‘Arakawa’ Japanese Maple early Summer pruning

This arakawa has already had one haircut this spring, and has continued to grow denser. In order to keep the internodes short, I am continuing to cut back any extension growth back to the first (or second) node.

Before work

Additionally, I removed one of each pair of leaves in the crown, and outer, stronger shoots.

After work

Finally, I weakened the entrance side of the thread graft that was applied in March this year.

Weakening the graft on the entrance side

It is nearly ready to separate, but I’d like to see the cambium fuse just a bit more at the exit side:

Scuffing up the union on the exit side.

The apex area, while thinned out, looks a bit high above the rest of the foliage. I am slowly allowing the tree to grow taller and wider, so it may look a bit disassociated for now, but I am trying to keep it from getting too congested.

Additionally, the graft will be shortened when it is separated. Stay tuned for more updates!

Japanese Maple Spring Cleaning

A couple weeks ago, readers saw the last year of struggle for this Japanese Maple. Fortunately, it is on the road to recovery, and it’s time to remove wires and handle some light pruning and perform a partial defoliation.

Here’s where we left off with the last post, and start the work:

Wires dig in quickly this time of year, and scars can remain nearly forever, so it’s important to stay vigilant. Removed…

And back on the workbench for round 2…light pruning.

And finally, partial defoliation.

Remove one leaf from each pair.
A close-up of the apex showing plenty of space for light and air circulation.

Partial defoliation allows sunlight to reach the interior of the tree, encouraging bud development closer to the trunk. This is important, as it is necessary to always have new branches growing to replace older branches. Older branches slow down in vigor, get fat and set in their ways. Replacing them gradually over time keeps the tree young and vigorous.

After unwiring and partial defoliation, the tree looks a bit wind blown, but it will settle down in a few days.

A few days later, and it’s settled down a bit.

Hawthorn Spring Cleaning

The hawthorn was repotted in March, and allowed to grow freely until early May.

Based on no scientific study, only observation, fungicides seem to inhibit the explosive growth these trees can be known for. Foliage growth anyway, nothing seems to thicken up the trunks and branches.

But as a result of withholding fungicides, growth was good…both foliage and fungal. Before starting any work:

And a few shots of some of the fungal activity:

Note the swelling at the base of the shoot? Not only does this cedar-Apple fungus form at the base of the shoots…
The fungus also forms on the tips of spurs…instead of flowers…
Closer shot of the fungal spores developing on the leaves. Black spurs develop on the top and bottom of the yellow spots eventually.
Also found a few happy families of aphids.

After pruning it back, here is the final result, with a light and dark background…and finally, a dark night shot.

From that distance, you kind of forget the fungal issues. But the next step was to remove all the galls and as many infected leaves as I could, and then douse the whole thing with Mancozeb. And then I’ll watch for effectiveness, and any impact on growth.