Kiwi’s massive Trident

KiwiPlantGuy

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Hi all,
1.5 years ago (June 2020) I acquired this big brute. It measures about 12 inches (30cm) at the nearing and about 8 inches(20) girth.
This Trident had been growing in a club members garden for many years. No root work, and just chopping/pruning the top off when it got out of control. This got tooooo big for her and she offered it my way. Feeling strong, I dug it out with a spade and loppers/pruners. Lifting it out of the hole and getting it in my car was quite the effort as I am guessing it weighed around 50 kg (100pd).
I built a 30cm (12 inch) deep x 50cm square box and filled it with straight Pumice.
CE5AFF34-5751-4A54-9D73-3C0D5075B809.jpeg
It grew really well in the first season and I left it be, no pruning, to get happily recovered. Maybe I will find this Winter, 2 years later that I might not have chopped enough root, so we shall see.
7AF881FF-B312-4129-AE82-FA6C63CC5AA2.jpeg
Last winter a bonsai pro was travelling around NZ doing talked and workshops, and I hired him for a morning’s work. I had planted this probably too deep but now he said to take off the top 15cm board all around to get a better look.
873478B1-9566-48B6-BBBC-B81AA556F737.jpeg
As you can see by the water line, there was a lot of the trunk/nebari hidden.
MORE next post
 

Glaucus

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Whoa, pretty huge. Good call on removing more soil to expose more roots. Many potential design decisions to be made here along a road taking several years once it gets properly established in that container.
 

KiwiPlantGuy

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Unfortunately I didn’t take any progress photos as we did a few chops with the reciprocating saw (wish I knew about these earlier in life!!). The finished, for then, product is below. C4339B41-7740-43AB-A172-2F0E2636E624.jpeg
This photo I took in the Spring 3/4 months ago. Nebari is not much to get excited about but I plan on getting some cuttings under way so I can do some root grafts. The better nebari is around the other side but everything goes away from you and we decided to go with the front.
I have pruned it twice now, once early Nov, and again in early Jan.
B08182FF-E94B-41DE-A42D-58E13687471D.jpeg
The next few photos are first ( preferred front), second (back) and third of the side by side comparison.
4C08F228-2D32-4E3D-AC37-B455C336C0D0.jpeg
8875DB8F-A2EB-44F2-94BF-A752DB49A3B3.jpeg
686B78FA-4279-4520-B08B-E3EB32C34121.jpeg
Any thought/opinions welcome, now just learning to build branches etc.
Charles
 

HorseloverFat

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Suh-WEET!

That's GOTTA be a fun one to work with!

I, While I agree that your proposed "best front" is "best" for a a few reasons... I ALMOST like the "back" better. If you could manage to bring Positive space down a little.. alleviating a corner of negative space in that upper right quadrant, there'd be MUCH to be had..

Buuuuut both work, right now.. and no decisions need to be made that would hurt EITHER... I was just posing it as a consideration.

Nice Beast... looks a little like KING Trident.
 

KiwiPlantGuy

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Suh-WEET!

That's GOTTA be a fun one to work with!

I, While I agree that your proposed "best front" is "best" for a a few reasons... I ALMOST like the "back" better. If you could manage to bring Positive space down a little.. alleviating a corner of negative space in that upper right quadrant, there'd be MUCH to be had..

Buuuuut both work, right now.. and no decisions need to be made that would hurt EITHER... I was just posing it as a consideration.

Nice Beast... looks a little like KING Trident.
Hi,
Yeah I really like the back as the front but mentally I can’t make it work with all the stumpy trunks in your face. I am hoping the network of branches from now on will vaguely hide the 3-4 stove pipe trunks although just maybe I am being too critical.
Charles
 

KiwiPlantGuy

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Also, i am hoping @markyscott or @MACH5 might drop by to answer a question re old bark.
Do I use a wire brush or a nylon/plastic brush to remove the old bark? Or is there another method?
It would be nice to uncover the nice brown shades Tridents are known for.
Or someone else can answer as well.
As for design considerations I don’t know how to carve yet but would carving give the backside of the tree any chance of being the front?
Charles
 

Shibui

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Over this side of the ditch the bark falls all by itself each year so I don't bother doing anything. The bark color is a constantly changing thing through the year so rather than trying to force a particular color just enjoy what you get.

Carving the central stump could give a great hollow as a feature but won't overcome the top of the tree moving way back. From over here it looks like the best option is the front you have chosen. From the photos it appears there is one more sub-trunk I think I'd chop out.
 

Tidal Bonsai

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Love the way this tree is progressing! The repeated cycles of letting it grow and cutting it back hard is getting light to the interior, and finer pieces to work with over time. The bottom right branch looks a tad heavy in the pictures. Over time this can be reduced, and many finer pieces can be grown off of it to help with taper.

Sergio’s progression on piglet may be of some help.

 

leatherback

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This is a great tree!

Agree with @Shibui that the stovepipe to the left of the main trunk could be removed. Probably can get away with carving it back quite far & the attached lower left branch would close the resulting gap. I guess you will have to get yourself a chainsaw-rotary disk for your angle grinder to work on these stumps, or invest in a serious carving bit. Good thing tridents can close big cuts, quickly.

As for working the nebari: Have you worked the rootball since collecting? I think you might find the tree is throwing out masses of new roots all around the trunk, especially if you ensure the substrate near the trunk never dries out. That would help enourmously in building a good nebari.
 

markyscott

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Also, i am hoping @markyscott or @MACH5 might drop by to answer a question re old bark.
Do I use a wire brush or a nylon/plastic brush to remove the old bark? Or is there another method?
It would be nice to uncover the nice brown shades Tridents are known for.
Or someone else can answer as well.
As for design considerations I don’t know how to carve yet but would carving give the backside of the tree any chance of being the front?
Charles
Don’t use a wire brush. That would badly damage the bark. Do it like this instead. https://www.bonsainut.com/threads/an-unusual-trident.16075/page-10#post-609498
 

KiwiPlantGuy

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KiwiPlantGuy

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This is a great tree!

Agree with @Shibui that the stovepipe to the left of the main trunk could be removed. Probably can get away with carving it back quite far & the attached lower left branch would close the resulting gap. I guess you will have to get yourself a chainsaw-rotary disk for your angle grinder to work on these stumps, or invest in a serious carving bit. Good thing tridents can close big cuts, quickly.

As for working the nebari: Have you worked the rootball since collecting? I think you might find the tree is throwing out masses of new roots all around the trunk, especially if you ensure the substrate near the trunk never dries out. That would help enourmously in building a good nebari.
Hi Leatherback,
Thank you for your comments, and yes is a beast of a thing.
I have edited a photo marking 2 possible ‘stovepipes’ to carve down etc.
5AEC1D8A-97CE-4699-A334-925CC93EE784.jpeg
The right trunk is a bit hard to see as it is behind a horizontal branch I am keeping. The left circled trunk seems an obvious choice. Is this what you were thinking?
Adding @Shibui into this discussion as he had carve ideas too.
Charles
 

leatherback

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I was thinking the left one. The bottom on the right.. Not sure what to do. It feels like it is too heavy. But removing it would mean a decade to get anything of the right size in place, with the risk of the cut not healing.

Seen from the back, it looks like you have nice solid wood along the red line. So chopping along the ridge (hard to tell from pictures) could be an option and carving the blue area down a bit could be reasonable. But.. Tricky territory, from pictures. Naturally, the other question is what is possible on the right in the top..
1643016737763.png
 

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