Root-over-rock Trident maple question

Brian Van Fleet

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I'm getting ready to start a few R.O.R tridents and was wondering if it would be advantageous to split the trunks vertically into several sections; and basically starting with a split trunk around the rock rather than growing roots down over the rock.

My main concerns would be to get the tree "seated" on the rock without tearing one of the sections beyond repair, or creating an unnatural look.

Anyone have any experience with this?
 

grouper52

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Tridents are one of the most natural trees for ROR. The roots easily flatten out and hug the rock in a very pleasing manner.

Just follow standard techniques and you'll be very pleased in a few years - no need for trunk splitting that I can think of.
 

rockm

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Splitting trident trunks for ROR will result in a weirdly unnatural looking tree in the end. The idea is not to force the tree onto the rock, but to grow it over the rock, so it "hangs" on the rock naturally.

Usually, the best ROR tridents are grown out from seedling stage on their rocks, with gradual selection of roots that embrace the rock naturally. This is accomplished in a number of ways, from sand filled sleeves that fit around the rock, to selectively anchoring promising roots to the rock with clips and cement...The top of the tree is grown out, maximizing root development. The tree is usually trunk chopped in the final stages to force taper and movement into the final product. THe roots, however, should be largely complete by then,
 

pjkatich

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Brian,

In my experience, you get the best results from rooted cuttings or seedlings as rockm pointed out.

What age are the trees that you are working with?

It is not impossible to adapt a mature tree to grow over a rock. They just present a different set of circumstances and it would probably take a bit longer to achieve your objective.

In my opinion, I don't think splitting the trunk would get you where you want to go. I have found that mature trident wood is a bit on the stiff side and can snap if bent to severely.

I have several root-over-rock tridents in progress. If you are interested, I will post some photos on how they were developed.

Regards,
Paul
 

Brian Van Fleet

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I have several root-over-rock tridents in progress. If you are interested, I will post some photos on how they were developed.
Please do!

Thanks for the tips, After reading some, I decided to try with a 2-year old cutting and a 1-year old cutting and not split trunks.

Not exactly top-rate craftsmanship, but here they are. The 1-year old is on a rock I especially like; it's been on my bench for years. I put the cutting in a crevice; not on top, so it should make for an interesting composition in about 20 years:cool:
 

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pjkatich

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Please do!

Thanks for the tips, After reading some, I decided to try with a 2-year old cutting and a 1-year old cutting and not split trunks.

Not exactly top-rate craftsmanship, but here they are. The 1-year old is on a rock I especially like; it's been on my bench for years. I put the cutting in a crevice; not on top, so it should make for an interesting composition in about 20 years:cool:

Brian,

I'll get the photos together and get another post started as soon as I can.

Looking at the photos you posted, I would recommend using more plastic to wrap the roots. In the first photo, you left a lot of space where the roots can grow out away from the rock. I normally wrap the tree/rock combination like a mummy. I only leave space for the roots to grow down along the rock and out of the bottom of the wrapped area.

Regards,
Paul
 

Brian Van Fleet

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ROR Update:

The same two from above in March '11...
DSC05637.jpgDSC05685.jpg

And in March '12...
ROR Trident 1 2012.jpgROR Trident 2 2012.jpg

Both are in the ground at the moment, and will be pruned back to a low shoot in the next couple weeks.
 

pjkatich

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It looks like you are off to a good start on both of these trees Brian.

Out of the two, I like the tree planted on the vertical rock the best.

Cheers,
Paul
 

Smoke

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Me too.

You think it would be wise to cut these back now. Seems such a waste of time to get it on the rock and then work on the upper part later.

I did it in reverse. Made the tree first and then attached it to a rock.
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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Thanks. The tall one definitely has more interesting roots, but I'm not at all happy with how it's seated. I'm concerned that if I don't cut it back soon, the trunk will grow out of proportion. It could likely wait until next spring, but the runners are getting over 6' tall and I don't want it to be too coarse. From today...

The shorter one is sitting nicely and spreading out pretty well. I want a lot of trunk movement and taper down low. I see them finishing out around 14"...
.


Al, what hesitations do you see cutting them back now? Likely they'll form a good callus, and will add another trunk section my fall...?
 
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Smoke

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I'm thinkin none. I would make sure I had a really strong leader to cut back to. I used to think tridents were bullit proof, but I have lost some beheading them hopeing for a pop and got none.

Maybe prune it by half and see if the base pops a few and then cut it back next month. I forget about your shorter season so maybe half this year and then the rest next spring?
 

monza

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Cool to see the progress, thanks for posting. They seem to be growing super fast, at least compared to how slow things grow where I live.
 

shane martin

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Thanks. The tall one definitely has more interesting roots, but I'm not at all happy with how it's seated. I'm concerned that if I don't cut it back soon, the trunk will grow out of proportion. It could likely wait until next spring, but the runners are getting over 6' tall and I don't want it to be too coarse. From today...

The shorter one is sitting nicely and spreading out pretty well. I want a lot of trunk movement and taper down low. I see them finishing out around 14"...
.


Al, what hesitations do you see cutting them back now? Likely they'll form a good callus, and will add another trunk section my fall...?
ANy update on these 2 Brian? They look like they're leaping out of the ground.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Not much to update yet. I'll dig them up again in 6 weeks or so and add another chop and work the roots over. The second one may be ready for a pot, or to be planted pretty high back in the ground. I don't want the roots to outpace the trunk, if that makes sense.

A couple recent shots of the original two, plus a third one I started last year, which is adhering nicely:
 

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shane martin

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Not much to update yet. I'll dig them up again in 6 weeks or so and add another chop and work the roots over. The second one may be ready for a pot, or to be planted pretty high back in the ground. I don't want the roots to outpace the trunk, if that makes sense.

A couple recent shots of the original two, plus a third one I started last year, which is adhering nicely:
Look forward to pics of these guys when they're up out of the ground Brian. ;)
Great job so far.
 

barrosinc

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Hi Brian!
how is the tree doing??? I would love to see an update
 

thumblessprimate1

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Oh man. Another thing Brian has got me interested in. I got a pine seedling growing on a huge rock already, but there's this other rock that I just might want to use for a trident next year. ;)
 
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