Trident Maple 083


This tree was purchased as a balled and bagged tree from Ed Clark. A small tree, it was destined to become Shohin and I wanted this tree because of the unique shape of the trunk. It also had a good size trunk.

All the branches were cut off and put into this terracotta pot.


A year later it was time to put into a grow pot. It had been in a terracotta pot after I purchased it. I wanted to try and maintain a tight root mass so thought that a colander would be the way to go.


Another year and the tree had some nice roots in the colander.

My plan now was to improve the base of the tree while working on the top. I had some trident cuttings that I had done the year before and they were the right size for this project.

I drilled all the holes and threaded the trees thru. Scraped the cambium for bonding and sealed well.

While the bottom was getting grafted I grafted on some branches to the upper trunk. Four grafts in all were added.

I was hoping that by grafting on this scar collar I could close the wound faster.

While the plastic canvas made a good barrier from the wire biting in, it also added a cool waffle pattern to the graft. “Note to self, don’t do that again”.

All the grafts took. It was at this time that an unfortunate squirrel decided to make a snack out of the bark on the whole side of this maple. Just peeled it off in sheets. Damn rodents.


The root grafts did not take. I have very poor success with thread grafts. I decided to ground layer the tree. One can just make out the upper cut. The tree bridged the cut.

I exposed it and recut the wound. Left the callous on top as much as possible

Wrapped the tree in sphagnum and placed it into a colander.

I had roots emerge about two weeks later. Hooray!


The tree was ready for a repot. I grew out the layer in pure round akadama. The best medium I have found for layers.

In this photo you can make out the two different root levels. The smaller upper mass and the lower larger mass.

Here I have wired the upper mass up on the trunk and will now remove the bottom portion. That is junk now.

I used a terra cotta water saucer as a plate under the tree.

Back into the colander for another year.


Been working on the top and the bottom was now reduced enough to fit into this Yamaaki pot.




In 2018 I repotted into this Koyo pot. I displayed it with a little wet pour artwork I did.


As the tree looks today.

Winter 2020

Posted May 2, 2019 by California Bonsai Art

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