3 (or more?) options

Gert

Yamadori
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Was curious where y'all would chop this Trident for taper/development. I picked it up last spring and I'm planning to work the roots pretty hard this coming spring and get it into a shallow grow box.

I've laid out my three initial thoughts on where to chop. I think currently I'm leaning toward chop II - Blue. Would be curious to know what y'all would do. Any of the three? None?

I am in no rush to get this in a pot and am happy to work on developing it for the next decade.

All thoughts/ideas/comments welcomed.

Thank you!

-Gert
IMG_9231.jpeg
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
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Where to reduce a strong trunk needs a little more consideration than just height and a suitable branch. Always take nebari into consideration as the new front will be away from the chop and roots there may not be good. Start with teh roots and then look for a suitable branch to chop back to.
Where there is already a suitable existing branch you can go straight to an angle cut for taper and save a year but if no suitable branches available make the horizontal chop and cross fingers for well placed shoots to develop a new leader in the right place.

How high will depend what style of tree you want to end up with. The tree will end up substantially taller than the chop point as the new leader develops into an apex. I think yellow III is way too high unless you like tall, skinny looking bonsai.
Lower initial chop will give much greater taper and trunk/height ratio.
 

dbonsaiw

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With the caveat that I don't have a whole heck of a lot of experience with this just yet, here's my 2 cents. I view the first chop as a function of the ultimate tree you want to develop both in terms of height and style. Whatever we are developing should be realistic and realism in trees is all about proportion - including trunk to height ratio. In viewing pics of informal uprights, for example, I seem to like something along the lines of 1:6 ratio. So if I want a 12 inch tree, I will grow at least a 2" inch trunk to obtain the proportions of trunk width to tree height that I like. Next, we need to decide where to make that first cut. On an informal upright, the cut is made at about 1/3 the height of the intended tree. In my example, I would cut so as to achieve movement and taper at 4" above the ground. Notice that I did not say to cut at 4". I would cut straight at a node above 4" in height to allow for the possibility of some die back and that I may not get the branch where I want it. Maybe in the next year I will re-cut the trunk to the branch that is growing at 4" - this time cutting on an angle and forming the new leader.

So I guess the questions are what are the measurements of your tree and what do you want to develop?
 

dbonsaiw

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Just eyeballing the photo, I would cut at Red I or below (no need to keep any branches), assuming you are satisfied with the trunk width. If not, don't cut anything and let it grow wild until the trunk is more to your liking. If you are aiming for a small sized tree, you would probably cut even lower than that.
 

sorce

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I'd start layering it yearly at each line (roughly) and see what happens.

Sorce
 

BrianBay9

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I would cut lower than the red line and use the lowest limb on the right as the new trunk. Everything above that is a cylinder without taper. Use this chance to establish taper and movement. If you want to air layer above that first, go for it.
 

Gert

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Thanks for the great ideas and thoughts @Shibui @dbonsaiw @sorce @BrianBay9 -- My initial idea was to maintain the straight lower portion and lean into the the lean to the left and develop taper from there. I can see now what some of you are saying regarding the taper of the entire tree. I've got some thinking to do before I chop in spring. Appreciate all the different viewpoints - it's good to get outside the vacuum of my own thoughts :)

Will reconsider some options after getting a better look at the roots when it comes time to repot.
 

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