Species Specific > Trident Maple Bonsai Discussion

Raft style trident

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suncrush:
I have a 10-foot pre-bonsai trident that I intend to cut down for bonsai-ing in the spring.  I'm picking parts of the crown to air layer, and I found a branch that has a lot of potential as a raft.

What's the best way to get that branch to root for rafting?

noissee:
It's really just ground-layering, but you have to decide where you want it to root. Some rafts are curvy and only root at certain intervals, while others root almost all the way across. You should really plan the final image before you try to root it.

suncrush:
The branch in particular has four branches coming off it, all on one side.  Since four is an inauspicious number, I want to grow out the "trunks" on the raft to have gnarly, twisted branches coming off them.  When the tree defoliates in winter, I want it to have a creepy, haunted forest vibe.  The idea is that it is a penjing that represents death.

So, I think probably rooting the raft all along the bottom is the way to go.

noissee:
Going with that haunted forest vibe...you should read this article from KOB. About two-thirds of the way down is a trident maple raft, and the sketched image is very haunting.
Good luck.

http://knowledgeofbonsai.org/articles/techniques/styles-styling/finding-the-tree-within/

John Kirby:
Remember, you want to see the nebari all along he trunk. So, just get it rooted, then  you can refine it and get roots where you want them by targeting spots. John

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