Consider from my perspective, trident stump

AndyWilson

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Hey Folks,

Just found a trident trunk amongst some bushes that were dug out from my vege garden. this is exciting to me because these things are difficult to find here and i want to make this work no matter how hard or long it takes me.

This stump has already been chopped from last season by the gardener. there is slight movement in the bottom of the trunk i want to accentuate with a further chop. Strangely there is a twig growing from precisely about where i want to chop. my question is, should i grow this out as it already seems to be in the right spot? Or should i chop to just above it? I want this to become the new leader and get some movement into this tunk, ending up with a shohin sized bonsai.

ANY thoughts or opinions welcome pls.
Andy
 
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Andy,

It looks as though there is some growth starting where the old chop by the gardener happened and a possible future leader growing to the left, have you considered air-layering the top off first and then developing the bottom for movement? Why not turn this into a couple trees as they are hard to find there? As to your question about using the branch as the new leader, this depends on what style you want, a broom would not require that leader at all, but if you are wanting more of an informal upright, by all means use the branch for a new leader.

Always nice to find surprises, isn't it?



Will
 
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Hey Folks,

Just found a trident trunk amongst some bushes that were dug out from my vege garden. this is exciting to me because these things are difficult to find here and i want to make this work no matter how hard or long it takes me.

This stump has already been chopped from last season by the gardener. there is slight movement in the bottom of the trunk i want to accentuate with a further chop. Strangely there is a twig growing from precisely about where i want to chop. my question is, should i grow this out as it already seems to be in the right spot? Or should i chop to just above it? I want this to become the new leader and get some movement into this tunk, ending up with a shohin sized bonsai.

ANY thoughts or opinions welcome pls.
Andy
Andy, the question that first pops into my mind is, "Are you certain that this is a trident maple, acer buergerianum?" You say you found it in your garden and they are rare there. Was it put there on purpose, or is it a volunteer? I have found at least one maple whose leaves mimic the trident until they mature somewhat and the leaves start getting bigger. Silver maple does this.

As to style, broom would be completely inappropriate for a tree with movement in the trunk. If this is truly a desireable trident maple, air layering would be a good idea, but a cutting that size should take, too. I would try to get two trees out of it, keeping the low branch to become the new trunk line. I would do this regardless of the variety.

Good luck!
 

AndyWilson

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Thank you both, i am quite certain the species is a trident maple. I have a huge one in the driveway, so i am sure thats where it is from. I was thinking informal upright for the bottom and broom for the top as suggested by Will. I will definately try to get the two from one so to speak.

Correct time for this? we are about 3 weeks off spring, so i take it i do the airlayer just before buds break at spring? as i have just potted this up i dont want to put too much stress onto it.
 

Martin Sweeney

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Andy,

I would make the cut as local conditions allow.

Develop the tree from the base after the cut, remaining open minded as to the usefullness for future design possibilities of any new growth that emerges directly from the trunk. It has been my experience that the new growth emerging from the trunk, sprouting after a major chop, is much more vigorous than the growth that emerges from what was a weak branch remaining from before the chop. Hope that makes sense, kind of a run-on. The new vigourous growth might allow for more rapid development post chop if it develops in the right spots.

Airlayering sounds good, but if there is another trident in the landscape, I would use it as a propagation tree, not the tree you are developing as bonsai. I have found that waiting for an airlayer to be seperated simply slows down the development of the rest of the tree. If the landscape tree can't be used for propagation, use the top growth on your potted trident for cuttings. They grow mighty fast in the ground after rooting...

If you decide to airlayer and then train two trees, I respect your choice and hope for great sucess.

Regards,
Martin
 
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And if you do air layer, the proper timing is after the leaves have hardened off in spring.
 

cbobgo

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how large of a final tree are you thinking about making the lower part? Going from trunk thickness currently, your final tree would need to be pretty short, and that branch coming off to the right is probably too high to be your new leader. If you are planning to grow out to a fatter trunk, and thus a larger tree, you probably don't want to chop now, but let it grow unrestrained until the trunk is a few inches thicker, at least.

- bob
 

candyjshirey

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ANY thoughts or opinions welcome pls.
Andy
Andy -

My first thought was about the roots. Tridents are known for their characteristic root flare. A trident without symetrical roots and a substantial flare may make sub-standard bonsai. I wonder if you found indications of a base in your potting of the tree.

If you air-layer, you should be able to grow that symetrical characteristic root flare from scratch on the top tree of the air-layer... Then develop taper and branching.

(Second thought: Wow this is a long-time project to make a believable bonsai.)

-Candy
 

AndyWilson

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Thank you all for the responses,

" (Second thought: Wow this is a long-time project to make a believable bonsai.) "

-Candy

Thanks Candy, thats okay by me, time is one thing i certainly do have on my side ( i really like that song!)

As i am new i dont mind if it is not the perfect specimen, i will be learning three techniques that are new to me ( trunk chop, air layer and root flare development). I want to learn of this little stump, and if it's a long term learning project thats okay by me;)

Bob and Martin- thanks for sharing, i will see if any of the new development is more vigorous then that little branch, i did want it to be slightly lower as suggested, and hopefully i will get new growth to appear there once the chop is completed.

I think that this guy will go back into a grow bed once i have chopped him to speed up development a bit and so i can get to work on those roots...
 
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Bonsai Nut

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I have a huge one in the driveway, so i am sure thats where it is from.
You ever think of air-layering off your big tree? I think you might find that some curved sections of upper branches might work better than having a long and straight trunk with a chop at the top. Either way, i look forward to the progress!
 
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Thank you all for the responses,

" (Second thought: Wow this is a long-time project to make a believable bonsai.) "

-Candy

Thanks Candy, thats okay by me, time is one thing i certainly do have on my side ( i really like that song!)

As i am new i dont mind if it is not the perfect specimen, i will be learning three techniques that are new to me ( trunk chop, air layer and root flare development). I want to learn of this little stump, and if it's a long term learning project thats okay by me;)

Bob and Martin- thanks for sharing, i will see if any of the new development is more vigorous then that little branch, i did want it to be slightly lower as suggested, and hopefully i will get new growth to appear there once the chop is completed.

I think that this guy will go back into a grow bed once i have chopped him to speed up development a bit and so i can get to work on those roots...
Since this will be going into the grow bed, here is my recommendation for a training plan for this tree. First, I would air layer the base to get the beginnings of a good nebari. Now you should be comfortable with the process to do this, but you should get good results, since tridents are so vigorous. Second, after separating the layer, keep it in a grow box for a year and separate the top, either by layering or just pruning. Then do proper root pruning (you should have a good radial spread by this time) and put it in the grow bed. Let the tiny branch grow as tall as it wants to get, until it's approximately 2/3 as thick as the base. Then cut it back to about half as tall as your first section of trunk and choos a new leader.

You will find that the new nebari will increase your taper, that the trunk will put on girth quickly, and that it will no longer be the thin tree it is now. In five years you should have a nice piece of material to start your finishing work on.

Good luck
 

AndyWilson

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Thanks Chris,, am working on my grow bed this week, unfortunately i have hit compactyed sand at about three feet and am trying to clear this up a bit. Am investigating the right ingredients to add to it to keep my trees happy, a more sandy quicker draining area for the acacias and my baobabs, more water retentive areas for the non native species etc.

Your input and everyone else who has contributed means volumes to me, and i hope to be able to post an update of a fine specimen in a few years time.
 
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