I chopped this trident down in March, and when the new leader was strong enough, I was able to carve the taper into it. This can be an elusive concept, but Brent’s article on trunk growing made an impact, with an added step, which made sense, particularly this excerpt:
“How to Make the Cuts
I’ve been doing trunk cuts for some years now and can report what I have learned. At first I did 45 degree cuts as recommended by most books. In fact I spent a lot of time carving the crater shapes at the same time. I have come to the conclusion that this is mostly a waste of time. I now just give them a perpendicular whack, and save the angle cuts and carving for later, after the dieback is complete.” –Brent Walston, Evergreen Gardenworks
The cut is flat across the top, but the new leader is identified.
Now, in July, its pointed up, growing strong, and it's time to add taper to the section of trunk:
Sealed up and ready to roll:
Small branches are at the base of the cut on the right, behind the cut, and at the junction of the first and second trunk sections. They will be allowed to remain, but not get too big. They’ll either become main branches, or removed before they get too big to leave a scar. The photos are taken from the planned front, which needs to be kept clean of scars.
Next week, a little summer root work on this one…