The year was 1992, I had purchased many maple trees but had bever tried a trident. They are not a tree you just go down to the local box store nor nursery and purchase as bonsai stock. I do remember seeing some landscape trees that were seven feet tall, but had rather thin trunks. I found a source for trident maples locally at Henderson Experimental Gardens. I purchased my first trident maple here and would go on to return a decade later and purchase five landscape trees to cut down and build large trunked sumo tridents.
This first trident was the beginning of a love affair with the species in its ability to become any form and accept any technique with ease. It would grow healthy in any soil, disease free amd great for beginners. Over the years I took cuttings, started seeds, dug them from field growing collections and purchased them throughout California. At one time I had over 125 trident maple trees in my backyard. That is too many trees for a fast growing species that this is to take care of. The collection is now pared down to a managable level of about 40 trees. Thats about 30 too many.
So here it is, the tree that started it all…the first trident maple.