Lazy Trident Maple, or Don’t ever give up!

This one took a snap frost last November which zapped all the leaves,

And I didn’t think much of it at the time. But by mid-March, all the other trees were growing except this trident.

By April, everything was ready for a haircut (including me…after a month of Corona quarantine)

A cambium check suggested the tree was still alive, so I kept it in shade, and treated it like it was still alive, watering and feeding it. Until finally, on April 25, fully 6 weeks later than the torch tridents, I noticed suddenly the buds had broken:

April 30:

Strange to see Kurume azaleas finishing blooming, Satsukis starting, and a bare trident a month them.

May 15…breathing a sigh of relief now…

ROR trident update

The true charm of this tree will ultimately be the nebari exiting the stone and crawling across the soil level. All the groundwork is set for this to present nicely in a few years, but for now, here is a sneak preview, but all developments happen best underground, so it’s buried deep for now:

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The roots clinging to the rock were a bit thin. So in July 2015, I packed them with sphagnum moss, wrapped them in plastic, and hoped that covering them would hasten the thickening.

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Fall color was nice:

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And after leaf fall, it was in need of some pruning back:

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The second trunk section bothered me; too straight, and lacking taper, so I made the decision to shorten the trunk again in February 2016:

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Still clinging left, but trying to move right. A little work in May to check progress of the roots, and to handle some branch selection.

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Some notable thickening and better adherence to the rock. Also, a pretty deep cut on a few of the roots. They should heal in time, I really don’t want scars here!

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Cut paste applied over the wire scars:

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I’ve deliberately kept lots of small shoots, close to the trunk, so it will look congested for a time, until I’ve finalized all the primary branches and trunk line. I was able to do some removal, but kept a few spares, and a few sacrifice branches.

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Directionally, I finally decided I want the tree to lean left, so, using the trunk chop from February to add that direction, and a sacrifice branch to add the 3rd section of trunk:

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Something like this…

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There, that’s better…

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We’ll see how it goes when winter gets here…