This is one of the most appealing tridents I've seen. I'm not a big fan of the sumo style maple. The other extreme is long and skinny tridents which seem rather common. This tree has great movement and taper. I could look at it for a long time. Please post some photos as it comes into bloom.
Thanks for the replies. This tree was purchased as a stump. I have put all the branches on the tree over the past four years. I am still working on ramification and this year it will go back to defoliations. I skipped last year to rebuild strength. I defoliate three times per year.
The pot was made by my son in 1994 and I built the display table in 2005.
Is your son going to get into pot making? He sure should!! My son is gifted at ceramics also. I went out and bought him a 50# wheel and 9cft kiln and it is just collecting dust. What a waste.
Tell your son he should start making pots, Fantastic looking pot for sure.
Its lacking in nebari as far as Japanese nebari goes, yet it is something that I feel comfortable working with over the next few years. Believe it or not this tree is the product of an air layer. These tridents are made by the dozen on huge Maple trees in China. Benny Kim of Kim's bonsai showed me some pictures of huge trident mother trees with beautiful trident bonsai air layers growing all over them. I wish I had some shots of these.
The tree has a very compact fiberous root pad that is only about 1.5 inches thick. The reason I am able to get it into that very shallow container. I have some larger roots coming and they are growing in good places to get development going on a better root formation that will really help accentuate the tree. For now I am still quite proud of the overall development this tree has taken and like its winter look better each year.
I am still contemplating some root grafting but I would like to enlist the help of someone that is very talented at doing them and making sure they take. I would not like to have some scars down there that would be very hard to get healed so low.
I wonder about the bark on this maple. It appears to have a nice multi-colored look to it that I don't recall seeing on tridents before. I guess it's not unusual though, or someone would have commented on it.
Each year in the fall the tree begins to shed it outer layer of trunk by exfoliation. I guess that due to the trunk growing an 1/8 of an inch or so it can only do this by getting rid of the smaller skin much like a snake. It flakes off in large puzzle shaped pieces. I have a smaller shohin maple that has very rough bark for a trident maple and it never does this, go figure.
KC had suggested to cut back the apex of the tree. It seemed too pointy and he was right. I had intended to cut it back last year but I needed to close one final cut that needed those branches where they were. Now it is healed and I cut it back and let it leaf. Here it is recently with leaves.