Trident air layer. My method.

grizzlywon

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Here is a trident I picked up at Lone Pine for $3. It has a major problem as you can see. There was a huge root cut off, and it was a mess. But I bought it because it was so cheap and had almost a 1" trunk, with the plan to air layer it to make it into a little shohin. Here is how I did it and will post pics as it roots out. (Lord willing)

1. Decided where I wanted to cut it. From my experience, they send out the most roots above the cut. And some at the cut. So I put my first cut just below the widest part. pic 1.

2. I put gel rooting hormone on the top cut and the bark above it about 1/2 an inch. Then I take a clear container, a cup in this instance and cut it so I can get it around the trunk. It also has holes cut in the bottom for drainage. I also wire the cup back together and anchor it to the tree with more wire. pic 2.

3. Fill the cup with a good soil. In this case about 1/2 akadama, 1/2 pumice. Then just water as you would a normal tree. In about a month or two I should see some nice white roots coming through the soil. pic 3.

This specific method was shown to my by a new bonsai friend.
 

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grizzlywon

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Here is the same thing I did with an elm that had a reverse taper in it.
 

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jk_lewis

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I would have layered at the widest point -- look like an inch or two higher than you did. You probably will get a tree with built in reverse taper out of this. Layering higher would promote roots right at the flare.

In my experience, powdered rooting hormone is better for layers -- as is sphagnum moss rather than a coarse soil. But this should work. Do NOT remove until the cup is FULL of roots.
 

grizzlywon

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Like I said in my post, in my experience, most roots pop above the cut, not at it. That is why I cut where I did. I have tried moss and don't like it at all. It seems to always be too wet and it is a nightmare to get off or untangle when you are done and want to spread the roots out in a pot to get nice nebari. But this is just my experience in the last few years. Everyone has what technique works for them, I just wanted to show mine.

Here is a picture of a maple I used this method on last year. The cut is at the very bottom of this new tree (where the red line is). Most of the roots are in the inch above the cut. This and about 4 others that had roots the same age were put in pure akadama and are doing great. You don't have to wait for the roots to harden off as some say.
I learned this from the Kyosuki Goon books. He takes his air layers off this early too.
 

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