The New Oxford Dictionary of English defines serendipity as the occurrence and development of events by chance in a satisfactory or beneficial way, understanding the chance as any event that takes place in the absence of any obvious project (randomly or accidentally), which is not relevant to any present need, or in which the cause is unknown.
….and so it was that I might be sitting in my truck early to today’s Ted Matson workshop. It occurs to me while I peer out my windshield in the fog of morning and only a few sips of coffee that what I see before me are large trident maple trees. Not just average tree but trees growing in a college parking lot to shade cars. In this picture the Botanical lab of the college is in the background and my truck is parked in the foreground. In front of that is a trident maple tree.
Now the tree on its own is no big deal. I am sure there may be many places in our fair town that have trident maples in the landscape. It used to be a fairly common landscape tree. What is a big deal is the fact that I am always on the lookout for fresh seed. These trees have seeds up the wahzoo. I was barly able to contain myself at the sight of all the seed hanging from these trees. Guess where I will be come September?
Just this clump alone on the end of a small branch probably has 500 seeds!
A few minutes later, club members begin to arrive. The gate is unlocked and everyone begins loading in their trees. Ted Matson begins his workshop with a juniper from David Soho. This thing was a monster and Ted had him prune almost everything off of the thing except a trunk line that ran out rather horizontal finishing with a rather semi cascade Bunjin. It will need a few years to fill in but I think it was the right decision for the tree.
David pruning off the old branches. You could almost hear a small moan from David every time the concave pruners made a kerchunk noise!
Steve DaSilva brought this twisted pomagranite to work on. Ted explained that this tree suffers from many years of growing without cutting back. Many of the branches are 1/2 inch in diameter and bone straight. All of the branching was cut back nearly in half.
Now this tree is looking more like a tree. Nice work.
Ray Thieme, future subject for an artist spotlight, brought this huge shimpaku juniper. Ray purchased it via Glenn VanWinkle who aquired it from Mas Iishi. It is kishu grafted on to prostrata understock.
After some instruction and comments from Ted, Ray begins the work. Lots of cutting….
Ray ran out of time and will do more of the cleaning and begin wire at home. So far the tree cut out quite well. The trunk is a full 2 inches across.