My New Trident Maple

RyanFrye

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Well, I received my first trident maple in the mail from Brent at www.evergreengardenworks.com . I know this is usually one of the first trees people try when getting into bonsai. But in all the 14 years of my involvement I have never tried them and I've only seen one in person.

I have to say that after seeing how small the leaves and internodes are (without any training) that I look forward to working with this species. However the leaf shape is not what I expected. It is much more "toothed" than I thought it would be. It almost looks like a much smaller version of our Acer Rubrum or even an Acer Ginnala.

I'll post a pic of my new trident "stick" and update here regularly as it develops.
 

rockm

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You will find that leaf shape can be extremely variable on tridents. Leaf shape can depend on how agressively the've been pruned, how much sun they're getting, etc. I've noticed over the years with my tridents, that more deeply carved leaf lobes results in areas where I've pruned a branch back hard or pinched out new growth. Full sun can also result in "amur maple" like leaf structure...
 

bretts

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It is interesting about the leaf shape. I could not work out which tree I was getting trident maple seedlings from. After a year of wondering it was found they where coming from a neighbor's tree that had single lobed spear head shaped leaves. Yet the off spring have the 3 very defined lobes. I have now watched this adult tree over the last 3 years revert back to a more three lobed shape.
Bugger all seeds this year.
 
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Sounds great Ryan.:)

Say, does anyone know if Tridents will flower and seed in zone 9A? I have several in the ground and I am considering letting one or two of them grow wild so that I can get my own varieties.

Tridents, love'm, love'm, love'm!:p
 

RyanFrye

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Your Wish is My Command!

Let's go, Ryan, We want to see a photo or two!

Sorry it has taken so long to post this. Normally I wouldn't post a pic of a stick. But, as I plan to update this regularly with the progress I think it's essential. I plan on developing it in a similar fashion to the crape myrtles I have.
 

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mapleman77

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"Hi ho, hi ho, it's choppin' time I know..."

Okay, that was bad, but I think that you get the idea. ;) Looks like a wonderful stick to me; no really, I just got an order from Brent and I was impressed BEYOND impressed. :D They are great trees. Keep us updated on your trident; I'm thinking of trying one myself. I will have one of his rough-bark tridents next year, when he propagates enough to fill all of the waiting list orders.
 

RyanFrye

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"Hi ho, hi ho, it's choppin' time I know..."

Wasn't one of the seven dwarves named "Choppy":D

Seriously though, I do have a photo progression planned for the spring to show what I will do to develop this guy...and choppin' is definitely a part of it.
 

rockm

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I you want a decent trident, DON'T chop this puppy. Plant it in the ground. Leave it alone for four years, THEN chop it back.

If you chop this one anytime soon, you slow trunk and nebari development considerably...
 

jonathan

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I kinda agree with rockm on this one. Looks to me like it's a 2-3 year old seedling/cutting (probably P7 container). So I would also put it in the ground for a couple of years to build up some trunkbody and develop some nebari. I would let the right side top branch grow wild (1st pic) and then eventually chop above the 1st branch (2nd pic) and start on taper/branching.

greets jona.
 

RyanFrye

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I you want a decent trident, DON'T chop this puppy. Plant it in the ground. Leave it alone for four years, THEN chop it back.

If you chop this one anytime soon, you slow trunk and nebari development considerably...

Have no fear. :D That is the plan. Sorry if I wasn't clearer. But since there's always a lot of talk about how to develop stock like this I thought I would start a thread with visuals. You'll just have to wait till spring to see'em!
 

Z06Bonsai

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sorry for the noob question but can i grow this species at my desk?

i have a ficus and it is growing very well with artificial sunlight, regular misting, and watering the soil when it dries out.
 

RyanFrye

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sorry for the noob question but can i grow this species at my desk?

i have a ficus and it is growing very well with artificial sunlight, regular misting, and watering the soil when it dries out.

I understand the allure to growing bonsai inside. Especially if that's how you were introduced to bonsai. But, I wouldn't try it. Trident maples like a fair amount of sun. Most likely if you did it and it lives for a season indoors the growth will have very long internodes (you want short internodes to keep the tree compact.) . Also it wouldn't have a dormant period and would eventually die of exhaustion.

However, if you are fixed on having a maple indoors there may be (I don't know for certain. I'm not a maple expert.) some Japanese maples that you could attempt to keep indoors (given enough light and humidity) for a SHORT time. They are naturally under-story trees and are accustomed to lower light. But the light they get in the under-story of the woodlands is still more than what they would get indoors. They would definitely need to go back outside once fall comes around in order to go dormant.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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100% agreed...put this puppy in the ground and stand back! In your FL climate, it will double in diameter each year for the next few years...exponentially. I put cuttings that size in the ground in Birmingham and have 1.5" + trunks on 10' tall trees after 2 seasons. The good part is that as it grows, it provides you with great cutting stock!
 

cquinn

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You need to work on the roots as well. Trim to a point where the roots come out radially, place the tree over a tile or even plastic plates work fine. Hold it on with rubberbands, and then put it in the ground. I did about 20 this way at Warren Hill's place this past Spring. I was fortunate enough that he let me have some of the ones left over. I now have about 50 trident seedlings about the size you have there.
 

discusmike

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Putting it in the ground and adjusting the roots is excellet advice,dont chop yet,way to young.
 

RyanFrye

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I appreciate everyone's advice! :D But I think you all are missing the reason why this thread was started. I started this thread to be a PROGRESSION of this trees development. I am well aware of what needs to be done to this tree to develop it quickly (i.e. don't chop now, put in ground, etc.) . So many times you see this kind of advice given and I want to do a pictoral of that advice on this thread. I think it will really demonstrate why this kind of advice is so crucial to the beginner to understand.

So keep an eye out in the spring for the next stage of development.
 

jonathan

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I'll sure keep an eye on this thread love to see how it progresses. B.t.w. will you keep track of trunk calliper aswell seems like an interesting fact to know how much it increases a year.

greets jona.
 

RyanFrye

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I'll sure keep an eye on this thread love to see how it progresses. B.t.w. will you keep track of trunk calliper aswell seems like an interesting fact to know how much it increases a year.

greets jona.

That's a great idea. I hadn't thought of that. That would really help to show the kind of development that can be achieved with this method. Thanks!
 
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