Shohin trident ? For Smoke

Brian Van Fleet

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Al...I'd appreciate your thoughts on the next move for this trident in the ground. The horizontal chop is 5" above the soil, and this photo is the approximate front. The goal is true shohin, so it will sit another .75" higher in a pot.

Would you cut that short, straight 2nd section and try for a better leader, leave it and work with the goofy movement in the 3rd section, thread graft a new shoot exactly where I want it (somewhere between the scar on the 2nd section and the 3rd section), or something else?

Thanks
 

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Redwood Ryan

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Mmmm that's a good looking hunk of a trunk. That's all I gotta say.
 

Poink88

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Nice trunk and base. I think the new leader came out at a very awkward angle and need to be replaced. I will do as you pointed out and reduce the 2nd section if this is mine.

I am also not sure if the branch on the right is helping the tree any (for now at least and on this pic) but it really depends on your final design vision.
 
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davetree

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If I were going to reduce the second section I would graft a new leader right where you want it at a good angle. If I were to keep the second section as is, it looks like you have a new leader in place on the left side.
 

Smoke

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This is one of those trees that you already have so much time in, why not take a couple more years and try to refine it further?

For a shohin, I have found that since we are working with such a diminuative tree, everything has to be nearly perfect or else it sticks out like a sore thumb. Diciduous trees are best viewed in winter when they have no leaves, so this makes our job even tougher. Everything in shohin is about proportion and elegance. One plus we have here is that a sumo trunk can help us be a little more brutish and not have to be so elegant.

The massive trunk and its initial shape has already pretty much set the form. The trunk leaves the ground and moves off to the right. Your present leader also moves off to the right causing a distirbance in the flow of the tree. That is defined by most everyone view of the succession of chops.The uneasyness that is felt.

At first glance, the huge branch stub needs to be removed ASAP and begin healing while still in the ground. This is way too large for a shohin tree. All the areas I have marked in red are places that for the most part will not bud. This is internodal growth and is pretty much useless for chps because it will just eventually dry out without budding if chopped in this area.
 

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Smoke

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I would try to get rid of the straight portion ( in blue) above the main trunk.

IMO I think the trunk needs to be chopped at the red line and grown out from there. If this chop was made, I would wire up that small branch (circled in orange) on the left and cut it back to the first set of leaves, even if near the trunk.. I would let it bud and cut it again to the next two leaves. This will allow the leader not yet grown to have some bud rings down low to start some upper and mid range branches from.

People don't do this enough and wonder why after the chop grows out large enough to be cut back and continue the succsession no branches grow. Thats because it is internodal growth and there is no bud wood there. Buds will pop at the wounds of the large branch on the right if the tree is kept cut back hard for a few years.
 

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Smoke

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Over the next maybe three years the leader can be grown out to continue the line. This should get the apex back over the center of the root ball. If the tree is continually cut back to never more than three pairs of leaves, the trunk will sprout some buds from adventitious buds that will be activated due to the small number of fuel producing leaves.

Take advantage of those buds and never remove them from the trunk, but never let them get larger than a pencil as they are only sacrifice and can be used to heal wounds.

As you get to that third year if you are happy with branch stubs then branches can be ramified. If not these sacrificers can just be grown out and used for approach grafts or thread grafts using its own branches and keeping all the attributes the same. If you don't need the grafts then cut them off and heal the wounds while still in the ground and dig up the following year. In Fresno I can heal 1/4 wounds in six months.

If all goes well maybe you can have one of those Japanese copies of the neoclassical form of the Japanese Moyogi with a green helmut.

Cheers...
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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Thanks Al, that's exactly the vision.
Here is the product, and later I'll wire the new leader. I may also thread graft a piece of the right branch to put it on the trunk, just a little higher up.
Happy Birthday!
 

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Smoke

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Awesome. That is exactly what I would do. This will correct most of those problems and the tree will show much better later.

58 today...I feel like a hundred....
 

tmmason10

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Happy bday Al, and super shohin Brian. Closing on my new yard in a matter of minutes so ground growing here I come!
 

Dav4

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No guts, no glory! Nice job so far, Brian, and really great stock you've grown there. How long have you been working with this one, and how many chops have you done on this one to get to this point? By the way, this thread, along with the ROR thread you updated, has prodded me to get more stock into the ground to develop long term...thanks.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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No guts, no glory! Nice job so far, Brian, and really great stock you've grown there. How long have you been working with this one, and how many chops have you done on this one to get to this point? By the way, this thread, along with the ROR thread you updated, has prodded me to get more stock into the ground to develop long term...thanks.
Thanks Dave, I got this one in fall '02, and it had a trunk about 1.75" in diameter, and I didn't do much with it for the first few years. When we moved to this house in '07, it went in the ground and I pretty much forgot about it for 4-5 years. Poking around, I remembered I'd done a little nebari work in '07, and hid it from myself.

In Spring '04:
trident maple.JPG
In Fall '06:
Trident1.jpg
In Spring '10:
DSC02667.jpg
In Summer '11:
Full Sun bed 11 (7).jpg
 

Dav4

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Thanks Dave, I got this one in fall '02, and it had a trunk about 1.75" in diameter, and I didn't do much with it for the first few years. When we moved to this house in '07, it went in the ground and I pretty much forgot about it for 4-5 years. Poking around, I remembered I'd done a little nebari work in '07, and hid it from myself.

In Spring '04:
View attachment 38724
In Fall '06:
View attachment 38725
In Spring '10:
View attachment 38726
In Summer '11:
View attachment 38727
Awesome Brian, and thanks...you forgot one picture, though...:)

In summer '13:
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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Right Dave...here is summer '13, freshly thread-grafted a replacement primary right branch.

And to preempt the discussion of wedge placement; it is on the right side because of the big scar on that side.
 

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Smoke

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Nice..... I like the way you dig right in. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
 

Poink88

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Nice..... I like the way you dig right in. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Question to Brian. I think you knew what to do before posting this, it is even in your initial post...why the need for Smoke (or someone else) to validate your idea before acting on it? This is not an attack or negative comment. I really want to understand why. Thank you.
 

iant

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Wow, before any drama starts from the last post I thought I'd slip in a bonsai development question:

By the way, beautiful base Brian.
Question: in order to prevent the new leader from looking like the old section that was just removed (fairly straight without much taper) would you wire a curve in it (the new leader?) Also would you need to pinch back the new leader now while its still small to try to get the internode length down?
Thanks?
Ian
 

pwk5017

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Question to Brian. I think you knew what to do before posting this, it is even in your initial post...why the need for Smoke (or someone else) to validate your idea before acting on it? This is not an attack or negative comment. I really want to understand why. Thank you.
Reassurance? Perhaps Brian has only worked on 3 trident before etc? The guy just cut off 3-4 years of growth! I typically question myself before whacking 3 years off a tree! Nothing wrong with asking the opinion of some of your peers. I usually think before going saw crazy on my stock. I also have older guys in my club look at trees that have just been wired. In most cases, all forms of design become richer through critique, exploration, and conversation.


Brian, are you sure about that wedge placement??? lol
That is so awesome that you have progression photos spanning a decade. It looked like a turd back in 2002, but it really developed into an awesome piece of stock.
 

marcosolo

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Question to Brian. I think you knew what to do before posting this, it is even in your initial post...why the need for Smoke (or someone else) to validate your idea before acting on it? This is not an attack or negative comment. I really want to understand why. Thank you.

I thought I liked confrontation.....and then there was this guy.......You, sir, are a master of the craft and I applaud you....
 
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