My Trident Maple

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My Trident Maple

Post  robinbonsai808 on Mon Sep 26, 2011 11:53 pm

Here is my very first Trident Maple. Looks really nice and can't wait to put it into a bonsai pot. When is a good time to transfer pot? Thanks guys hope you like it.


Robin

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Re: My Trident Maple

Post  PaulH on Tue Sep 27, 2011 1:04 am

Honestly, your tree is several years from being ready for a bonsai pot. At this stage you should plant the tree in the ground or large growing container to develop an acceptable trunk. Believe me, I well remember the excitement and impatience of new material, but you'd be well served to spend the time needed to make this into a bonsai before putting it in a bonsai pot.
Paul

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Re: My Trident Maple

Post  Todd Ellis on Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:03 am

Hi Robin,
Paul is right. You would be amazed how much growth and girth can be accomplished with a couple of years in the ground. Then you can find a good training pot (bonsai style pot but larger to allow for more growth) to grow it in.
Then transplant into a nice display pot.
Your tree has a lovely start to it.
Best,
Todd

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Re: My Trident Maple

Post  Marty Weiser on Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:57 am

Trident maples are best repotted in the spring as the buds swell. If you are in an area where you get late frosts, you should probably protect from the frost after transplanting or transplant a little later once the leaves have started to come out, but with protection form the hot sun in that case. I have transplanted in full growth when I got a bunch of seedlings form a warmer climate - 97 of 100 survived even though they were in full leaf, but I was very careful to protect from from drying winds.

The first 2 responses stated that you should grow it in the ground to thicken the trunk. I agree that a thicker trunk would be nice, but that may not be the best route for you.
- Trident maples are hardy to USDA zone 5 (-20F), but with a shallow root system or in a pot I treat them as 1 to 2 zones warmer. You may be in a cold place where your tree will die in the ground. You may also be in a location where you don't have any safe ground to grow it on.
- If it is one of your first trees so you may want to keep it on your bench and admire it's growth. In this case, I would put it in an over sized bonsai pot (a little larger in diameter than current and a depth of about 1/3 the diameter). You can then grow and enjoy it as it slowly develops. I would allow the first right branch to grow while keeping the top in check to both make that branch thicker and to thicken the trunk a bit below it.

There are control advantages to growing a tree slowly in a pot versus quickly in the ground. I have a box elder (Acer negundo) in a pot that I am slowly growing on. It is not commonly used for bonsai since it has large compound leaves that do not reduce well. It is a 3 year old seedling that is about 12" (30 cm) tall. I will add a couple of inches per year to the height until it reaches 30" or so and the leaves start to come into scale. In the ground it would grow that much in a month and have very coarse internodes.


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Re: My Trident Maple

Post  Oliver Muscio on Tue Sep 27, 2011 4:16 am

Marty, if he lives in San Jose, CA (zone 8b) as he indicates, he doesnt need to worry about the trident freezing in the ground. Of course, there may be other reasons that make it impractical (no ground to plant in), but weather won't be the reason.
Oliver

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Re: My Trident Maple

Post  Guest on Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:33 pm

You have the luxury to plant Tridents in the ground... I live in Chicago, so the best I can do is pot it in a large pot.

My suggestion is that right before you plant your Trident in the ground, correct the roots. By that I mean remove the choking roots and try to spread or fan out the nebari in all directions... most maples generate excellent fused nebari that I love. Also, try to subsitute the ground soil with something that drains better.

- S

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