Giving A Field Grown Maple a New Lease of Life

In this video I take an overgrown field grown maple I prune and shape it to create something delightful.

I’m going to work on this field maple and i think i should try and get it out from here but i know that it’s rooted in the ground many of these trees when you grow in the ground not grow on the ground you place it on the ground they get rooted into the ground they make them stronger because they send out lots of roots into the soil but i think we need to get it out so let me cut the roots off i’ve been meaning to work on this tree for the last couple of years but every time i want to work on it i’ve got so many projects on the go that i don’t find the time to tackle it so i want to video what i’m doing so let me see what i can do myself you can see despite my age i can still work on these heavy things and by the way field maple they grow from root cuttings very easily so all these roots won’t be wasted they will all become very interesting little trees you got robin peter many of the bonsai demonstrations are about doing the finished tree but this is showing you how we actually get the trees out to work on and i will show you now the base look at the base here i’ll get josh to turn around look at the roots that have come through the bottom of the pot look at it it’s cracked the pot as well but these will all become root cuttings so you can see all these curly little bits they make beautiful root cuttings for that so these are certainly not going to be wasted every little plant uh that comes out here will have a lot of character you see how bent and twisted this one is this instant one right here there look at it see beautiful roots and that’s going to be a beautiful tree that’s going to be a beautiful tree so i’ll come back here now i’ll roll this out no need to video this but we’ll roll this out now this tree looks quite different on the 30th of august the earlier clip shows what this tree was like only five or so months ago and the branches were about two meters long right round the tree and i cut it back with the rough prune and i’m now ready to pot it this tree has been growing in this micropot for so long that the mica pot got smashed and you can see how the roots have gone right through the pot absolutely right through the pot we in fact we had a job getting it out of the ground and because this is a field maple all these roots are very precious we are not going to waste any of that we’re going to cut it out carefully with the root cutter and each of these will become root cuttings and i will show you in another video what we do with these roots because they grow from root cuttings and you will get an instant bonsai from them so the next process is going to show you how we cut these roots off to take it out of the pot and we’ll put it back in a similar size pot okay hold on hold on don’t cut that try and get some shape in it try and keep that like that because we’re going to cut it from there cut all this from there as much as possible otherwise we’re going to waste a thick piece i’m going to make instant tree from them good again try and get as much as possible especially a curve if you see a curve that’s what you need to exploit now this particular that steve is using is called a root cutter it looks like a branch splitter i will show you the detail can you just hold that tool up and you see the blade this is what the root cutter looks like it’s like a bronze splitter except the brush splitter is narrower in the blade but this is called a root cutter because it does precisely that it cuts the roots very easily there you are you see how convenient the store is and try and get that whole root out beautiful see look at that beautiful and then there’s that lump up there so we’ve now cut all the roots out from the pot you see those five holes in that pot and thick roots came out of that pot just shows what happens when you stand a bonsai tree on the soil the roots will seek out the ground because it needs moisture if it doesn’t get enough moisture and it goes into the ground and all these thick roots have come through and each of these roots i’m going to show you how to make a bonsai from them and that will be the subject of another video which will be about root cutting so they’re not going to be wasted and now we’re just going to knock this pot out this is broken anyway so we can smash it with a hammer and we will just put it in a larger pot and i’ll show you the end result of this [Music] edge [Music] now take it out take the part away now because no we can that can be true because that’s broken anyway i think the roots were so vigorous that it broke the pot so all we do is teasing the side roots because most of the roots went through the pot uh the side roots are not that pot brown and there’s not a lot of it so we just tease it and we just put it in a similar size pot so i will now show you the state of the roots these roots are very very good lots of fine fibrous roots and some of these thick roots we can even cut some of those if we don’t need it although it goes into the pot i’m not too worried there will be a source of root cuttings if we want so it’s these finals we’re going to cut so we cut them all off believe it or not every single route that is cut off there even the thin ones will become plants if you want to the field maple does that for some reason only the field maple produces root cuttings i’ve never been successful with japanese maples japanese maples will just not take from root cutting but for some reason the field maple is very prolific usually in nature if you observe what they do the field maple suckers very prolifically they send suckers and you get a new plant a few yards from the main tree and that is a good sign that they can grow from root cuttings i think we can tease a little more from the bottom as well so that is the general principle and then we’ll show you the tree potted up in a minute so these are the thick roots that we save from that tree and you can still see there’s such a lot of root to cut and when we cut the roots it’s ready to rejuvenate the tree it makes the tree stronger it doesn’t make the tree weak so we’re not just making moss room for the new roots to grow we are stimulating the tree by cutting some of these all roots away and letting air in you see how the tap roots came out of the tree all those big watches are the thick taproots which went through the pot and smashed the pot so all those roots every single route here will make a plant okay so we’re now ready to put it in its new pot so we’ve now put it in that new micro pot same size pot as before and just put the minimum of soil these are such vigorous trees they don’t need a lot of soil and look at that beauty look at that beautiful root this has just come with age this tree has probably been growing on the nursery for the last 30 years and for the last 10 years it was in the micropot and the roots went into the ground and because the roots couldn’t go anywhere it formed that beautiful massive roots so that’s going to be the distinctive feature of this tree it’s got a triple trunk and all these holes have been caused by simple natural rotting no carving or anything has been done to it we have not carved it this is all natural so this is the structure of the tree i think you can refine it much more for instance this branch can be cut off there that one can be cut off if we cut it off seriously they’re just small refinements and if we let new branches grow new branches you get more ramification and finer ramification rather than thick ones the more you look the more false you can find like this branch you can argue whether you need it or not you probably don’t but if it forms new branches that would be okay i’ll let the tree go and then we’ll deal with it as it grows the more you look as i say the more false you can find like at the back there that’s a very thick branch it could be cut off there to make new ones growth so that’s going to be the newly on that trunk this is going to be the new leader here so just turn the tree around and we will see the reason why we use this drum pot okay let’s keep it there because this tree looks nice from whichever way you look at it look at the base of the trunk from there if you wanted to make this a single trunk tree you can cut off the two at the back and just have it a single trunk with a beautiful base turn it some more so this side is also nice look at all those natural hollow features as i say no carving done this is just natural rotting of the wood and this is going to be a very very nice tree and this is just come by being patient again i can see false at this branch really i think with the source steve if you cut this off and cut that off while we’re at it that will give it a chance to go better so there’s always scope for refining the tree and making it look better [Music] so and this also is a fault you know i think we can take probably the thinner one off just very carefully take that off and i will show you the progress of the tree during the year and i’m sure this is going to turn out to be a lovely tree look at it from every side so you’ve seen the completion of this process where we started off pruning those two meter long branches ending up with the tree like this so i hope this has been a useful exercise for you to see and now the next [Music] you

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