Exsanguinating Trident

Kirk

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In early June I purchased a container grown trident from a nursery. The trunk is approx. 5 inches with a nebari puddling out to almost 12 inches. A fellow club member with quite a bit of success growing tridents thought it would be fine to go ahead with a drastic pruning and take the tree down to a 3 ft. stump, let it back-bud and go from there. Normally I do drastic chopping like that in late winter/early spring. Since the chop it has been bleeding profusely, pushing off every application of cut paste. Now it is starting to smell like rot. There are a few open buds near the base where some shoots/suckers were at one point but nothing higher along the trunk.

Is there any way to resolve the bleeding and save this patient? Would anyone with trident experience like to venture a prognosis for survival? I've never had this experience before.

Gratefully,
Kirk
 

Smoke

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In all my experience with trident maples, over 50 of them, and with chops up to over two inches across, I have never experienced bleeding in a trident. There was another chap some months ago that had a similer problem with a bleeding trident.

In my hot dry climate I just wonder if they just do not have as much sap as they develop on the the more eastern coast.

Hope you find a cure.

Al
 
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Kirk

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Thanks for the reply, Al. I admire your work.

It has been a very sticky summer here in ATL. Today was mild with only 65% humidity. Perhaps that is one reason the cut is having a hard time drying. Hopefully the issue will resolve and it will snap out of it.

My best,
Kirk
 

Walter Pall

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Kirk,

trees don't die of bleeding. This is a bonsai myth. It is possible that after cutting a thick branch or the trunk that liquid comes out of the wound for several days. This is not sap as they say, this is water. This is the water that originally would have gone into the branch or trunk. Now that it is not there anymore it just evaporates or even runs down teh bark. So what?! Nothing lost!!! Eventually the tree will realize that there is an open wound and stop the water supply to a non-esistent part. It is NOT necessary to put something over the wound. if anything tehn vaseline will do. If this were 'sap' it would have to come from above the wound through the cambium. But ther is nothing ther anymore.
 

jquast

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I took a pruning japanese maples class at Hakone gardens out in Saratoga a few months back and the instructor mentioned that sticking a spade in the ground that is adjacent to the area of the cut to sever some roots will also prevent this. If you cut the roots that supply that branch then there is no bleeding.
 

Rick Moquin

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I took a pruning japanese maples class at Hakone gardens out in Saratoga a few months back and the instructor mentioned that sticking a spade in the ground that is adjacent to the area of the cut to sever some roots will also prevent this. If you cut the roots that supply that branch then there is no bleeding.

... that I believe is hocus pocus as well.
 

Rick Moquin

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Kirk,

trees don't die of bleeding. This is a bonsai myth. It is possible that after cutting a thick branch or the trunk that liquid comes out of the wound for several days. This is not sap as they say, this is water. This is the water that originally would have gone into the branch or trunk. Now that it is not there anymore it just evaporates or even runs down teh bark. So what?! Nothing lost!!! Eventually the tree will realize that there is an open wound and stop the water supply to a non-esistent part. It is NOT necessary to put something over the wound. if anything tehn vaseline will do. If this were 'sap' it would have to come from above the wound through the cambium. But ther is nothing ther anymore.

Walter,

I'm glad you brought that up as it was my belief as well. Another myth bites the dust.
 

rockm

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IF it's not hocus pocus, it's not exactly a huge danger. I've beheaded, chopped, hacked and pruned Japanese maples and trident maples for years. Not had a problem with "exanguination." What I have seen is a chopped trunk continue to push water up a ghost trunk. This can be alarming if you've not seen it before.
 

Treebeard

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...There was another chap some months ago that had a similer problem with a bleeding trident....
That would have been me. It wasn't a problem as such, just a small amount of weeping down the trunk from the removal of a small pencil-thick branch.

Chris.
 

Kirk

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Thanks, everyone, for your input. Mr. Pall, invaluable as always. I've always appreciated your skill and artistry.

The stump does continue to push water. I'm in the medical field (horticultural therapist), so sometimes its easier to make it sound like blood (exsanguinate) or a patient.

It was mentioned earlier about severing root, but this particular tree was container grown. The water being pushed wasn't as alarming to me as the rot, smell and insects at the cut. I know that with a major chop some decay is almost unavoidable, even on the inside with a well calloused wound. I suppose its good that it continues to have active capillary action. I didn't know if it would exhaust itself or something of that nature. It's never happened on my A. rubrum or A. palmatums.

My best,
Kirk
 

Kirk

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Please keep us posted on the callous formation, how much die back, etc.

Will do. Hope this one makes it. It's the largest trident I've worked with so far.

Best,
Kirk
 

Walter Pall

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Kirk,

trees are not human beeings. Their physiology is entirely different from our's. They can easily cope with being stumped, open wounds, insects and stuff. Usually you have nothing to do, just let them fix it themselves. They are much better at it than you are. It is NORMAL for a tree to get huge wounds. If they could not cope with this they would be extinct. It does not matter if the wound will rot!! Trees have a system against this. It is called compartmentalization. Google it.
 

Rick Moquin

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He had over 30 years of experience pruning Japanese Maples and was trained in Japan. Not entirely sure that this is hocus pocus.
... and that is suppose to impress me. How many ball players, hockey players never change their underwear when they are on a winning streak? Just because he studied in Japan doesn't make it so, where is the anecdotal evidence? You would be surprised at times which root feeds what branch.

In this particular case it was a major chop, the entire root system is feeding the tree, not to mention so you sever the root(s) what about the feeders inside the spade close to the trunk??

Hocus Pocus!
 

Kirk

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Thanks, Walter. I appreciate the sound advice. I am familiar with compartmentalization. This month long push of fluid just made me nervous about it. When my patients and other hospital staff come to me with plant questions I tell them to relax. Plants are tough and can do quite a bit to take care of themselves. I guess I need to heed my own advice.

Trident stump and its nebari below (I threw in the Chihuahua for scale):


3708475098_b450293576.jpg


3707664181_08031ce549.jpg


3707664321_0bb3bb101c.jpg
 

Walter Pall

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Kirk,

great trunk and nebari. I would cut at least another 50 to 65 % of that trunk right away. You have to pkan for future growth. Otherwise you will get a trunk which is way too high. Folks come with such trees after ten years to workshops and I tell them to cut at least half off the trunk. They cannot believe that I am telling them to destroy ten year's work.
 

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