Demonstration by Ivan Lukrich

On November 27, 2018, REBS held their regular meeting and demonstration. Club Sensei Kathy Shaner was scheduled to be the demonstrator; however, Kathy’s plane was delayed in Alabama due to bad weather. Ivan Lukrich at the last moment filled in for Kathy with a demonstration on three Japanese maples (Acer palmatum).

Ivan described the three Japanese maples as grown from seed from the same parent tree, approximately 10 to 12 years old. All three J. maples were planted in a large, plastic nursery container. The leaves were displaying wonderful fall colors. Ivan started the demo by removing all the leaves. He said pruning the J. maples would take place after the leaves drop off or before new bud growth occurs. Bleeding can occur during pruning at times.

Ivan pruned the unwanted branches and deadwood first. He discussed branch development and internodes. It is most desirable to have short internodes for bonsai. Pruning will help in dividing branches for ramification and short internodes. Ivan used cut paste to seal the wounds on the cut branches.

Ivan led a discussion of pinching new growth. Pinching the new leaf growth is necessary to maintain a tight ramification of the branches. Pinching is constant during the growing season for J. maples. After the first leaf pair has unfolded, remove the soft little tip of the shoot between them.

J. maples enjoy full sun. However, summer heat can burn the leaves and so afternoon shade or shade cloth is necessary.

Joanne Lumsden purchased the winning raffle ticket for the demo J. maples.


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