Trident Maple New Front?

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Trident Maple New Front?

Post  Marty Weiser on Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:49 am

I got this trident maple in about 2002 and have been slowly developing it after unsuccessfully trying to airlayer off the rather blunt top. After that I have spent about decade growing a tapered top and starting to develop some primary branches. It is now time to repot and I am thinking about changing the front. The first four pictures are of the tree November 2017 for comment and there are some historical pictures after that. Comments welcome, I know I may need to regrow the apex as I look at these pictures, and the Sara Raynor pot is too deep, but the tree likes it for development.

The current front.


Option 1 for a new front


Option 2 for a new front

Left side of the current front


2006 front as I started to develop taper



2006 side as a started to develop taper - the scar has closed

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  John Quinn on Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:09 pm

I still prefer your current front. Option 1, although the nebari looks decent, I believe results in a more confusing apex and option 2 lacks balance. Still may change over the years as you continue development.

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Mar 11, 2018 4:08 am

John - Thanks. What about something between the current and option 1 with the apex redeveloped from the point where it takes a turn to the left in the original front?

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  John Quinn on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:11 pm

Likely a good option...hard to tell from 2D images.

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  BrendanR on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:53 am

Option 2 is maybe the better front.  But the problem then may be the planting angle?

Here's a pic where I tipped the tree over so the apex is over the roots, and dropped a line straight down (in purple) from the apex to the roots.

By contrast the red line is the vertical axis of the tree as it is currently potted.  You can see how it is actually quite off, making this option for a front (unless you change the angle) feel as if the tree has tipped over a bit.  




2018-03-13_10-46-37 by BrendanR2012, on Flickr

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:34 pm

Thanks Brenden for pointing out what I should have seen before. Sometimes you just get tied to an existing frame of reference. I'll play with the potting angle along with the front position a bit.

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  juniper07 on Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:49 pm

Option 1 has a better base, and the trunk-line has more natural movement.
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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  BrendanR on Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:51 pm

Option 1 also benefits from having no scars on the trunk.. I'd pick it for that reason.

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  Potawatomi13 on Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:29 pm

Straight trunk is boring. No good front.

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  Gary Swiech on Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:49 pm

I'd stay with the current trunk and let the top leader grow the entire year.
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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  dave fish on Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:25 pm

I like the current front - it has all the benefits others have mentioned. I think what unsettles the image for me is the straight branches which lack in ramification being the same thickness for most of their length. I think as they are developed the tree will achieve better balance overall and a more mature image.

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  Marty Weiser on Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:57 am

Thanks to everyone for the comments. I just looked at the tree in the round and think that with the current planting angle something between the current front and option 1 is the best to get the two major branches both coming slightly forward. I also like the idea of changing the planting angle and will be exploring that as well. I definitely plan to cut the branches back and build taper - they lack taper trying to develop some basal thickness. I actually enjoy cutting out sections of branches that have some ramification to produce better ramification. I like having some straight trunked bonsai in the mix and don't find them boring - rather the deciduous ones remind me of my childhood in the USA Midwest and the conifers of the pine forests around Spokane, WA where I current live.

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Re: Trident Maple New Front?

Post  Marty Weiser on Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:23 am

The new spring leaves are so pretty I couldn't resist posting another picture. This is about what I would use as a front if I don't change the planting angle. I still need to make some decisions on the front and then style towards it, but repotting season is just getting going. This will get repotted next year after the styling decisions.


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