip of a shoot when it gets to the desired length.
If you wish to do a leaf-trim, sometime between the last week of June and the first week of July (NOT MUCH BEFORE OR AFTER), remove EVERY leaf on the tree at the point where the leaf meets the stem, leaving the stems on the branches. If you want to repot or root prune the Maple, this is the time to do it. You can bare-root it and reduce the root mass by 1/3 or less, or you can just trim off some of the outer roots but it should be done the day the leaf trimming is done, or within a few days, but no later.
During this time don't forget to water. Put the bonsai in a shady spot. With no leaves, it doesn't need sun. The shade will be helpful to the moss. After about a week, the stems will fall off. After about another week, new leaves will begin to grow. At the first signs of growth you should put the bonsai back in the sun. You can now begin to breathe regularly again. The result will be twice as many leaves at about half the size of the originals. That's a pretty good return on your labor.

You can leaf trim a maple two years in a row. Skip the third year, then begin the cycle again. All the above applies to single bonsai or multiple plantings.

Interested in past articles? Click for your choice below.

#1-Things to do in the spring

#2-Forest Plantings

#3-Planning a trimming schedule

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