Summer work on Tridents   4 comments

The summer is the time to cut back all the long growth on tridents that were wired before spring. It is at this time the wire cuts in and growth and shape can get out of hand losing valuable styling. Tridents tend to throw growth in a straight up growth pattern that gets all the shoots fighting for superiority and that alone can ruin the shape. Cut all this growth out quickly and the plant will settle down and begin to grow at its usual pace.

This is the tree during the first chop in Dec. 2010


This is the tree in November of 2012


Summer today June of 2013


This next trident is the last of the original five I started with in developing some sumo trunked shohin tridents. The first three were chopped low and the other two were chopped higher for larger trees.


Here is the tree today


A better look at the base. This tree will be ground layered at the middway point of all those large roots. This will jkeep the flare but get rid of the mass. At this point I am just picking rudimentary branches. This will br grown out more slowly allowing to keep budding closer to the trunk rather then just letting the branch expand and have a large finger of wood with no leaves on it.


This next trident is in need of a chop back


A big ole nasty branch was removed here and there are still many more to go. Above the scar seem to be a large whorl of branches. This needs to be dealt with now. Tomorrow is another day.



This big ole ugly thing was pruned back a couple weeks ago. The snails have stripped it twice. I buy snail bait by the pickup full.


The trident too was pruned a couple weeks back and it already has shot up with growth. This is the time that this growth must be controlled or lumps and bulges will bulk up within a couple months.


Here is a good side


This view has more movement. Many choices for later on these.


The infamous “Three Little Pigs”



Posted June 15, 2013 by California Bonsai Art in Trident Techniques

4 responses to “Summer work on Tridents

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  1. Hi Al, Fantastic bases you have there. What’s your method in building such powerful trunk lines?

  2. I have only built four of those pictured here. The others were grown by other people. Steve DaSilva and Ian Price. The larger trees were grown in the ground and the three little pigs were grown in cut down 5 gallon nursery containers.

  3. Hi there Al,
    Interested to know your method of dealing with the large pruning scars that are inevitable when creating “sumo” style maples.

  4. Just time. It really helps to clean them up good with a good green ring around the cut and seal it well. Use a rubber based flexible sealant and it will heal right under the sealant. Keep a good branch above and below if possible even if they are sacrifice for a while. A one inch wound (2.5 cm) should take about 4 to 5 years to heal completely.

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