Chuhin Trident Maple Project - Defoliation and Re-wiring

Brian Underwood

Chumono
Messages
930
Reaction score
201
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
Here is a trident maple I bought 2 years ago from Lone Pine Gardens. It was very ugly when I got it, and had very few branches to work with. My main attraction to it was it's trunk, which has LOTS of movement. I let it grow for one year, did the first styling/wiring in December 2009, and removed the wire this spring, just as it started to cut in. I repotted it around march, let it grow at least 6" from feeding and freedom, and defoliated it, leaving one leaf at the end of each branch (to prevent dieback).
I just finished the re-wire today, and I think it came out pretty decent. It is of course wired mostly like a conifer, which seems to be my tendency with most of my trees. Bad habit I guess... The ramification is increasing incredibly fast, and will require at least one more defoliation/re-wire this summer. My future plans include an aggressive feeding regimen, defoliation, wire (rinse and repeat), scoring the wounds to encourage rollover and healing, and hopefully I will have a decent tree in another couple years. I have a much larger trident I will be doing a similar procedure to, which will require a thread of it's own. Enjoy!
 

Attachments

  • tridproj 001.JPG
    tridproj 001.JPG
    139.6 KB · Views: 457
  • tridproj 002.jpg
    tridproj 002.jpg
    143.9 KB · Views: 388
  • tridproj 003.JPG
    tridproj 003.JPG
    152.3 KB · Views: 309

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,395
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Repotting and defoliating in the same year is not a really good thing to do. Both weaken the tree by themselves. Both at the same time can weaken it significantly. Repeated defoliation after repotting (and wiring) in the same year (or apparently--months) can lead to diminishing returns, or in some cases a dead trident. The new growth doesn't look like it's incredibly strong.
 

Brian Underwood

Chumono
Messages
930
Reaction score
201
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
Thanks Rockm. I am aware of all these facts, but I am somewhat of a rule breaker. What I have read and what I have seen performed on tridents is very different. Unfortunately I didn't have a before picture, and if I did it would have shown a lot of growth. The new growth also looks quite strong, as I only performed the defoliation 3 weeks ago. There are at least twice the amount of new leaves, and the tree is backbudding all over. I'll post some more picture of the new growth in a few weeks. As for repotting and defoliating in the same year, we'll just have to wait and see if it has any negative effects...
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,395
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
You can break rules, but there is a price. All the new growth comes at a cost to the tree. Tridents are very vigorous, but there is a point where you can wear them out. You're asking a lot of this tree...
 

Brian Underwood

Chumono
Messages
930
Reaction score
201
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
Well as Rockm said, this really shouldn't be done with any species, but I would stick with tridents if it has to be done. My experience with palmatum is they are a little more picky and will have greater dieback.
 

docs_bonsai

Yamadori
Messages
78
Reaction score
2
Brian, keep up the good work! Breaking tradition teaches us two things, what a tree is capable of withstanding and what we learn in the process...
 

63pmp

Mame
Messages
191
Reaction score
108
Location
Australia
What I have read and what I have seen performed on tridents is very different.

Could you share your source of information? I'm curious about it, as I wouldn't push a trident this hard, and would like to learn.

Paul
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,395
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
"keep up the good work! Breaking tradition teaches us two things, what a tree is capable of withstanding and what we learn in the process..."

Um, there is no "breaking tradition" with tree care, really. The way a tree reacts does not change according to some rebellious spirit within it or the care giver. It simply ceases to respond to anything if too many "rules" are broken...
 

Brian Underwood

Chumono
Messages
930
Reaction score
201
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
Thanks Rockm. This really isn't "breaking tradition", its performing taxing procedures on a tree to force it into more growing seasons for faster development. I only dare to do it because I have seen artists around the area perform multiple defoliations in one season, with good success. We'll just have to wait and see if it is worth it.
 

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,395
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
Brian,

I piped up again only because the "breaking tradition" thing cropped up. Your description should be noted by all those "rebels" out there:D
 

docs_bonsai

Yamadori
Messages
78
Reaction score
2
"keep up the good work! Breaking tradition teaches us two things, what a tree is capable of withstanding and what we learn in the process..."

Um, there is no "breaking tradition" with tree care, really. The way a tree reacts does not change according to some rebellious spirit within it or the care giver. It simply ceases to respond to anything if too many "rules" are broken...

Not willing to break tradition only limits ones ability to progress beyond the known traditions of bonsai today. I’m not saying to abandon the traditions that we have all learned from. What I’m saying is that if one does not experiment with new ideas and techniques we will never grow beyond what our forefathers accomplished. When someone says stick to traditional ideas and values, I get frustrated. Why not? Why can’t I? Why must I do what every one else does. It’s just an experiment. If it works or reduces the time it takes to achieve your goal, why not! Like I said keep up the good work Brian. When you experiment with new ideas and techniques you learn new things.
 

Attachments

  • L1_07aa.jpg
    L1_07aa.jpg
    71.9 KB · Views: 203
  • CIMG2087.jpg
    CIMG2087.jpg
    193.5 KB · Views: 222
  • L1_08d.jpg
    L1_08d.jpg
    67.6 KB · Views: 212

rockm

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
9,684
Reaction score
12,395
Location
Fairfax Va.
USDA Zone
7
You miss the point. You can indeed experiment, push plants to the limit, work outside the the "traditional" box. There is a price, sometimes a steep one--like the tree's life. Trailblazers have a high mortality rate...If you can afford to lose a particular tree, go for it. If not, restraint might be a wiser path...
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
20
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
Not willing to break tradition only limits ones ability to progress beyond the known traditions of bonsai today. I’m not saying to abandon the traditions that we have all learned from. What I’m saying is that if one does not experiment with new ideas and techniques we will never grow beyond what our forefathers accomplished. When someone says stick to traditional ideas and values, I get frustrated. Why not? Why can’t I? Why must I do what every one else does. It’s just an experiment. If it works or reduces the time it takes to achieve your goal, why not! Like I said keep up the good work Brian. When you experiment with new ideas and techniques you learn new things.

There is something to be said for experiance, purposefully ignoring what everyone else does/did doesn't make you unique or a rebel, it makes you the one that didn't learn from everyone elses mistakes, makes you work longer and harder for results already learned, prices already paid. Learning the hard way doesn't make you any smarter. Also you need to look at what the failure entails, here it very well could be the death of the tree, not just saying Oh well I'll try again with another (expensive) tree. Some are also more able to provide proper after care to keep the tree alive. One off experiments don't necessarilly teach you much, with out a comparison so it means using more than one tree at a time for controlled situation for comparison.

Why can't I - You can if you wish, but be prepaired to pay the price, without complaint.
My guess is you are fairly young, say early 20s.
 

docs_bonsai

Yamadori
Messages
78
Reaction score
2
There is something to be said for experiance, purposefully ignoring what everyone else does/did doesn't make you unique or a rebel, it makes you the one that didn't learn from everyone elses mistakes, makes you work longer and harder for results already learned, prices already paid. Learning the hard way doesn't make you any smarter. Also you need to look at what the failure entails, here it very well could be the death of the tree, not just saying Oh well I'll try again with another (expensive) tree. Some are also more able to provide proper after care to keep the tree alive. One off experiments don't necessarilly teach you much, with out a comparison so it means using more than one tree at a time for controlled situation for comparison.

Why can't I - You can if you wish, but be prepaired to pay the price, without complaint.
My guess is you are fairly young, say early 20s.

Well I'm young at heart, I'm 61 years young now and I've been in bonsai for over thirty years. I've always tried to inspire the "what if" and yes, with the "what if" there is always some failure. On the otherside of that coin there is success. That success is the foundation of our traditions.
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
20
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
doc I stand corrected, and surprised how far off I was, bet its because you are young at heart, maybe because soometimes I can be an almost old fart.:D

I think some of my statement comes from forum use, I sometime try to stay away from blanket info because often advice is take without thought and applied with no disgression to circumstances or experiance. I now have an idea that there is probably more common sense used where your "experiments" come to play, experiance too.;)
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,563
Reaction score
19,746
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
Did you say, Almost?
 

Brian Underwood

Chumono
Messages
930
Reaction score
201
Location
Santa Rosa, CA
New pictures!

Alrighty, the trident seems to be doing very well, and has lots of new growth. New shoots are about 6" long, and new leaves are showing a 40% reduction in size. I have been feeding with stinky fish emulsion 5-5-5 every two weeks and watering quite vigorously once a day. Lookin perty good if I do say so myself! Here's a 360 of the tree, sorry for the distracting background.... -=Brian=-
 

Attachments

  • med trident front.jpg
    med trident front.jpg
    143.5 KB · Views: 210
  • med trident right.jpg
    med trident right.jpg
    152.2 KB · Views: 165
  • med trident back.JPG
    med trident back.JPG
    177.8 KB · Views: 160
  • med trident left.jpg
    med trident left.jpg
    147.2 KB · Views: 160

Zach Smith

Omono
Messages
1,374
Reaction score
2,337
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
Nice looking tree, Brian, it's come a long way. Would love to see a pic without the foliage, but I know you're trying to grow it out for a while. Fall, maybe?

Good work.

Zach
 

Bill S

Masterpiece
Messages
2,494
Reaction score
20
Location
Western Massachusetts
USDA Zone
5a
Did you say, Almost?

Just saw this Al, yep almost, sometimes just depends on the day, not that I am wearing depends.:eek: Maybe its more of a cranky thing, but I'm still low fitty something, so I guess cranky would fit better.
 

Similar threads

Top