Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

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Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:21 am

I have a Rather tall Trident maple about 30 inches tall from soil. I have gotten some good advice on another forum but I just wanted to hear a few more opinions on this one. What I've been hearing (and I was already thinking) is chop off just below where there is no branching about halfway up and developing a new canopy.
Just wanted to see what the thoughts here were.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  tim stubbs on Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:23 am

why not air layer it first and get 2 trees ?

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:27 am

Well there is that too. But I'm basically just trying to decide whether or not to leave it as it is or make the cut/al.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  marcus watts on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:01 am

i'd say its too tall for the trunk diameter so a cut will help, but i'd be looking to cut at a point where a side branch can be wired up to form a new leader. this will help the taper so the tree will look ok with no leaves otherwise they can easily look like a chopped off log with a twiggy canopy when the leaves arre off.

if you're in no hurry a better tree will result from a much lower cut than you have marked, then a new leader can be wired up and allowed to grow, then a second cut in a few years time and again wire up a branch as a new leader. Tridents respond very well to this, they heal over the cuts quite fast and grow quickly too.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AlainK on Sun Aug 07, 2011 12:51 pm

tim stubbs wrote:why not air layer it first and get 2 trees ?

I second that: trident maples are pretty easy to air-layer.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  JimLewis on Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:01 pm

Your advice is gonna be about the same no matter where you go to seek it.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  Oliver Muscio on Sun Aug 07, 2011 1:50 pm

I agree with the others, particularly Markus: cut even lower, perhaps about a third or even half of the way down from your present marked line, depending upon the branching at that point. Look for a branch you can wire up for a new apex.
Oliver

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  JimLewis on Sun Aug 07, 2011 3:54 pm

On the OTHER hand . . . if he is nervous about the chop, cutting higher (as marked) leaves the option of cutting lower later. Cut lower now, and options are severely reduced (pun intended).

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  Oliver Muscio on Sun Aug 07, 2011 4:47 pm

"...cutting higher (as marked) leaves the option of cutting lower later. Cut lower now, and options are severely reduced..."
Good point.
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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Sun Aug 07, 2011 5:21 pm

JimLewis wrote:On the OTHER hand . . . if he is nervous about the chop, cutting higher (as marked) leaves the option of cutting lower later. Cut lower now, and options are severely reduced (pun intended).
Thanks Jim. I'm still going to probably go with your original chop point. Smile

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  marcus watts on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:20 pm

JimLewis wrote:On the OTHER hand . . . if he is nervous about the chop, cutting higher (as marked) leaves the option of cutting lower later. Cut lower now, and options are severely reduced (pun intended).

that is true, but we have all been there..........do half a job now, never be truely happy with the results and a few years later do it properly, then a lot of previous effort is wasted and you go right back to square one years down the line. But this is the learning curve and journey we've all been on long before forums and the internet gave access to instant opinions - so the owner probably made up his mind before posting the question anyway, but over time the tree will get a lot smaller before it gets bigger (if it is to develop into the image that is hoped for.)

i grew and chopped this one 5 times over the last 10 years, last year the trunk was looking ok so now the job of growing the branches has started. my first cut was 4" up, next cut was to a branch 3" above the first cut etc. Each time there was 2 years free growth so branches reached 5-6ft before cutting back. it is important to hollow the back of the cut and wire the new leader up properly - then you get a tapered trunk not a lumpy one


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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  JimLewis on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:46 pm

but over time the tree will get a lot smaller before it gets bigger (if it is to develop into the image that is hoped for.)

Well, that's how most (or many) of us do bonsai, isn't it -- cutting larger stock down to something smaller.

Not too many rely on growing trees UP to become bonsai.

But for someone who is relatively new to the sport, I feel it's better they work their trees down more slowly.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  marcus watts on Sun Aug 07, 2011 11:57 pm

[quote="JimLewis"]

But for someone who is relatively new to the sport, I feel it's better they work their trees down more slowly.

yes i agree - the owner needs to arrive at the decision 'themseves' - and more importantly when they are confident or ready to do the necessary task or technique. I have many trees that luckily i didnt muck up in the early days and now they are nice, but i have others that i lived with for 10 to 20 years as 'back benchers' and now, by doing the drastic but correct work to them, they are starting to look like i'd hoped for all these years

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:23 pm

JimLewis wrote:
but over time the tree will get a lot smaller before it gets bigger (if it is to develop into the image that is hoped for.)

Well, that's how most (or many) of us do bonsai, isn't it -- cutting larger stock down to something smaller.

Not too many rely on growing trees UP to become bonsai.

But for someone who is relatively new to the sport, I feel it's better they work their trees down more slowly.
Sorry Jim, one more question for you on this one.
Should I also cut the branches back pretty hard on this one when I make the trunk chop? They seem to be a bit long anyway.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  JimLewis on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:53 pm

At this point I don't think so. They all need wiring, and maybe some of the branches on the lower left could be eliminated or shortened. But wire them first; you can always trim later. Putting some movement (bends) in those branches will actually shorten them, visually.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AlainK on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:55 pm

adam8001 wrote:[...]
Should I also cut the branches back pretty hard on this one when I make the trunk chop? They seem to be a bit long anyway.

You can: if the tree is healthy and the soil good enough for a season's growth, then it should backbud in a lot of places, then it's up to you to keep some of the new buds or not.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Mon Aug 08, 2011 8:58 pm

JimLewis wrote:At this point I don't think so. They all need wiring, and maybe some of the branches on the lower left could be eliminated or shortened. But wire them first; you can always trim later. Putting some movement (bends) in those branches will actually shorten them, visually.
Thanks, I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions. Smile

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  jonkatzmail on Sat Aug 13, 2011 1:56 am

I voted to leave it alone because you aren't sure and you can do it later if you want. It does look like a different tree if you chop it, but it also makes it a much shorter tree and you might not like that later.

I didn't see the attraction of a Trident Maple over any other Maple until I actually _saw_ a Trident Maple Surprised The leaves are much, much smaller than I thought they were, and that is a good thing...

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:32 pm

jonkatzmail wrote:
I didn't see the attraction of a Trident Maple over any other Maple until I actually _saw_ a Trident Maple Surprised The leaves are much, much smaller than I thought they were, and that is a good thing...

I love the trident maples. Smile

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  manosvince on Sat Aug 13, 2011 5:48 pm

tim stubbs wrote:why not air layer it first and get 2 trees ?

+1 Smile

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:21 pm

jonkatzmail wrote:I voted to leave it alone because you aren't sure and you can do it later if you want. It does look like a different tree if you chop it, but it also makes it a much shorter tree and you might not like that later.
I'm set on making the chop.


Last edited by adam8001 on Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Sat Aug 13, 2011 6:32 pm

JimLewis wrote:At this point I don't think so. They all need wiring, and maybe some of the branches on the lower left could be eliminated or shortened. But wire them first; you can always trim later. Putting some movement (bends) in those branches will actually shorten them, visually.
I'm really itching to make this cut. Would it be ok to do so now? If I had done an air layer earlier in the year then I would be removing the top now anyway right?

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  JimLewis on Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:34 pm

You know Missouri weather/climate better than I. The chop is likely to spur heavy new growth all over the tree and around the chop site. If you have time between now and the first hard freeze for the new leaves to harden off, mature, turn color and drop, then have at it. Otherwise, you better wait.

Patience is a BIG part of bonsai. Use the time for research, sharpening tools (the chop should be clean), finding a new pot, etc.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  AdamG on Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:38 pm

JimLewis wrote:You know Missouri weather/climate better than I. The chop is likely to spur heavy new growth all over the tree and around the chop site. If you have time between now and the first hard freeze for the new leaves to harden off, mature, turn color and drop,
Yea, I definitely think there is time for them to harden off. I'll probably make this cut this afternoon.

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

Post  JimLewis on Sat Aug 13, 2011 7:40 pm

Good luck . . . and remember anything that is about pencil size is worth attempting as a cutting -- that's most of your branches up there.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Trident Maple thoughts and/or ideas

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