Trident Maple 032


My second computer crashed in 2009 and so I have lost many of the photos of this trees early stages.

This photo was from Art of Bonsai Project in 2008


The first photo of the tree on my new computer.


The story picks up here because for the most part the tree just sat on the bench and moped. This tree has always been very weak and never really a strong grower. I suspect and rightly so, since benny Kim told me that the tree was an import from Taiwan, and a layer off a large tree. I also suspect this to be native Miyasama, and the bark is incredible. It is very corky and shaggy and gets dimples and bumps like leather on the trunk. The squirrels have ravaged it many times and the scars are numerous. I seal the damage and hope for the best. In an effort to get the tree strong again I felt it needed to come out of the small pots and spend dome time in a colander for a while.

Take a look at some of the photo’s and the massive undercutting this tree has. One can see the actual places where the layer was made and the original scar of the top bark cut.

Into the colander it goes.

Growing very well now!


The tree spent three years in the colader to gain strength and was transferred to a shohin pot again. The shape of the tree has lost much of it’s original mojo, and has gotten away from the compacted sumo feel it had.

In an effort to correct that I felt it necessary to graft on more branches. I have several doner tree around in which I grow branch whips long to facilitate grafting chores. This tree gave up three.

I had two trees being grafted at the same time by two different trees. I wire both the receiving tree and the donor tree to a board to be able to move them around the yard to get the best shot at the sun. There is also no chance of them becoming separated and braking the graft before it takes.


All three grafts took. Here is closeups of the three grafts. Hard to get pictures since the camera wants to focus on closer leaves.


The way the tree looks today. My plan for moving forward is to get everything strong and growing well and then next winter to prune back all the branches to inner joints and begin building the canopy over.

In this view which I like better, the tree is turned 10 degrees to the right. This view shows off two branches on the lower right. The first branch is one of the grafts from last year which will become the new second branch. The branch above that filling in that need now, comes from much higher on the tree and is bent and pulled down far too much to look acceptable. By utilizing that new graft I can cut that branch back and use it up where it belongs.

The other two grafts were for back branches that needed to fill some space there to round out that canopy. I think much of the time not enough attention is paid to back branches and the need they fill.

Posted May 2, 2019 by California Bonsai Art

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