What should I do with this maple trunk base?

Hello everyone!

I am new in here and in the bonsai world , after trying to find some recommended books about bonsai and wasn’t able to found them or at least at a reasonable price ( naka’s books, Meriggioli, Degroot…) I finally decided that I should “invest” in a subscription with bonsai Mirai and let me say that it was a very smart decision, I cannot stop watching videos on the library since yesterday.

Well if I am here is not that much to say how happy I am to be part of the Mirai community but to face an issue ( even tho I am not really it is) about a Japanese deshojo maple I get few weeks ago.

I repotted it, did a complete defoliation after repotting to help promote new roots growth ( btw I am leaving in Thailand, so no real natural defoliation here, but I get this tree from an experienced maple grower here which not face any problem with Maples and hot/humidity weather here).

It is going well you can see all those new buds that have grown since 1 week after repotting.

I am just concerned about the design of the trunk. You can see an “ok” nebari with 2 big roots on both sides, but the trunk is thin at the base and getting bigger over.

What can I do to fix it ? Should I leave it like this, should I try some kind of air layering ? Or maybe try to fix it when the tree will be 3 or 4 years older ?

Thank you for your help and don’t hesitate to tell me all your thoughts :blush:

Is it a grafted maple? it looks like the inverse taper is being caused by the graft scar. There are a few solutions but the viability of each will depend on your goals for the tree.

  1. Wait and see (as the overall tree grows in size sometimes small imperfections get lost in the thickening from new growth)
  2. Find a new ‘front’
  3. plant it in the ground and grow it out (may not work if the maple is grafted as scars tend to get more noticeable, not less)
  4. Ground layer the tree above the narrowing
  5. Ebihara method after air layering above the graft scar.

These are in order from least difficult to most difficult technique. With the exception of options 1 & 2, you should wait until next growing season as the stress of the recent re-potting might make any of the other operations too much for the tree to handle.

Finally, I would maybe recommend some cut paste for those cuts.

Good luck.

Thank you Donguri !

It isba good question, I do not know but now that you tell me this it seems to be grafted, I know that he does cuttings and air layering but I don’t know almost grafting.
Anyway Thank you for your advice.
With ground layering above the narrowing, is there any way to favorise new roots growth ? Like rooting hormone or anything else ?

Let it grow and develop more foliage.
More foliage will give you more roots.
Typically a trees foliage is mirror image of the roots. :+1:t2:

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like @MtBakerBonsai said, let the foliage grow, use some good quality sphagnum when air layering and yes rooting hormone will help as well. I imagine the heat and humidity in Thailand should help grow a good amount of root.

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For the rooting hormone it is not hard to find it here but do you have any suggested brand ?
I recently bought some new Zealand sphagnum moss( same brand as those bags I can see on mirai lives) and and a Clonex rooting gel.
Will it be good ? It seems that people use clonex not only for cutting for for air layering too, and apparently it works. Does gel works more or less than powder or poweder+water ? What amount of IBA do you suggest on rooting hormones?

i just paint on a thin coat, you don’t need much, clonex is good because it’s a high concentration of ibx and clings on to the plant tissue a bit better than powder I find. I’m biased because I live in NZ but if Ryan uses NZ sphagnum I’m sure that it will be good.

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Of Nice ! Actually I come from New Caledonia so we are neighbors ahah my parents have a house in Rotorua, always been in love with New Zealand and people there. The culture, kindness and landscape is on top :grin:
It seems that NZ Sphagnum moss is the go to moss, everyone bonsai growers use it.
Thank you for the tip about the clonex, I am actually watching the Propagation video. When you think you’ve learned enough because of some other famous bonsai youtubers ( I won’t give names ) and you see how the technique is approximately done and not very thorough, then you look at Mirai lives and you understand there’re way more details in the process that what you would think.