Upgraded Trident Maple

ColinFraser

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image.jpeg
So I bought a Trident at the California Shohin Seminar last weekend (it's obviously not Shohin sized though). I'm excited about this tree and looking forward to working with it. I was impressed with the trunk's taper and movement, and despite some flaws, it's definitely one of the nicer pieces of material I own. I hope I can realize its potential in time.

Here are a few more views from this morning . . . before doing anything to it.
image.jpeg
 

ColinFraser

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I quickly found that there was one big-ass root going almost straight down under the trunk:
image.jpeg

Fortunately, there are several other roots exiting the trunk above it, and I got a new saw in the mail this week . . .
image.jpeg
 

ColinFraser

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That's better.

image.jpeg image.jpeg

I think I still have plenty of roots; time will tell. I will plan to cut the remaining large stub farther back, up under the trunk at the next repotting. For now, I left one large root branching off of it. I also left as much as I could on the roots I did keep, not wanting to reduce the total mass too much in one go.
 

mattspiniken

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Nice taper....awesome tree. I would love to have this one. It looks like you have plenty of roots to spare after the work. This Trident will look nice next to your air layered Jap Maple.

Do you plan to try and work on the branching and surface roots this year? I hope you can upgrade this thread with its progression.
 

JudyB

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Really nice work, you have plenty of roots left for sure. Tridents are amazing in their ability to handle heavy root work if they are vigorous. I would have cut the bottom completely flat, getting rid of the stub entirely. I like the movement and taper very much on the tree and the branching is nicely distributed.
 

markyscott

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Nice work, I like the movement and taper - it could develop into a very nice tree. It's unfortunate that the insult threads get so much attention and posts about cool trees go almost unnoticed.

I'd think hard about Judy's advice - I think I would have worked the roots down as flat as possible, removed all of the downward facing stubs and carved that tap root flat. But it's ok - you'll get another stab at it next year - the goal is to have a flat, balanced, radial spreading root system. By balanced, I mean that all of the roots have the same strength coming out of the trunk. So the big roots with feeders growing out of the end are problematic. You'll have to chase roots back on those and encourage smaller ones next to the trunk. You might even consider grafting some roots when you work the roots next as well as removing some of the roots that are coming out too high. But you've got a good start on a nice tree and you can repot tridents pretty much annually in development, so no worries. All just thoughts for next years repotting season.

If it were my tree, it would now be time for cut back - before spring growth. This will be hard, but there are a lot of unusable branches that have to go. I would try and get it down to the basic structure, then build branches from there. Process I use is:
  1. Let the spring growth extend
  2. Wire it when it's still green
  3. While you wire, remove the interior leaves on the extending shoots so they don't shade new growth. Just leave the leaves on the end of the new shoots
  4. Watch for the wire to cut in - when it does, remove it and then cut back (cut all of the shoots to 1-3 nodes, remove any downward facing shoots, reduce the number of upward facing shoots, and thin branching to two)
  5. Repeat as many times as you can over the summer
  6. In fall/winter cut back and remove all remaining wire
Here in Houston we have a long growing season and I can get in three wiring sin on my tridents over the spring and summer. The more the better, but it's a lot of work. Springtime is very busy. You have a long growing season too, but it's cooler so it my not grow quite as fast. At least I don't remember them growing like this when I lived in Benicia, my point of reference for the central coast.

Scott
 

JoeR

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Really nice find. Once those roots are in order I think you are going to have a winner.


I need to hire a rep in california to go to all these events and buy me a tree or two for cali prices! Stock is sooo much harder to find here and what is here is more expensive.
 

whfarro

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Nice one Colin. I'll be following this thread to watch your progression on this one. Good luck and much happiness with this tree.
 

ColinFraser

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Thanks guys! I do have more plans for it this season, but I had to get the repot done asap and I've been working like crazy lately. Without a day off to take my time, I had to squeeze the job in before work in the morning! I wasn't expecting that big root, and I nearly ran out of time while carefully sawing at it, so I kind of rushed it into the pot after that - knowing that I probably could have done a bit more work, but kicking that can down the road 'til next year.

I even have some seedlings on the way for root grafts, but a few buds stareted to open on the tree, and I didn't want to wait any longer. I may still attempt those when they arrive, depending on how they look and whether I can nestle them into this new pot.

@markyscott - I completely agree about branches; many of them are too thick, especially for their height. Stay tuned ;)

I'll post some more pictures and some more work and/or questions soon. I definitely plan to keep this thread updated into the future . . .
 

markyscott

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Thanks guys! I do have more plans for it this season, but I had to get the repot done asap and I've been working like crazy lately. Without a day off to take my time, I had to squeeze the job in before work in the morning! I wasn't expecting that big root, and I nearly ran out of time while carefully sawing at it, so I kind of rushed it into the pot after that - knowing that I probably could have done a bit more work, but kicking that can down the road 'til next year.

I even have some seedlings on the way for root grafts, but a few buds stareted to open on the tree, and I didn't want to wait any longer. I may still attempt those when they arrive, depending on how they look and whether I can nestle them into this new pot.

@markyscott - I completely agree about branches; many of them are too thick, especially for their height. Stay tuned ;)

I'll post some more pictures and some more work and/or questions soon. I definitely plan to keep this thread updated into the future . . .
Tridents can be repotted pretty late. You can repot them even after it has been leafed out for a week or so. Japanese maples should be repotted early - before the buds swell.

Look forward to seeing your progress.

Scott
 
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