Species Specific > Trident Maple Bonsai Discussion

Caring for a Trident Maple in a nursery pot


Hi all.

I recently started bonsai, and I decided to pick up a 7-gallon trident at the nursery because it was a good deal and it had an attractive root taper.  I'm going to chop it next spring, and it's going to be my first tree I train from pre-bonsai.  At the moment, it's nine feet tall, and I'm going to leave it that way over winter.

My question is this--if it's in a good 7-gallon pot, how often do I need to water it?  Should it be kept moist?  Should I let it dry out?

Thanks for the help!

Dave Murphy:
Well, I guess the simple answer is that you want the soil to be consistently moist without over or under watering.  That can be difficult depending on the type of soil in the pot, how rootbound the tree may or may not be, as well as where you live.  I'm always cautious of larger, containerized trees...I find they have often been balled/burlapped, then placed in a large container for sale.  Have you inspected the rootball yet?  That will give you alot of information about where to go from here.  With large stock like this, my inclination is to plant it out for the winter without touching the roots at all.  Next spring, dig it up and start working on it.


Rick Moquin:
... as with Dave, dig a hole the size of the root ball and plants it out for the winter. Do this now without disturbing the root ball. You will not have to worry about it, mother nature will over winter it nicely for you. Leaving it the pot exposed or not IMO is not an alternative.

Ok, thanks.  I'll plant it, and then in late January, when the frosts have passed, I will put it in a large ceramic pot with good soil.

The advice turned out to be very good!  I cut off the pot, and it was pretty badly rootbound.

I think I will chop it down and begin training in the spring.  I'll talk to the people at my local bonsai club about that as the time draws near.  (The next thing I need to learn from them is how to wire branches.  My quince is out of control!)


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