Building a Giant Based Trident   10 comments

In the previous repotting post I started a giant based trident maple tree that will be grown on a tile with five holes. This method is suggested in Gary Woods blog and I have found his method to be very good for what it is I want to do. This is what I have done. I have no idea if it is close to what he did, but at least it is ready for the season and I will find out soon enough if it going to be successful.

I’ll start by reposting the pictures again of the work done on the tridents for the project.






The trees have been removed from the pots and the roots cut back. The trees sit and soak in a bucket of water with B-1 in it and this way each tree will not dry out while I prepare all five trees.


I am going to use the 18 x 6 inch colander for this project. This hold about two thirds of a cubic foot of soil.


For all of you out there wondering what happened to the Growstone, here it is. This project will be grown out in 100 percent Growstone. This is a synthetic recycled glass product very similer to pumice. I like the size and the irregular shape. I feel that with the colanders increased air and the increased airflow in the medium, I should get super hard growth all year. Couple that with hard fertilizing and plenty of water and I should hope to see some layering taking place by fall.


The whole thing planted out in the growstone. The tree in the middle had the most interesting shape, the lowest buds to cut back to after it fuses and the largest trunk. This will be the tree I keep after all is done down below. It is important to keep a low bud for the middle tree since I will probably need to chop this at some point due to the rank growth it will do thru the year.


I covered the entire surface with long fibered moss since the product is light and I don’t want to displace it while watering. This is the moss dry.


And this is the surface after watering. Now all I have to do is wait and see how it grows.


I recieved a comment about what I am trying to accomplish here with a photo or drawing. This is a simple drawing showing the process over a few years. The trees will continue to grow and spread over the plate and then will grow onto one another to fuse at the base. As the base increases in size, the four outer trunks will be chopped away leaving the large base to heal and grow even larger.

trident base

10 responses to “Building a Giant Based Trident

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  1. Would it not be a good idea to tie them together at the top to create a teepee shape?

  2. I don’t know….tell me your thoughts?

  3. Paul, you might be confusing what Al is doing here, with a total fusion project, in where 25-30 young trees are fused from roots to apex. This is a different technique altogether, where the 5 bases merge over time to create a broad spreading nebari. Eventually the outside 4 trunks will be removed and the center one becomes the central focus and future single trunk with wide 360 degree nebari.
    Maybe check out Gary Woods blog that Al makes reference to at the beginning of this post to get a full explanation of this technique.

  4. Hi Al, do you have a picture of what these should like in the next phase? like when they fuse. I quite dont understand the 5 seedlings thing, what do the outside seedlings contribute to the large tree and what are you aiming for? I understand the one seedling in a terracota plate but 5 kinda boggles my mind.

  5. I get it! Now, how long will it take till you cut off the sacrifice trees?

  6. Al, do you have an update on this one? Want to see the progress of it.

  7. Al – I’ve found this blog after trawling through Bonsainut. Really interested in this approach – have you carried on with it? Is there any progress to report? Cheers, Andy

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