The start of a Trident Maple 🍁

Njyamadori

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I’m excited for this new and gonna be long adventure(if it doesn’t die). I’ve recently picked up this small leaf trident maple in hopes of a bonsai with taper ! The seller and good man mentioned that it was ground grown at Natures way for a number of years and this is actually an air layer . He put it on a flat for better nebari and grew out branches 4-5 feet. Now it’s gonna be my turn for 10-50+ years to grow it into a nice trident bonsai. Please leave any thoughts or questions to help me out since I’ve never tried growing taper in my life !
 

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sorce

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The only thing I would worry about right now is pushing up those possible "new leaders" up out of 90.

Then eliminating whichever opposites don't fit the future design.
Keeping less vigorous ones for branches, and more vigorous ones for the leader.

Sorce
 

Njyamadori

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The only thing I would worry about right now is pushing up those possible "new leaders" up out of 90.

Then eliminating whichever opposites don't fit the future design.
Keeping less vigorous ones for branches, and more vigorous ones for the leader.

Sorce
Yeah I’m definitely gonna worry about that next growing season
 

Kanorin

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Trident maples are super vigorous trees - it should be able to heal over those large wounds faster than most species.

What are you thinking for future direction? Where do you want your trunks to go and final height?

To my eye, this piece seems to lend itself to more of a non-traditional design. It would be hard to make this into a formal or informal upright, for example.
It looks like there are one or more new sprouts from the base, so you could make a neat-looking clump out of it.

Or I could see something along these lines looking pretty cool.
17531086-8043-4D78-ABA2-692AF27863A1.jpeg
 

sorce

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Yeah I’m definitely gonna worry about that next growing season

The wood growth between now and then will only make it harder and more risky.

There is no risk now.

Sorce
 

Kanorin

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The wood growth between now and then will only make it harder and more risky.

There is no risk now.

Sorce
Yes, now is a very good (the best?) time of year to wire deciduous. If you don't get movement into some of those straight sections this fall, you might end up having to chop them next year - essentially wasting a year.
 

Njyamadori

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Trident maples are super vigorous trees - it should be able to heal over those large wounds faster than most species.

What are you thinking for future direction? Where do you want your trunks to go and final height?

To my eye, this piece seems to lend itself to more of a non-traditional design. It would be hard to make this into a formal or informal upright, for example.
It looks like there are one or more new sprouts from the base, so you could make a neat-looking clump out of it.

Or I could see something along these lines looking pretty cool.
View attachment 395502
Yeah I’m gonna do something like that but I’m hoping for it to be around or higher 16 inches . I just saw sources and your new comment so if you guys have any advice please share now until it’s too late . I will start sketching now my somewhat idea so we can discuss on how I can achieve something similar !
 

Njyamadori

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I was thinking something like this but of course not as perfect and more realistic. Also not as long looking and better/reasonable taper not little trunk to skinny .
 

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Njyamadori

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I also want to take on inspiration from small bonsai and create similar design but with my different branches/trunk situation
 

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Kanorin

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I was thinking something like this but of course not as perfect and more realistic. Also not as long looking and better/reasonable taper not little trunk to skinny .
Since you mentioned realistic, I'll open up this can of worms...

The sketch you drew is pretty typical of how conifers grow (especially pines). I'm mainly talking about the 90 degree angles between trunk and side branches. And if you want to style your trident in that way, that's ok by me!

But if you want to style it more realistic to a maple's growth habits, many/most of the side branches should be going up and left or up and right, not just left, right.
In other words, less than a 90 degree angle at that trunk-branch junction.

A few inches beyond where the branches come off the trunk, you can arc them or bend them down/up/wherever.
 

Paradox

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I agree with @Kanorin about the picture and how it looks more like a pine than a deciduous tree.
To expand on what Kanorin said, as a tree grows and branches get thicker, they get weighed down by their own weight and by snow in the winter. So generally branches on the bottom tend to stick out closer to a 90 degree angle than younger branches up top. BUT there are exceptions, which is particularly true of deciduous trees. Pines are more flexible and will bend more readily over time.

I suggest you take a walk outside and start looking at the trees around you and how they grow. Try to find the biggest, oldest trees you can.
Look at pictures of old trees online and see how their branches look, such as the angle, the size, the ramification and thickness as you move away from the trunk out further on the branch. Look at older vs newer branches. Youll learn a lot by just studying the trees around you.
 

Njyamadori

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Since you mentioned realistic, I'll open up this can of worms...

The sketch you drew is pretty typical of how conifers grow (especially pines). I'm mainly talking about the 90 degree angles between trunk and side branches. And if you want to style your trident in that way, that's ok by me!

But if you want to style it more realistic to a maple's growth habits, many/most of the side branches should be going up and left or up and right, not just left, right.
In other words, less than a 90 degree angle at that trunk-branch junction.

A few inches beyond where the branches come off the trunk, you can arc them or bend them down/up/wherever.
Well yeah I know that branches in deciduous trees have more turns and not the straight flat branching like conifers . I was trying to make it resemble what something in this picture is but with my tree . For wiring what small branch should I wire ? Im gonna be watching videos all month long but I have 2 shoots out of the smaller branch on the left . Also should I leave it or prune it off on the longer end ?
 

Kanorin

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tridentcircles.jpg
Just going based on what I can see from this angle (there may be some other branches in the back that may give some additional options).

Purple circled trunk: This might be too big to bend already. Hard to tell. Maybe you can get it to move a little bit with some guy wires. But my guess is that moving this more than 5-10 degrees will be very tough.

Yellow shoots: If the purple main trunk is too big to bend, one of these is a good candidate to be the new leader in a year or two when you chop the purple trunk. They might be too small to wire now, but if you get some growth on them in the next few weeks, get some small wire on one or both.

Red shoot: This would be my choice for the new smaller trunk leader if you go with the twin-trunk design. You should definitely get some wire on it this fall.

Orange shoot: I can't tell where this shoot originates from, but it might be another option in place of the red shoot. Wire this one if you like it's placement better than the red one.
 

BobbyLane

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Trident maples are super vigorous trees - it should be able to heal over those large wounds faster than most species.

What are you thinking for future direction? Where do you want your trunks to go and final height?

To my eye, this piece seems to lend itself to more of a non-traditional design. It would be hard to make this into a formal or informal upright, for example.
It looks like there are one or more new sprouts from the base, so you could make a neat-looking clump out of it.

Or I could see something along these lines looking pretty cool.
View attachment 395502
Thats what im thinking too.
its a good starter tree @Njyamadori i can see that the previous owner did a decent job on the wedge between two branches, rather than the straight, flat saw cut we often see. nice n chunky too.
it could be a broom, as in building out two subtrunks from one fat base or it can be an informal upright, using the the right trunk as a main more dominant trunk, and the left as a decent sized side branch/canopy.
 

BobbyLane

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the branching can follow any one of these me thinks.
compared to the maple here, your heavy side branch is on the left.
 

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Njyamadori

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View attachment 395525
Just going based on what I can see from this angle (there may be some other branches in the back that may give some additional options).

Purple circled trunk: This might be too big to bend already. Hard to tell. Maybe you can get it to move a little bit with some guy wires. But my guess is that moving this more than 5-10 degrees will be very tough.

Yellow shoots: If the purple main trunk is too big to bend, one of these is a good candidate to be the new leader in a year or two when you chop the purple trunk. They might be too small to wire now, but if you get some growth on them in the next few weeks, get some small wire on one or both.

Red shoot: This would be my choice for the new smaller trunk leader if you go with the twin-trunk design. You should definitely get some wire on it this fall.

Orange shoot: I can't tell where this shoot originates from, but it might be another option in place of the red shoot. Wire this one if you like it's placement better than the red one.
Thanks so much and I’m gonna use the red shoot most likely so I will wire it up this fall . What way should I guy wire the thick branch cause I can change it by a little amount . The guy who I bought it from most likely intended it to be the branch so I want to keep it since how thick it is already
 

Njyamadori

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Thats what im thinking too.
its a good starter tree @Njyamadori i can see that the previous owner did a decent job on the wedge between two branches, rather than the straight, flat saw cut we often see. nice n chunky too.
it could be a broom, as in building out two subtrunks from one fat base or it can be an informal upright, using the the right trunk as a main more dominant trunk, and the left as a decent sized side branch/canopy.
Actually it was @Tidal Bonsai who owned the tree and he did a good job at making it look like a trunk of a bonsai and not a box looking trunk with no movement. A broom can be done and thanks for the thought but I don’t personally like brooms even tho the pictures look so cool and realistic.
 

Tidal Bonsai

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This tree had been put on a board, chopped and forgotten about in my grow out area. The trunk was about three inches wide and the nebari is a pancake! This was the vision I had for it before it switched hands.

The purple branch could benefit from a guy wire if this is where he wants to take it. Use rubber tubing to protect the bark if you choose this route.

@BobbyLane also had an interesting direction I hadn’t considered. It’s NJ Yamadori’s choice where he wants to take it. Good luck!
 
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Tidal Bonsai

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Thats what im thinking too.
its a good starter tree @Njyamadori i can see that the previous owner did a decent job on the wedge between two branches, rather than the straight, flat saw cut we often see. nice n chunky too.
it could be a broom, as in building out two subtrunks from one fat base or it can be an informal upright, using the the right trunk as a main more dominant trunk, and the left as a decent sized side branch/canopy.
Thank you Bobby!

The tree compartmentalized like that oddly enough. I just made the chop and started that callus rolling.
 

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Njyamadori

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Thank you Bobby!

The tree compartmentalized like that oddly enough. I just made the chop and started that callus rolling.
I didn’t even know that people can saw the extra wood like that . Looks like it will have some cool branching if I do it right
 

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