More Japanese questions

I had a young, grafted laceleaf JM that died above the graft over the winter. Below the graft it is now producing beautiful leaves. Is this worth keeping? Can I expect it to branch out eventually?
I also have a small weeping red-colored laceleaf JM that is gorgeous, but only has branches on 2 sides. Is there a way to encourage branching on the other sides so the tree looks a little more uniform?
Thanks for any help with this. I am new to JMs and I want to be successful because I love them.
Thanks, Lorraine
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Dannysmom) wrote in message

Gardenweb has a whole section om maples and another on JN maples. Pretty active discussion.
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Yes it is probably worth keeping. JMs are vigorous budders and will bud from mature as well as green wood. Cut the dead wood off at an angle. If the tree is in the right spot and fertilized, new shoots will grow upwards quickly. Next winter (late, before bud break), remove the shoots that are in the wrong position, keeping the ones that you want for the final design. JMs are slow growing, but in 5+ years these shoots should thicken and could look like an extension of the trunk.
Another option is to find a bonsai gardener - they may want the tree if it has an attractive root base (nebari). It's standard (but an advanced) practice to take a 6' - 8' tree and "trunk chop" to 12" - 24" in late winter and let the shoots grow wild for the first season, removing unwanted ones and cutting back the keepers to the first or second internode. The procedure is repeated and the result is a finely ramified branch structure, and the illusion of a tiny mature tree.

Next Spring you may get lucky and a bud will appear from the trunk or a main branch, right where you want it. Remove buds in the "wrong" place by rubbing them off w/ your finger. Let this bud grow, and consider pruning back (or defoliating in June) branches that deprive the bud of sunlight.
If this doesn't work, you could use another technique used by bonsai gardeners; thread grafting (try Google f/ tips or some garden manuals show the technique). In a nutshell, you drill a hole in the trunck where you want a branch. Locate a long, flexible shoot, bend it and thread it through the hole and pull it until it's tight. Wait for it to grow (may take several years) and sever. The cambium of shoot and trunk will merge. This technique is fairly reliable, but not all grafts will take.

Very hardy and adaptable trees. Dappled and/or morning sun is ideal. They can struggle w/ all day sun, however...at least until they're established. Well drained soil is best. Water by hand until established if rainfall is scarce. Good luck.

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