One Tridents Brave Journey   5 comments


This trident maple was purchased from Ian Price of Lone Pine Gardens in 2010 for $400.00. I had not spent this much money for a trident before and frankly had bought much better for much less. This tree seemed to have something I found very interesting in the trunk line which I thought I could highlight and improve so I bought it. The trunk is about 3 inches across at the base and it has lots of flare under the soil to improve and expose in the future. At this point the tree is only about 15 inches tall.



After reaching home from the convention I set out to achieve my future plan. Some preliminary chops were set out and options for the line were studied.



In January of 2011 I noticed while uncovering the base of the tree that part of the roots were missing on one side of the trunk. The bark was removed and hormone applied and covered with cut paste.



Chops were made and now I was committed to the plan. The chops were sealed and left to bud.


This poor Charlie Brown tree ( as my wife calls them ) is taken back to bare bones. It was pretty tough to cut off all that ramification which was probably 10 or more years old.



Approach grafts were added after the grow out year. I wasn’t satisfied with how the tree was budding and decided that grafting would speed things up by a few years.



By the winter of the following year a good branch structure was developing. A long growing season and lots of fertilizer and water helps things grow faster. Pruning along the way is a must and keeping up is a weekly chore.


The tree in leaf is looking nice now. The tree is developing some character and the wounds are healing and better bark is developing. The trunk is now a full 1/4 inch larger across than when I started and that is pretty good in a sawed down 5 gallon nursery can.


The wound I made for some ground layer roots just bridged over and no roots. The scar can be seen albeit faintly.



The Fall of 2013 is showing a much improved canopy of branches and ramification. Still need lots of work on the apex area.



The Spring view is shaping up. The tree has now gone thru two seasons of hedging for shape.



March of 2015 and the structure of the tree is really well defined now. Cleaning and detailing scars is ongoing and a slow process in a small pot with continual pruning.


By June of 2015 the tree is really nice now and the canopy is well defined and tight.



The 2016 season of repotting will put the tree into its first bonsai pot. It has been 6 years of growing and refining to get to this point. This inexpensive white training pot will suffice until 2018 when it will go into its final show pot. Some of the flare can now be seen and there is more to come. The nebari is better lower and that too will show better later. The scar from the layer attempt is on the very lower right edge of the tree and the bark shows much more red. It is completely healed over and is of no cause for concern.


I selected this tree for an entry into the newly formed reemergence of the local Kazari Competition from the now gone Clark Center for Japanese Art.


This accent composition would accompany the entry.


This Japanese scroll would also accompany the display.



Some pictures from the Kazari. This tree has already experienced a lot in its short life under my hand. It will be interesting to see what 6 more years might bring.















Posted May 5, 2016 by California Bonsai Art in Styling Trees

5 responses to “One Tridents Brave Journey

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  1. Excellent progress, I always live reading through your blog!

  2. Great Post! Loving the progression on that tree

  3. What a great display Al, and great progression with this little tree.

  4. Pingback: One Tridents Brave Journey | California Bonsai Art | Wolf's Birding and Bonsai Blog

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