Ah…California. Living here has its perks, for a gardener its a dream come true. Plants grow fast and bonsai techniques that take years in other parts of the country can be done in months instead of years. It has its pitfalls too. Summers are hot and winters can be cooler. We don’t have appreciable snow for most of the population centers so growing is year round.
While tridents are diciduous and do lose their leaves, they continue to grow during the winter here. Many times I have had tridents keep green leaves well into December and even as late as January before turning yellow one day and gone the next day. The tree just doesn’t know when to quit. This small tree is still pushing new growth in December.
I decided to take the top off this tree I bought at the swapmeet. It is a big trunked trident of about 2 inches across the bottom. The flare and rootage seem pretty good, but I wanted it for the base and not the entire tree. If only we could just buy what we seek and not have to mess with all this “work”.
I cut off all the branches so that I could have a clean work area. I did leave three extremely small branches below the area that would be latyered to keep that portion alive while I take the top off.
This small area here would be cleaned up with a knob cutter and cut out like usuing an ice cream scoop.
The trunk was cut and the bark and cambium carved away exposing the heartwood.
I didn’t get a picture of the base of the cut before covering, but I wrapped a double wire around the top of the cut to help in keeping it from bridging and directing the roots outward. The tree was then covered in long fibre sphagnum moss and I prepared a cup by cutting out the bottom just a tad larger for the trunk and splitting the cup to get it around the trunk. Packed the moss tight to keep constant contact with the trunk to keep it moist and wired the cup in place.