Sumo shohin trident maple

Here’s one I’ve been working on for about 12 years, maybe longer. It has a fat little base, and wagon-wheel nebari, and is in serious need of refinement.

Last year, I dug it up and potted it for the first time in 6-7 years. It has a bad chop scar on the back that is slow to close, and was impossible to work on while in the ground.

I defoliated it to get a look at the branch development:


And to give the grafted branch a little sunshine. While it was leafless, I scraped the cambium around the chop and suspected it might just be rotting under that cut paste. Digging a little with a gouge confirmed that suspicion:

So I removed what I could, and then used a Foredom rotary tool to remove as much rotted, soft wood as possible, and got it back to hard wood:

Then, I treated the inside with PC Petrifier, a water-based wood preservative.


Allowed it to soak in and dry overnight, then over the course of a few days, filled the hole with interior/exterior wood filler.


A week later I had a few minutes to smooth out the edges of the wood filler, and clean up some of the rough bark:



Nice taper:

And one more week later, I was able to wire the grafted branch to move it to the right and add a little wiggle.

Now, three weeks later in mid-August, the branch is setting, and I’ve been reducing the back of the grafted shoot:

I also stripped the lower leaves from the sacrifice branch to keep the sun shining on the final tree:

Soon enough it will be down to the final tree itself:

The graft was separated, unwired, and shortened, and pruned back in late August. Here is where I’m leaving it for the remainder of the growing season:


Next spring, it will be repotted and the nebari will be worked a bit more.


3 thoughts on “Sumo shohin trident maple

  1. Looking great Brian! If you are showing the front angle at the end, it looks like the grafted branch interferes with the look at that low right trunk (branch). Is this just angle?

    • Great looking Trident Maple. I also have one only about 1/2 as wide as yours now Ihave a few better ideas for mine. Thanks for the great pictures and comments about what you did. Gives me some hope, by the way mt Trident is only about 8 years old.

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