Trident Progression, 5 years

james

Mame
Messages
184
Reaction score
418
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
USDA Zone
4
Import Trident, 34" tall, 4" trunk, 9" nebari, 18" drum mica pot

As received, 2006


Winter, 2008, initial styling, 2008


Winter, 2008, apex reduced now 30" tall, repot 18" softened rectangle, off white


Spring, 2008


Autumn, 2008


Summer, 2011, defoliated. Working on organizing branch direction/angle and beefing up lower branches


Suggestions from here? Some have suggested loosing lower branches. I can understand this critique, yet I currently like the lower branches at present. Yet, I recognize lower branches are too thin, need to be beefed up considerably. This year, I let all lower branches grow freely up to defoliation, some 24-36". Aiming for thicker lower branches (can take off later) and further refinement. Other thoughts welcome...
 
Messages
954
Reaction score
2
Location
HELL
james, the lower branches I like as well, even though others might say to remove them... what I think I am missing, that I would like to have would be the layering with the occasional spacing between foilage. Other than that very nice !!!
 

alonsou

Mame
Messages
126
Reaction score
7
Location
Norwalk, CA
USDA Zone
10a
Guess I must be one of those telling you to remove the lower branches :p, but I do think it will look much cleaner if you do, check it out on the left side, and on the right side I had the crazy idea of shorting it a little bit, some may say its too tall for a Trident, but just in case you ever consider that option:




either way I think you would ended up with a very nice Trident!
 

james

Mame
Messages
184
Reaction score
418
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
USDA Zone
4
Smoke,

I think your criticism is legitimate.

The question is where to go from here? Throw it in the trash, a bit too drastic for me at this time. You can see what I started with. I recognize Walter Pall, and other naturalist types have been critical of the "pine" treatment some maples receive, many of which come from Japan. His signature trident started much the same way, he did a very remarkable 10 year naturalist restyle. I would aspire to something similar, not that I am Walter Pall, but his thoughts, and his transformation of that tree deserve merit. I would aspire to such a result.

Hoping to get there, and intentionally kept the tree full, without the pad treatment some maples receive.

Best wishes, James
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,565
Reaction score
19,753
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
Smoke,

I think your criticism is legitimate.

The question is where to go from here? Throw it in the trash, a bit too drastic for me at this time. You can see what I started with. I recognize Walter Pall, and other naturalist types have been critical of the "pine" treatment some maples receive, many of which come from Japan. His signature trident started much the same way, he did a very remarkable 10 year naturalist restyle. I would aspire to something similar, not that I am Walter Pall, but his thoughts, and his transformation of that tree deserve merit. I would aspire to such a result.

Hoping to get there, and intentionally kept the tree full, without the pad treatment some maples receive.

Best wishes, James

This trident is not unlike the one I started with 11 years ago. It has gone thru many of the same things this one is currently undergoing.

I guess my question would be why are the bottom branches so short?
 

jk_lewis

Masterpiece
Messages
3,820
Reaction score
1,109
Location
Western NC
USDA Zone
7-8
This may be a bit more maple-ish and a bit less pine-ish.

And it requires no removal of lower branches, as the trunk-to-canopy ratio improves as the tree gets shorter. In fact, the lower branches can be extended.
 

Attachments

  • jun.jpg
    jun.jpg
    46.7 KB · Views: 263

james

Mame
Messages
184
Reaction score
418
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
USDA Zone
4
Smoke and jkl,

Thank you for your comments ... I would very much like to move away from the "pine-ish" look to this tree, towards a more natural, sturdy maple one might find in an open field.

The lower branches are admittedly short, and thin. Smoke, this year, I let the lower branches grow, 36" leaders from the bottom half of the tree, then I cut back at the time of the defoliation. I think I need several more years of this treatment to get the bulk needed to make the lower branches convincing, if kept in the overall design.

jkl, your vert is helpful. Going back to the tree, leaves me with where to top it (if I should so choose). The top 1/5 of the tree comes from a single leader, below which the tree was topped. The branches below this point move primarily toward the back, and left and right. Turning the tree around would be an option, nebari less impressive. So rebuilding the crown will be a challenge.

Your comments have helped me understand that the tree height (to width), and the branches should be the focus of future design. This would ential rebuilding the crown, a challenge. I wish to build on what I believe to be the advantages of the tree: nebari, trunk girth and movement.

Thanks, James

PS. Smoke, if you have any pictures of the similar trident you have been working on, it may be helpful to my future design?
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,565
Reaction score
19,753
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
Here are some older photos of the tree during my build a pine tree phase.
 

Attachments

  • 2004.jpg
    2004.jpg
    30.5 KB · Views: 270
  • DSCF0180.JPG
    DSCF0180.JPG
    64.2 KB · Views: 260
  • DSC_000712.JPG
    DSC_000712.JPG
    63 KB · Views: 273
  • WINTERBA.JPG
    WINTERBA.JPG
    36.4 KB · Views: 265

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,565
Reaction score
19,753
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
This is the tree today.


It really needs a wider pot. This one is 20 inches wide and I think it needs to be about 24 inches wide. This one is by Jim Barett, and I think I need to give Jim a call.

The tree is 25 inches tall and the canopy is 26 inches across.
 

Attachments

  • DSC_00010001.JPG
    DSC_00010001.JPG
    82.4 KB · Views: 300
  • DSC_000100012.JPG
    DSC_000100012.JPG
    157.5 KB · Views: 317

james

Mame
Messages
184
Reaction score
418
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
USDA Zone
4
Smoke,

Thank you for your comments...

Nice progression with your tree, I wish for you to get root spread to "stabilize" the trunk, and the taper you have developed.

Looking back at my "pine-ish" trident, I have to balance the interest to decrease the height without an abrupt chop. I would hope the find a suitable place for reduction which adds to the taper, and grow new, or raise some of the more horizontal branches to develop the crown.

If we return to the last picture in the original progression, there is a bare trunk segment, some 6" from the top about 1/2" wide with a gentle wiggle, where I have seen no buds and no branches emerge. This would seem like a potential point for a chop. I could go high on this segment, in hope some buds emerge. If not, three smaller horizontal branches are below (which come out left, right and back), which could be raised to build the crown. That brings me to the next challenge. There is a sub trunk, if you will, that emerges from the left, and back immediately below this segment. It would then be logical to go. It will improve the taper, but will leave a generous size scar (on the back). Also taken with it would be branches that currently fill 1/3 of the current crown on the left and back.

Does this seem plan seem sound? With this, in addition to beefing up lower branches and lifting upper braches get me out of "pine-dom". Both cuts at once, stagger the cuts? Take the subtrunk first, to speed healing, then take the top off? I am in no hurry, just want a nice result in the end.

Thanks, James
 

james

Mame
Messages
184
Reaction score
418
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
USDA Zone
4
Restyling??

Smoke, et al...

Would something like this improve the deciduous, maple nature of the tree? This is an illustration described in my last thread, as a potential styling option.

Current: (pine-ish)


Proposed Restyling: (more maple-ish)


All thoughts welcome, Thanks James
 

Smoke

Ignore-Amus
Messages
11,565
Reaction score
19,753
Location
Fresno, CA
USDA Zone
9
I think that adds a huge amount of age to the tree. I still think those bottom branches could be 25% longer. I wouldn't shorten it any more cause you just cutting off good work. Better to enlarge the whole thing and just bring it into proportion.

I like your virtual branches so just for kicks and grins add that amount and lets take a look. So much easier to paint um on eh!
 

Brian Van Fleet

Pretty Fly for a Bonsai Guy
Messages
11,732
Reaction score
31,640
Location
B’ham, AL
USDA Zone
8A
Agreed. It is interesting when a maple in early development is compared to a pine, but if you really looked at the primary and secondary branches of most maples, they lay out similarly; at/below parallel until about halfway up the tree, then turning upward. The main difference (yours included, Al) is the amount of ramification added to those primary and secondary branches over time in a pot.

James, this is a silk purse...good nebari, taper, clean trunk and branches where you want them. Just needs some time to improve ramification, which will as a matter of course, round-out the profile.
 

bonsaiTOM

Mame
Messages
210
Reaction score
1
Location
Cedarville, NY, USA
USDA Zone
4
I'd still like to see a little more droop in the first left branch - if possible. But, damn, this is a nice 'virt' plan. Awesome nebari/ root stability. Powerful image. Great with this pot.
:cool:
 

Mavrk

Seed
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Location
San Jose, CA
USDA Zone
9ab
I am brand new to all this (other than some mallsai I had in the old days), but I think the new virt makes it look much more interesting. Before all the reading I have been doing lately, I would have liked the "pine" style. However, the main reason I have been focusing on maples is because of photos of bonsai more like this new path you plan to follow.

The one thing that my newbie eye notices is that the lowest branch makes the trunk look strange with the new style. With the original style I would have said it could go either way. Now it just looks really low. Plus, thinking about it with foliage, that beautiful trunk is not going to be shown off enough (even without foliage, it takes away from the trunk in my eye).

Like I said, I am new to this and can only hope to have a tree look that good some day. Of course, I am still trying to figure out which maple(s) to start with (and maybe an elm or two).

Maverick
 

discusmike

Omono
Messages
1,372
Reaction score
455
Location
elkton,MD
USDA Zone
7a
NICE tree to start with,a deeper pot for awhile might help those branches thicken up faster.
 

fore

Omono
Messages
1,848
Reaction score
245
Location
Portland, OR
I thought importing a tree into the US was a non starter. James, can you tell me a bit how you did it? It's a beautiful bonsai and I also like the virt you posted.
 

james

Mame
Messages
184
Reaction score
418
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
USDA Zone
4
Import

Fore,

You are right, importing is a non-starter for the private individual. A few, very large bonsai nurseries now import, with rather strick isolation requirements. I believe trees need to be isolated in the US for one year, before they can be released to the public. This requirement is from the US gov, and is rather strict, and naturally pushes cost up. Somewhere in the last 5 years this started, and is to limit plant borne diseases/pests.

I bought this tree 5-6 years ago, about the time of the ban from a bonsai nursery, that imported before the ban. Today, some nurseries may have old imports acquired before the ban, far fewer still import (maybe as few as a dozen in the US, like Brussel's). The age is unmistakable, so today a private individual need go to a very large nursery that continues to import, or some old stock may be around at smaller nurseries, eBay etc. Consequently, available trees imported before the ban are few, and the cost naturally goes up.

I believe I paid $700 fo this tree, I don't believe you could find a comparable tree for less than $1000 today.

Best of luck, James
 

tmmason10

Omono
Messages
1,836
Reaction score
78
Location
North Attleboro, MA
USDA Zone
6b
Fore,

You are right, importing is a non-starter for the private individual. A few, very large bonsai nurseries now import, with rather strick isolation requirements. I believe trees need to be isolated in the US for one year, before they can be released to the public. This requirement is from the US gov, and is rather strict, and naturally pushes cost up. Somewhere in the last 5 years this started, and is to limit plant borne diseases/pests.

I bought this tree 5-6 years ago, about the time of the ban from a bonsai nursery, that imported before the ban. Today, some nurseries may have old imports acquired before the ban, far fewer still import (maybe as few as a dozen in the US, like Brussel's). The age is unmistakable, so today a private individual need go to a very large nursery that continues to import, or some old stock may be around at smaller nurseries, eBay etc. Consequently, available trees imported before the ban are few, and the cost naturally goes up.

I believe I paid $700 fo this tree, I don't believe you could find a comparable tree for less than $1000 today.

Best of luck, James

It might even be two years, but don't quote me on that. Very nice tree I have seen some really amazing tridents on this site and man is it making me think about getting one.
 

Similar threads

Top