trident maple advice

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trident maple advice

Postby lord_pine » Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:27 pm

hey, just wondering if you guys would have any advice of what i can do with this trident maple.. its 10 years old.. ive had it for 3 or so years.. and dont really have any idea what do do with it.. i was thinking of cutting it back to its lowest branch on the left and making that the new main trunk.. and starting from there.. im stumped on this one.. any ideas apreciated :D Image
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Re: trident maple advice

Postby taffyman » Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:24 pm

Welcome to the forum LP. Could you tell us your approx location? (you can add it in your profile). Why I asked is because there are no leaves on your maple - and mine still has its foliage.

I don't think I'd go as radical as you suggested - cutting back to the lower left branch because the trunk has a nice taper all the way to the top.

I'd suggest that your tree would look good as a formal upright. That means a straight trunk with branches alternate as you go up the trunk ie: Left lower, right above, back above that, left, right, back etc until you get to where the top branches all come from the apex of the trunk.

That very heavy branch on the right would be removed - it's way too heavy to even consider trying to bend it. From there, cut back all branches that are crossing each other and cut all the top branches back (not off) to encourage new shoots. From them, you could develop a good canopy.

Follow the link below - it might give you some idea of how I would see your tree developing:

http://www.gardenexpress.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=12641
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Re: trident maple advice

Postby lord_pine » Tue Apr 07, 2009 4:33 am

gday taffy... lol well firstly dont get to worried, i live in sydney.. but this is a photo of my maple last winter, so you could beter see its structure, but thanks for the advice before i went hacking it to bits ! :) .. il take your advice and take off that large branch on the right, what time of year would you recommend this?? hopefuly i can get some new growth going on the right hand side and get me some nice lower branches.. il post pics on how i go.. thank you! ps i think your "small maple" is my perfect idea of what ild love any good maple to look like.
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Re: trident maple advice

Postby taffyman » Tue Apr 07, 2009 7:54 pm

lord_pine wrote:.. but this is a photo of my maple last winter, so you could beter see its structure


Aha! now it makes sense. We do get a few queries on GE about different plants from overseas members, so of course their seasons are different times to ours - and also, different climates may need different advice.

If you are just going to cut that lower left branch off, then you can do that at any time - and now is as good a time as any. Any remaining time your tree has to store nutrients before leaf drop and set itself up for winter will then be directed into the rest of the tree instead of that very dominant one. For the rest of the pruning, I'd wait till late winter - before the buds swell, and then prune back whatever you choose. If you prune back to a pair of buds, you should get two new shoots from the axils of the new leaves that come from the two buds. Let the new shoots grow two or three new pairs of leaves then prune back to a single pair again. Keep doing this and in a fairly short time you'll have a reasonably dense foliage pad developing. When you do prune back, leave a stub of about 3-4mm so as not to risk damaging the leaf axils. Those stubs will die back of their own accord and after the new shoots have developed they can be cut off completely.

Of course, you could also wait till the new leaves have set in spring then take cuttings from the branches you intend to cut back

That small maple of mine would be my favourite I think. Not because of it being a really good tree, but because of its very humble beginnings as a $2.00 rooted cutting in a pot (in Darwin) that had a stem of about 3mm thick x 75mm high, two very thin twigs coming out the top with a pair of leaves on each twig. I've watched it grow and develop over the last 19 years so to me it is very special.

It'll be great if you do post photos of how it develops. Not only for us, but for yourself as well. I wish I'd taken many more photos of some of my trees earlier on (Before digital cameras). It's interesting looking back at the development over the years.
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Re: trident maple advice

Postby alpinebonsart » Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:02 am

Hi Lord_pine ,welcome to G.E and a very nice trunk on the Trident . Personally i would blow the trunk out by placing it into a large wooden box , say 600mm plus square and 200mm deep to allow root run for 1 more season , this will allow you time to air layer most of the unwanted branches off in early spring . The taper is excellent all the way to the top fork , 1 season in a large box will almost double the trunk girth on a Trident with that much canopy above . The section on "Marcot - air layering" will be benificial for producing numerous smaller Tridents from a very healthy tree .

Layers from Tridents root easily and can be removed within 3 months of setting in early Spring .This will give you time to plan your attack on the finish required , as suggested a fomal upright plus a bonus of numerous new Trident starters .Cheers
100_1966.jpg
Air layer of a Trident to produce a single tree and a raft style from the top and a Sumo Trident from the base . Layered on the 15/12/08 severed the top off 7/4/09 with a masive rootball the size of a basketball .Tray is a large 550mm x 350mm x 120mm
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Re: trident maple advice

Postby lord_pine » Sat Apr 11, 2009 3:57 am

gday alpine!.. thanks for the advice il look to do exactly that... any idea of any places that sell wooden boxes suitable for growing trees in?.. if not il probably just buy afew larger shallow pots... any advice on how i can get maples to grow new shoots lower down the branches? things like elms and ficus are always easy to get new growth.. but maples dont seem to be as excited about giving me new grow down on the hardened wood..
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Re: trident maple advice

Postby alpinebonsart » Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:16 am

[quote="lord_pine"]gday alpine!.. thanks for the advice il look to do exactly that... any idea of any places that sell wooden boxes suitable for growing trees in?.. if not il probably just

Hi lord-pine , i make my own to suit individual trees or use whatever is a my disposal Alternatively you can dig a hole in the shape of a large tray in the ground , line with plastic making sure to put drainage holes in the bottom and place some coarse drainage medium in prior to a layer of potting mix . Another simple method is using a scrap piece of corrigated iron on the ground or on a bench pot the tree on top mounding the soil round the roots .
100_2819.jpg
Huge ash in a 600mm x 400mm x 200mm polystyrene box, cement sheet glued to the bottom for a more robust base
100_2820.jpg
Hawthorne in a 500mm x 500mm x 125mm wooden box made from recycled timber
100_2821.jpg
large urban yamadori conifer from my garden in a 600mm x 400mm x 250mm plastic tub


Drape a piece of shade cloth or similar material over the soil and use wire hooks to hold the mesh in place around the outer edge . Due to the fact the corrigated iron has the up and down sections no drainage medium is required .

When you layer the branches off , the trunk will back bud . Layering has the same effect on the tree as hard pruning . Ring barking to layer interferes with the sap and nutrient flows forcing the plant to produce roots on the layer or new foliage below the ring bark . The foliage on top will feed the new roots on the layer , the original rootball will feed the trunk below the layers producing new buds. The buds will only be small and less vigourous than the top until you remove the layers .

Be patient with the base as the layers will take priorty, then once removed the trunk will be well on its way to being a very good large Bonsai .Cheers alpinebonsart
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