Collecting a large trident near Miami

Jmontee

Sapling
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Miami, FL
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10
Starting at the beginning... A few years ago I noticed a tree growing in the ground at local bonsai nursery. After seeing the leave change colors I realized it was a deciduous tree in South Florida and we don't have many of those! When the pandemic hit I lost my job and started helping him out with repottings, wiring and pruning some trees and other stuff. After a while I decided to take a better look at this tree and realized it was a Trident maple which is pretty cool down here. He's had it in the ground for years so I dig around to check the nebari and it was a much larger tree than I ever thought.

So now about a year later he told me he didn't want the tree where it was so of I wanted it I could dig it up and take it. Needless to say I have jumped at the chance. I did some major trunk chopping a few weeks ago when all the leaves were gone and protected the chop sites. At this point there are new buds popping all over the trunk so I believe it is time to dig it up.

I have done a ton of research on the next steps and will be digging it on Monday. My main question is what are any opinions on soil. I have akadama, japanese pumice, lava rock and peat moss substrate to use but not totally sure on the percentages.

Any ideas on what might be best for a Trident maple in Miami would be appreciated!

I am adding a few pics for reference!
 

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Jmontee

Sapling
Messages
44
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52
Location
Miami, FL
USDA Zone
10
Starting at the beginning... A few years ago I noticed a tree growing in the ground at local bonsai nursery. After seeing the leave change colors I realized it was a deciduous tree in South Florida and we don't have many of those! When the pandemic hit I lost my job and started helping him out with repottings, wiring and pruning some trees and other stuff. After a while I decided to take a better look at this tree and realized it was a Trident maple which is pretty cool down here. He's had it in the ground for years so I dig around to check the nebari and it was a much larger tree than I ever thought.

So now about a year later he told me he didn't want the tree where it was so of I wanted it I could dig it up and take it. Needless to say I have jumped at the chance. I did some major trunk chopping a few weeks ago when all the leaves were gone and protected the chop sites. At this point there are new buds popping all over the trunk so I believe it is time to dig it up.

I have done a ton of research on the next steps and will be digging it on Monday. My main question is what are any opinions on soil. I have akadama, japanese pumice, lava rock and peat moss substrate to use but not totally sure on the percentages.

Any ideas on what might be best for a Trident maple in Miami would be appreciated!

I am adding a few pics for reference!
20220225_160143.jpg20220225_160211.jpg
 

Jmontee

Sapling
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Nice base mate, in the other hand the big cuts would need attention and time to heal
Thanks, yeah that thing is huge! And, yes, I figure I am looking at a decade of cutting and carving up until those large cuts are healed. The top cut will eventually be reduced for taper once a new leader has been established!
 

SWfloirda

Shohin
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Nice! I've haven't seen any tridents in zone 10, so I thought they wouldn't thrive here. That looks great.
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
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Tridents are tough maples so not surprised if any species will be OK in warmer areas it will be trident maple.
For soil mix I'd just use whatever you have your other trees in. Tridents are not fussy and having a single mix you know how to manage in your local climate makes life much easier when watering and fertilizing.
Given you have been researching I guess transplanting tridents is new. I cut trident roots really short whenever I dig here because they don't seem to care and cutting hard gives plenty of new roots closer to the trunk which will eventually give better nebari. Bare root is no problem with trident maple and you can get the tree straight into your chosen mix and not have to worry about root rot with field soil in the pot.
Be prepared for a battle to get this out. Maple roots are really hard so you will ned a saw or ax to cut even relatively thin roots and there's almost certainly some thicker roots going down under the trunk. You'll probably need to widen the hole in order to get at the vertical roots with tools but don't worry about going deep. Vertical roots can be cut right under the trunk straight away.

Good luck with the dig.
 

Jmontee

Sapling
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Ok, so it's done! I ended up using 1:1:1 akadama, Japanese pumice and lava rock. I also added a tiny bit of peat moss because it just made me feel more comfortable. It ended up being less than 5% I imagine. I also used some larger black gravel/stone (the decorative black stone from Home Dept) as a drainage layer about 3/4in deep.

I potted it in a rectangular plastic training pot and I drilled a bunch of extra holes on the bottom and sides to ensure good circulation.

It's now sitting under a counter in the work space area of the bonsai nursery. It will get good circulation but no sun or rain for the next two weeks or so. It will be watered between every three and 5 days until then depending on how dry it gets over time. Here are some pics:

20220228_094414_HDR.jpg20220228_111941.jpg
 

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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If you have any extra substrate, I'd add another 1-2 inches, as you want to bury the roots to get new roots closer to the trunk. You did a good job cutting back the big roots at collection but you're going to have to cut back more next year :p . Add the milled sphag moss afterward.... then, a beer and motrin!
 

roberthu

Chumono
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We are going to be in the 90F next week so I assume Miami is going to be hotter. Putting the tree in shade is going to help a lot with the new leaves.
Never thought it would get so hot so early here...
 

Jmontee

Sapling
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Miami, FL
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We are going to be in the 90F next week so I assume Miami is going to be hotter. Putting the tree in shade is going to help a lot with the new leaves.
Never thought it would get so hot so early here...
Yeah, it's crazy, but it was actually pretty nice here today. The tree is currently sitting under large wood working space and is well protected from sun and wind right now. It will be watered probably every 3 - 4 days depending on how quickly the moisture evaporates. It is really humid here so that should help. It will stay under complete cover for the first couple of weeks and then under shade cloth for the rest of this year. The nursery has a few different levels of shade to choose from so will be moving closer to full sun over the course of this season
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
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If you have any extra substrate, I'd add another 1-2 inches, as you want to bury the roots to get new roots closer to the trunk.
+1. Substrate usually subsides a bit and the deeper the roots are now the better the new root growth will be. Now is not the time to show off nebari. Now is the time to promote as many new roots as possible.
 

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