Root-over-rock trident maple fall work

Fall color was good before the early hard freeze.

Peaked:

Zapped…

Stripped…

Clipped:

A few close-ups. Not bad for 11 years of work, but still needs some time to close up some of the spaces between the base and the rock.

Sumo-Shohin trident maple winter pruning

I’ve been working on this one for about 15 years, in and out of the ground, several heavy chops, plenty of rot and putty, and even a few grafts. Finally, it’s starting to look like a grotesque fat little trident. No good fall color this year, thanks to a quick drop down to 22f just as fall color was coming on. So the leaves were stripped, and here it is:

It was defoliated this summer for a chance to prune it, but still quite a few shoots grew out and away and imbalanced. The goal is to trim back to even-strength branches, bifrucating pairs, and shorter internodes. Starting with this:

Pruned like this:

To finish up like this:

Next spring, the challenge will be to shoehorn it into a proper Shohin pot.

Taking it from the 10″ wide Ino down to about a 6.5″ wide Koyo. I think it can get there, and then it will be suitable for a Shohin display.

A night shot:

…and the likely future planting angle, turned just a bit to the left:

The Ino pot is one of my favorites, so I’ll be eager to find a new pairing…maybe the Chinese Quince…

Happy Thanksgiving to the bonsai folks on this side of the pond, and happy birthday brother!

Summer defoliation on a Trident Maple

This root-over-Rock trident was started about 11 years ago, and the leaves will reduce down to 1/2″ with constant trimming. Defoliating is used not to reduce leaf size, but to provide some visibility into what’s happening inside the canopy. If an area is getting too coarse inside the canopy, it’s difficult to see. So, in mid-June, I removed all the leaves to get a look. The growing season is long enough that it can continue to grow.

Before:

After:

Close-up shot of the coarse branches that need to be pruned back to bifrucating pairs:

And after pruning:

A month later, the tree is full again, but notice the larger leaf size:

Now, pinching will resume for the rest of the growing season, removing the strong shoots that grow past the profile, and large leaves. This pinching is what produces small leaves and shorter internodes; here is a shot in mid-August, after constant trimming to prevent long shoots from running outside the profile.

And after the pruning while defoliated, more these new branches can be kept as part of the next course of ramification.

During the remainder of the growing season, larger leaves will be removed to allow light in. Leaving smaller leaves helps maintain the scale.