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Old 03-13-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
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Well, the post is for Jack...I finally got around to girdling the Japanese maple...but doing it is for me (and for my mission and my restoration project).

Back in February (I think), I began to us a reciprocating saw to remove the bark around the base of the trunk of the Japanese maple that I "inherited" from a previous owner. Although, I hate to remove something without having a native of even somewhat comparable size with which to replace it, I think it was time. Over the past few years, I've found a few JM seedlings sprouting in the grass. I'd hate to see our woodlands filled with these red-leaf maples.

For those who don't know (and, Jack, correct me if I'm wrong), about two years ago, I responded to a post from Jack, encouraging him to remove a Japanese maple in his yard. He had been on the fence, but pretty quickly removed it, and felt pretty darn good about it. I, on the other hand, put off removing the one in our yard. I still wish I had something else ready to grow there, but I'll deal with it.

Anyway, the blade broke on the reciprocating saw after only getting about a fourth of the way around the trunk (if that). I bought another blade eventually, but the allen wrench that we needed to switch the blade was the only size missing from the set--someone didn't put it back! ~smirk~

Today, I used the broken blade for something else in the yard, and somehow it occurred to me that I didn't need the blade to do the job. I grabbed a shovel and used it to remove a ring of bark at the base.

Gee, this has become a long post...my point is I'd assured Jack that I'd girdle the tree before winter was over.
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For Jack :)-dsc07919.jpg   For Jack :)-dsc07917.jpg  
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Last edited by dapjwy; 03-13-2012 at 09:30 PM. Reason: adding a little
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:50 PM   #2
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Looks like the proper method of pruning purple trees to me ...
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
Well, the post is for Jack...I finally got around to girdling the Japanese maple...but doing it is for me (and for my mission and my restoration project).

Back in February (I think), I began to us a reciprocating saw to remove the bark around the base of the trunk of the Japanese maple that I "inherited" from a previous owner. Although, I hate to remove something without having a native of even somewhat comparable size with which to replace it, I think it was time. Over the past few years, I've found a few JM seedlings sprouting in the grass. I'd hate to see our woodlands filled with these red-leaf maples.

For those who don't know (and, Jack, correct me if I'm wrong), about two years ago, I responded to a post from Jack, encouraging him to remove a Japanese maple in his yard. He had been on the fence, but pretty quickly removed it, and felt pretty darn good about it. I, on the other hand, put off removing the one in our yard. I still wish I had something else ready to grow there, but I'll deal with it.

Anyway, the blade broke on the reciprocating saw after only getting about a fourth of the way around the trunk (if that). I bought another blade eventually, but the allen wrench that we needed to switch the blade was the only size missing from the set--someone didn't put it back! ~smirk~

Today, I used the broken blade for something else in the yard, and somehow it occurred to me that I didn't need the blade to do the job. I grabbed a shovel and used it to remove a ring of bark at the base.

Gee, this has become a long post...my point is I'd assured Jack that I'd girdle the tree before winter was over.
I knew (hoped) you had it in you, Dap! You may find the tree sends out some leaves and attempts to mend itself; I found them to be tough and resilient. But, now the process of decay has begun, and think of all the help nature is about to provide in the demise of that tree via insects, birds, and mammals. Good job!!!! (In the future, though, let's pick up the pace on these projects.) (:>)
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:02 PM   #4
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Looks like the proper method of pruning purple trees to me ...
Thanks, NEWisc.

I am NOT a fan of any of "those purple trees"...what ever the species. Keep our Northeastern forests green!
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:12 PM   #5
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I knew (hoped) you had it in you, Dap! You may find the tree sends out some leaves and attempts to mend itself; I found them to be tough and resilient.
Yup, I had it in me...there was no doubt here...I just hate to be removing so much and not having anything big to fill in.

Yes, I expect it to fight back--sprout again, but that should be easy to deal with...though I really should sharpen my spade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack View Post
But, now the process of decay has begun, and think of all the help nature is about to provide in the demise of that tree via insects, birds, and mammals.
Let 'em have at it!

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(In the future, though, let's pick up the pace on these projects.) (:>)
LOL!

...I was eyeing the empty (well, weed-filled) hole that is (will be) my pond. Like so many projects, when the mood hits, there will be no stopping me. The past three days were invasive removal days. Gotta get at them while the getting is good (nothing's grown in yet).

I removed most of the Oriental bittersweet...but I probably will need one more day to work at it...then upkeep as it will likely sprout from the few roots that remain. While doing this I ended up moving and repairing the fence it was growing along. Hopefully, I'll attack the pond with as much vigor...but don't hold your breath...we wouldn't want you to turn purple.
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Old 05-23-2013, 03:20 PM   #6
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Default *What* Does it Take!?!?

Earlier this spring, I tried to girdle the Japanese maple--AGAIN! Last year, I tried to off it, and it leafed out anyway--but did look very poor all summer (and never went to seed). This year, I tried again--going deeper into the wood and taking off a wider band. Again, it leafed out, and so far, it looks better than ever!

For Jack :)-dsc03398.jpg

For Jack :)-dsc03401.jpg

For Jack :)-dsc03414.jpg

I did read somewhere that it could take years for a girdled tree to die, but it just seems like I'm missing something.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:27 AM   #7
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Default Any Girdling Tips?

The damn thing is still going strong! Yesterday, I noticed a few samaras (or what ever their winged seeds are called)!

~sigh~ How can what I did have no effect on it!?
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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It doesn't look like you are going deep or wide enough. You have to get through the cambium, not just the bark. Check out this publication from the US Forest Service.

http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/pdfpubs/pdf99242809/pdf99242809pt01.pdf
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Old 06-19-2013, 12:18 PM   #9
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Cut 2 lines with your axe to the suggested dept, then chip out the middle section from the top, or across the bark with a chisel. Would also girdle higher up on the limbs, instead of that fork, makes it harder to manage, though for looks it might not be ideal.

They will sucker below the girdle probably and just need to be kept on top of.
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Old 06-20-2013, 06:58 AM   #10
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Might just need time to burn itself out. If anything shoots up from below your hack job keep clipping it off. With no photosynthesis going on, it should eventually peter out.
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