Today, between some very heavy showers, I found a little time to evaluate this years development in an Acer Palmatum, which was started from seed in 2001. Another post outlining the early history of this tree can be found here.
This is a reminder how it looked at the end of last year. The red line shows where I intended to chop the trunk in the Spring and the red arrow shows the shoot that would become the new leader. The tree needed a bottom branch at the right hand side and the blue arrow highlights the shoot that will be used to form it.
After a full seasons growth the new leader and the bottom branch have extended by about 3 feet. The lower branch was allowed to extend freely to increase its diameter and balance it with the lower left branch, which incidentally has taken 5 years to reach the stage it has.
This is how it looks at the moment after cutting back the extension growth, removing the stub on the trunk that was left over from last year and wiring the useful new growth. The thin shoot at the top left will become the new leader next year. This is a slow but very satisfying journey.