refining Trident Maples

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refining Trident Maples

Post  Simo44 on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:07 pm

I know very little about how to refine a Trident. I have had this tree for some years and do little to it apart from trim back the extensions.
it seems a lot stronger on the left side and needs to fill out a bit more on the right. The branch at the back, just above the primary, is also way too thin.

Can anyone give me some guidance with A: getting more strength into the right of the tree B: building a nice fine ramification.

Thanks.



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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  JimLewis on Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:14 pm

If you have had this tree since its infancy, you're pretty well along toward refining it. Keep on doing what you've done.

If someone else brought it to this point, you will be using a combination of pinching off end buds on all branches, continuous pinching of new growth back to a couple of pairs of leaves, and total or partial defoliation. It works pretty much the same for all maples, so you might get Peter Adams' book on Japanese maples.

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Marty Weiser on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:17 pm

To add to Jim's comments you can increase the strength of the weak areas by weakening the stronger ones. The main ways to weaken a branch you can cut it back, wire it, prune it at the earliest possible time, and partially defoliate. For a maple this often means taking out the center bud with fine tweezers as soon as you can find it between the emerging leaves and removing one of the two leaves once they harden off. The first has the added benefit of increasing ramification. You can also do a full defoliation to further weaken those branches and force a second flush to small growth.

You can also let the branches that need to strengthen grow longer before pruning. It would be fairly common to allow several pairs of leaves to form and then cut back to the first pair. You can also allow a sacrifice branch to grow long to really thicken up the branch. I have been letting the apex of my trident maple grow t 1.5 - 2 meters tall during the year in a climate with a moderate length growing season. Of course any strong growth will have long internodes and it may be necessary to cut back to a back bud and apply the controlled pinching and defoliation to build ramification.

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  bucknbonsai on Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:17 pm

Dont forget to have the sacrifice branch come OFF OF the branch you are trying to thicken. Dont just let all of your ramified ends grow uncontrolled to become the sacrifice branches, you will loose your ramification and your thickness will be homogenous/untapered all the way down the branch back to the trunk. Try letting a bud (or multiple at different points along the branch) extend off the branch, but not the actual ends of the branch and let those become the sacrifice branches. This way you can keep your ramification and you build not only thickness to the branch but TAPERED thickness. I would also put it in a slightly larger pot for a season or 2 to do this.

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:09 pm

Another way to increase the strength on one side is to give additional food & room for root run. A larger pot with the tree planted to the left side along with increasing your fertiliser cages by half on the right side.

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:33 pm

If the tree is in the same position as it is in the photo. It may be as simple as exposing that side of the tree to more sun lite. I also would weaken the stronger areas by defoliation, and thicken branches that need it by just letting them grow out for a season.

Mitch

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Jesse on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:39 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:If the tree is in the same position as it is in the photo. It may be as simple as exposing that side of the tree to more sun lite. I also would weaken the stronger areas by defoliation, and thicken branches that need it by just letting them grow out for a season.

Mitch
Yup

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  RKatzin on Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:01 pm

Right on Mitch! I was going to add exactly that. Light manipulation, along with the other suggestions, is a handy tool, simply exposing the weak side to the sun will strengthen that side and naturally weaken the stronger side. Giving a quarter turn regularly will prevent this imbalance in the future. The frequency will depend on the variety and season.

In the spring and summer, or when your growing season is, I give a weekly 1/4 turn clockwise for my deciduous trees. Conifers are a bit slower, but they get a 1/4 turn once a month all year round. I'm not sure how important the direction is, never looked into it, but I've always gone that direction. My thinking is that is the way the trees move following the sun, so turning them forward, the branches that were out front now have to lean over backwards to see the sun, instead of full exposure most of the day, they now get their sun from the right side in the evening. Just as they are getting adjusted to that another 1/4 turn and now they get most of their sun from the left side in the morning and all the branches swing around to focus on it again. Yeah! We're working out here! The next turn is the rest period, just get up in the morning and soak up the sun.

I should add, because I did not mean to imply full sun exposure, but exposure to the full amount of sun available, which during that time is determined by the tree per tree. Most of my potted trees live under dappled sunlight during the summer. If I see the tree developing over long extentions I move it to a spot where it gets more sun exposure.

A maple growing in the ground was growing weakly on one side and when I dug it up to do some work on the roots I replanted it with the weak side facing the morning sun, trimmed back the strong side and removed one branch from the stronger side. Tres in the ground can't be turned regulaly so corrections must be made when you can. I could have used shade cloth on the stronger side, wherever the most sun hits, that's where the most life will be generated, in a nutshell.

Coulda said that from the start, but it helps me to reiterate these things, too. Sometimes it will solidify the facts, and at times when you say it outloud and you hear yourself, you just say, boy that sounds dumb. I'm talking about me, not you. From Oregon, Rick

PS: on preview, I quess I did say that from the gitgo, HA!HA!

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:26 pm

Full unfiltered sun can be a death sentence to most deciduous tree especially tridents. I have friends that are experts on them. On thier larger specimens they are actually kept on turntables and they rotate them almost every time they walk past them.

Mitch

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  bucknbonsai on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:52 pm

mitch, does this only apply to trees in bonsai pots and/or trees in the south? Where I am, in full sun in the middle of a field the tridents in pots and in the ground put on tons of growth with no burn at all. However the pots I have them in are training pots, not small bonsai pots.

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Poink88 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:18 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:mitch, does this only apply to trees in bonsai pots and/or trees in the south? Where I am, in full sun in the middle of a field the tridents in pots and in the ground put on tons of growth with no burn at all. However the pots I have them in are training pots, not small bonsai pots.
It has to do with a non-native plant moved where sun intensity is greater than the leaves can take. Acclimation will help but only to some degree. We are closer to the equator than you so you might be okay.

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Mitch Thomas on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:42 pm

Buck & Dario

It has been my expreence that Tridents planted in the ground do fine in full sun HERE. But I have found them to be Heat sensitive in a bonsai pots. I also have found them to be very sodium and wind intolerant in bonsai pots. I have a large one planted in the ground and water it with my city water with no problem, now in a bonsai pot is another story. Often a slow painful death!

Mitch

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Simo44 on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:35 pm

Thanks for all the advice guys.

I think I'll make a start by pruning back the left hand side a bit, allowing a better balance with the right. It will give me the opportunity to improve the branch structure and taper.


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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Mowgonie on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:24 pm

Wow, this was a really fascinating and educational thread, thanks to everyone for their vast knowledge. I learn everyday! Very Happy

Love this forum

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Poink88 on Tue Mar 06, 2012 6:32 pm

Mitch Thomas wrote:
It has been my expreence that Tridents planted in the ground do fine in full sun HERE. But I have found them to be Heat sensitive in a bonsai pots.
Mitch,

Is it possible that the bonsai is not more heat sensitive rather lacked water (at one point)? Remember, all it takes is once. Wink

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  Mitch Thomas on Tue Mar 06, 2012 7:52 pm

Dario
There is no doubt that the womb of mother earth is the best place to grow any thing, we all know that. Most tridents will forgive you only once or twice for drought in a bonsai pot. In the ground the roots are protected from heat, and the natural ability of the soil to buffer any impurities. The capulary action of the soil will keep roots moist for a much longer in the ground. These conditions are not present in a bonsai pot. I have found my city water will keep a trident in a pot alive for about 2 years then the salts and minerals gradually build up and eventually cause death. Harry Harrington has a great article on bonsai4me about his move from the country to the city and how the water quality was different. As I remember he perodicly uses vinegar to dissolve salt and mineral build up.

Mitch

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Re: refining Trident Maples

Post  drgonzo on Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:34 am

Poink88 wrote:
Mitch Thomas wrote:
It has been my expreence that Tridents planted in the ground do fine in full sun HERE. But I have found them to be Heat sensitive in a bonsai pots.
Mitch,

Is it possible that the bonsai is not more heat sensitive rather lacked water (at one point)? Remember, all it takes is once. Wink

Root zone temperatures increase dramatically for container grown plants in sunlight, so that is compounded along with and contributes to, an already limited water supply.

-Jay

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hi Simo

Post  tap pi lu on Fri Mar 16, 2012 11:55 am

Perhaps you need to modify slightly within the marked red X (cut off tops of that region) small new shoots for the supplemental offset into the gaps of the new flame had just cut off. Since I don't directly, but looking at the picture it as such.

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Re: refining Trident Maples

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