Trident Maple in the ground

Here is a cutting from a trident maple that came from Gary Wood in ’02. It was rooted in early 2007 about pencil-thick, planted in the ground in mid-summer, and left to grow in place through present time. (The parent tree is right behind it).

Here is a photo of the tree, circled in red and yellow taken in early 2008, after growing for one season; 2007.


Here is the same tree, taken at the end it’s second growing season; 2008. The tree is circled again in red and yellow.

It grew to about 10′ tall in ’08, and ended up up about 1″ thick just above the soil. It had a goofy bend in the trunk that is still visible in this photo, but smoothed out during the 2009 growing season. This one seems to have a tendency to flatten out, so I’m watching it to understand what causes it to flatten, and how I can compensate; maybe by rotating it when I dig it up to do root-work.

The parent tree is right behind this one. I had higher hopes for it, but a pruning cut made probably too early in the year resulted in the tree drying up on the front, and I’ll have to end up cutting it back to ahead of the first cut again. The base and roots are good, so it shouldn’t be a problem…just lost the movement for the time-being.


Here is the tree as of January ’10; circled in yellow. The trunk diameter is about 2.75″ just above the soil level, and the height is about 16′. I dug it up in the spring to do some root work, and cut it back to a few inches tall.



Dug, bare-rooted, pruned, and stuck in a 3-gallon can in 3/10.

The trunk came along nicely, but it lacks any real taper and movement. If the nebari develops nicely, I might style it as an upright. If it’s irregular, I will chop the trunk again and try to get some movement in a way that accentuates the look of the nebari.





End of November ’11:



And, the end of November ’12:





Next spring, it will be chopped down and another section will grow to add some taper, and ideally some movement. More to follow…

9 thoughts on “Trident Maple in the ground

  1. Can you explain what you meant when you said that the cut on the parent plant dried up from cutting too early in the year? The child is looking great, you really picked a good name for your blog, as you seem to really know how to develop good base and roots!

    1. Yes, you can actually see it happen if you go back through the progression of photos. I cut it down in the winter, Nov-Dec, and it died back almost to the ground on one side.

      Because of this, I had to cut it down to about 2″ tall, and it’s 3″ wide! It will become interesting as a result, but it wasn’t the original plan.

      The second section grew freely and is now 1.5 wide and about ready for another chop. This time, I’m waiting until the buds start to elongate, in hopes it won’t die back.

    1. Yep. Everything got to grow wild this year, so I have lots of chops to do in the spring, and I’m really looking forward to this round, because everything changes again with big chops.

      The last couple close ups of this trunk show a shoot coming off the left, which should become the next new leader.

  2. Brian, do you fertilize these while they’re in the ground? I’m going to pick up a couple sapling that are maybe 1/4 of an inch thick and I’d like to put one in the ground and the other in a pond basket as an experiment. I’m trying to work out any specifics at the moment.

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