Philippe sent me this to compare to the tree at Kokufu Ten in 1996. Well, it has developed in all these years for sure. One should know that the limbs were much longer when I got it six months ago. I cut back drastically. Now I will develop much finer ramification as it already had in 1996.
It was pointed out to me that a tree that was good enough in 1996 will not necessarily be good enough today to enter. Sure, that's true. And one also has to consider that there is a zenith in the development of every tree. With broadleaved trees this is often after 30 to 50 years. After that they deteriorate. Well, I think this maple has another twenty years to go. Then I will be 86. So for me it's fine.