Trident Maple

misfit11

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I bought this tree in January from Lone Pine Gardens in Sebastopol, CA. I had been wanting a larger near "finished" tree that I could work on while most of my stuff is in the ground or some other early stage of development. When I saw this at the nursery, I thought it would be a good one to add to my collection. The trunk line and nebari had the qualities I was looking for especially knowing that the branches could be developed in a relatively short period of time. I figured doing branch selection, wiring, and ramifying would be my way of putting my stamp on the tree. The negatives of this Trident is that it had two large chop scars that would likely take a long time to heal.

After buying the tree I repotted it into a bonsai pot, pruned away unwanted branches and wired it. Although I didn't like it, I left the current apex in place, with the intention of building a new one later, because I wanted the top chop scar to heal. For the remainder of the spring into summer I allowed it to grow wild. This allowed the branches to thicken considerably and almost completely healed over the topmost chop scar.

I am not completely in love with the pot that it is currently in. It was simply what I had available at the time. I hope to buy a new pot that is better suited for the tree. Any suggestions?

Picture 1 is just after purchasing it in January. Picture 2 is in February after repotting, pruning and wiring. Picture 3 is today.
 

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Colorado Slim

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very nice tree... it does still need that extra something that sets it apart, but this is a beautiful piece that is, like you said, "almost finished." congrats on a great find and I certainly can't wait to see the progression
 

jk_lewis

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It is a nice tree, but "almost" is a relative term, isn't it. You have several years' work ahead of you developing ramification and refining the branches. But it should be fun, and you have a good start.

The tree looks healthy. If you are sure that it is, you have time, in Petaluma, to defoliate and let a new crop of leaves come in to begin your work on ramification. I wouldn't wait much longer to do it, though, if that's what you decide. You could just as well wait until earlier in the summer next year, and trim the top back over this comng winter to also help develop ramification. Just remove tips of branches (and, perhaps, round off the top some more).
 

rockm

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If you're looking to close chop scars and rapidly develop the top, a few years in a larger, deeper container would accelerate the process.
 

amkhalid

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If you're looking to close chop scars and rapidly develop the top, a few years in a larger, deeper container would accelerate the process.

This would also help thicken the lower branches... I would let the bottom branches grow wild for 1-2 years, or however long it takes for them to thicken so that they are in better proportion with the trunk. This is a nice piece of starting material though, keep us posted!
 

misfit11

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This would also help thicken the lower branches... I would let the bottom branches grow wild for 1-2 years, or however long it takes for them to thicken so that they are in better proportion with the trunk. This is a nice piece of starting material though, keep us posted!

Thanks, amkhalid. That's what my plan was. I allowed it to grow freely this growing season rather than pinching it back or defoliating. I need to thicken branches as you say, first. After they are properly in proportion with the trunk I will cut them back hard and then begin building more ramification by defoliating etc. This will also develop taper in the branches. I am not interested in wiring a bunch of movement into them when I will just be cutting that movement off in a couple of years. The use of clip and grow techniques will put believable movement in the branches while also inducing taper. This tree is still early in its development as far as the branch structure is concerned. My initial wiring was simply to bring the branches down and to make it somewhat pleasing as I begin the long road of developing this bonsai. After, I've gotten the branches as the thickness that I'm happy with, then I will be concerned with defoliating etc.
 

PaulH

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This is just another slap-in-the-face reminder of why I really need to live on the west coast. lol

Naw, you're better off where you are. We've got too many people, taxes and earthquakes (also LOL).
Seriously, if you come we'll show you where the really good bonsai material is.

Paul
 

Alex DeRuiter

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I guarantee I will take you up on that offer. :D Though I don't plan on having spare funds for a trip to the west coast for a while (let alone some great stock such as misfit's tree), it is inevitable!
 

misfit11

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Update

It's been a while since I updated this tree. I repotted it into this Anderson Flat in spring 2012 in order to speed its development a bit and hopefully work on closing some of the large cuts. In early spring of this year I did a couple of thread grafts (my first experience doing this technique BTW) so the first two branches would be exactly where I wanted them. They were successful and I separated the donor in late summer (seems quick but they were without a doubt very strong). I let the first branch run like crazy in order to thicken it to be in better proportion to the trunk. It will be cut considerably shorter in early spring in order to begin developing the ramification, movement, etc.

Clearly the tree has a long way to go, but I am in no hurry. On the contrary, I'm actually being overly anal in its development and am painstakingly growing each branch for optimal movement and twigging. This tree (if it is ever "finished") will be virtually all the result of clip-and-grow techniques. I'm not sure if the branches will ever see wire again... For example, the longer branch on the right will be cut back substantially as I think the ramification that it currently has is too far out from the trunk.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks for looking. :)

Cory

 

misfit11

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Here is a graphic explanation of the graft work:

 

edprocoat

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Your picture is not showing up ! I hope you can repost it, would love to check it out.

Edit ; Well after I posted that the picture showed up, I even clicked on the empty space and was taken to a photo site without a photo ? anyways it looks nice so far.

ed
 
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misfit11

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Did some light pruning and partial defoliation on this guy. Still a long way to go. I plan on doing some grafting to improve the roots next spring. Hopefully it will be as good a maple as one of @MACH5 some day :)
 

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MrWunderful

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I know this thread is older, but it inspired me to take a trip there on saturday 😄.

Tree is shaping up nicely as well!
 

misfit11

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I know this thread is older, but it inspired me to take a trip there on saturday 😄.

Tree is shaping up nicely as well!
Lone Pine is awesome! I haven't been out there in quite some time but they have terrific material. Our local club, Redwood Empire Bonsai Society, has their yearly picnic out there every July.
 

MrWunderful

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Lone Pine is awesome! I haven't been out there in quite some time but they have terrific material. Our local club, Redwood Empire Bonsai Society, has their yearly picnic out there every July.

Ill be going to REBS show upcoming ;)

Bought a KILLER semi cascade dwarf sapphire blue cedar there last year for 60$!
 
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Did some light pruning and partial defoliation on this guy. Still a long way to go. I plan on doing some grafting to improve the roots next spring. Hopefully it will be as good a maple as one of @MACH5 some day :)
Hedge it!!! Looks like you already have all the primary branches in place.
 

Maloghurst

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I really like this tree and great progress, do you have any plans for this branch? I know pics are misleading but it seems to draw my eye in the wrong direction.
EDBFD97A-3D3B-4A28-855C-B560AFC1DF68.jpeg
 

misfit11

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I really like this tree and great progress, do you have any plans for this branch? I know pics are misleading but it seems to draw my eye in the wrong direction.

Yes. You're right. Not only is that branch moving in the wrong direction it's also too large for the apex. This is one of the benefits of photographing my trees. Seeing them in the two-dimensional format allows me to see flaws that I'm not able to see in person.
Thanks for your comment 😊
 
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