Bonsai Study Group Forum

Species Specific => Trident Maple Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Josh on July 26, 2014, 07:40 PM

Title: Trident progression
Post by: Josh on July 26, 2014, 07:40 PM
8 years in the works...

First image, spring after purchase of import, repot, restyling.
Second image, 5 years later.  Posted on another site, and got a fair amount of heat for the "pine" styling. Many suggestions, some useful, some not and many expressed interest to change to the tree in meadow look, rounded apex naturalistic tree.
Third image, today 8 years after first picture.  I have shortened tree by 6 inches. Changed front and back.  Working to build appropriate branching, proportion and single line movement. Lower branches have been thickened.  Several back whips are left to go for grafting next year.  Now a triangle.  In coming years will round out and soften/create apex.
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Judy on July 28, 2014, 10:02 AM
Hi josh, nice tree.  Are you going to keep all the current branches in your plan?  In the middle pic, it seems like there are too many branches for that beautiful trunk to be a point of focus.  I like low branching, but wonder if some of the lower ones are distracting as there are so many overall.  Nice nebari too.
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: shimsuki on July 28, 2014, 05:58 PM
Very nice, thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Sorce on July 28, 2014, 10:02 PM
It is nice. I do find the styling nicely excecuted, but uninteresting.

It seems the trunk, while mmmmm  stout with presence, would be too straight to be nice without those branches.

I would air layer it at the bend.for something traditional.

And hollow out the lower part for something creepy.

Sorce
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Josh on July 28, 2014, 10:22 PM
Thank you for your comments.

Judy,
In last 2 years I have been trying to build the major branch structure, and in leaf, this is somewhat difficult to appreciate.  A winter pic will follow, and may help the discussion. Changing the front left me with poor branching on the lower half. Bottom branches were too small, and this has been improved. As one works up the tree, a couple of branches could not be used, and some were lost.  So the segment from bottom brached to mid tree has been the biggest project yet.  My hope would be to fill in this segment to look appropriate with and without leaves.

Sorce,
The idea to layer has been offered in the past, so you are not alone in your suggestion.  Also, a bit of reverse taper is present at mid tree (air layer would fix), which I hope to correct by the bulking up of lower branches.  There are 3 major turns in trunk seen on image 2, one more was added with trunk chop.  The movement is subtle, and hoping to go with slant/informal upright trunk line. There is also a bit of back/forth depth in trunk and general forward lean, which is hard to see without side views.  Again, more reason for winter images.  I also am hoping to keep base, with nebari, which was years in making. Hoping to get all the hollows healed over, to get a finished Japanese look, rather than the creepy, or Walter Pall look.
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Owen Reich on July 28, 2014, 11:34 PM
Looking great  :)
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: John Kirby on July 29, 2014, 01:29 AM
Josh, the time and care you have provided this tree are very apparent. I think the idea of having some element that makes people a little uncomfortable is at work with this tree. I think the idea of letting your lower branches increase in bulk, while still giving yourself the opportunity to regain taper is a good one. Controlling the Apex will be crucial if you want to maintain scale and not start back over on the upper branches.

I wouldn't air layer it yet, the top isn't that much better than the whole and your gain wouldn't yet be that great. And I certainly wouldn't put it back in the ground.....

Please don't ruin this nice tree by making an ill advised deadwood feature. You have been at this long enough to know how those work out on maples.

John
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Herman on July 29, 2014, 06:27 AM
"Posted on another site, and got a fair amount of heat for the "pine" styling"

I find this very amusing, as the second photo does not remind me of a pine styling at all. You know some people are extremely fanatic and sometimes see only what they want to see and immediately post some obscene comment. I have looked at these photos since you've posted the thread, I've come back and looked at it a few times since and I really see no strong resemblance to how a pine is styled in bonsai...I've seen pin Oaks in nature that look more like a pine than that second photo of your trident...that being said...

I've figured out why the tree seems a bit unsettling as Mr Kirby mentions, can the planting angle be altered a bit so that the first section of trunk does not seem so bolt upright? Its unsettling because the first section is bolt upright and then changes direction and in the top third it changes direction back to the base. Maybe if the tree was tilted slightly to the right? only suggestions though.

I think you have a very nice trident maple! and it is apparent that you know your stuff when it comes to properly caring for bonsai. The new styling will only enhance the tree.

wish I had a maple like this  ;)

kind regards
Herman
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Judy on July 29, 2014, 09:01 AM
Josh, I'm sorry- I didn't realize that the second photo was the back of the tree now!  I will be watching for an update to see the new front this winter. I don't think the trunk is uninteresting in the slightest btw... Once you get some chunky branching going on low, it will certainly make the perspective better. 
Thanks for posting it here  :)
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: akeppler on July 29, 2014, 11:24 PM
"Posted on another site, and got a fair amount of heat for the "pine" styling"

I find this very amusing, as the second photo does not remind me of a pine styling at all. You know some people are extremely fanatic and sometimes see only what they want to see and immediately post some obscene comment. I have looked at these photos since you've posted the thread, I've come back and looked at it a few times since and I really see no strong resemblance to how a pine is styled in bonsai... kind regards
Herman

One only has to look as far as the home page to this site and the beautiful pine as the tree of the month to see how a pine is styled for bonsai. One also can't help but see the very true similarities to the styling of this maple and that pine. Ray Charles could see the similarities.
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: akeppler on July 29, 2014, 11:41 PM
I opened that dialog at the other site with my simple reply: "Nice looking pine".

Without knowing the person or the context of the tree or the desireabilities of the picture one can only make assesments on first impressions. My impression of that image is a trident maple being done in the pine tree style.

Maples do not grow like this. They are deciduous tree with many trunks emerging low on a base. That is the natural growth habit of the species. Many time tree species, or shrubs for that matter are styled to represent other species found in nature. Many juniper shrubs are styled to represent a battered bristlecone pine found at tree line with huge amounts of deadwood. I have seen elms prepared to represent acacia trees seen on the African scrub.

This particular tree falls into a very touchy catagory. Short sightedness of the grower. It is very easy to cut down a 2 inch trident and grow out a second section in a couple years. Cut it back again and grow out a third section and call it good. Great taper, movement, chunky base and good rootage. It is also very easy to grow out some branches in a "stairway to heaven" pattern and have a very presentable bonsai in a few years.

This tree is a very nice bonsai. It is not a very convincing maple bonsai. I go to some of the best shows in California on a yearly basis. Two shows in particular always have many trident maple bonsai. I have yet to see a trident maple grown in a convincing maple style yet.

How does a maple tree grow? ....looky here.....
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: akeppler on July 29, 2014, 11:45 PM
Again lets compare the maple with some other pine tree bonsai and look at the simularities.
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: akeppler on July 29, 2014, 11:54 PM
Pine tree

Maple tree.
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: akeppler on July 29, 2014, 11:59 PM
So, what are we left with? There are two ways to style a maple tree. Classical Japanese pine style, or modified broom, naturalistic, spreading oak style. One looks like a maple and one looks like a pine. I would get bored with all of the same in my collection so variety seems to rule the day. I have both in my collection and I love both styles.

Hopefully I have posted something for those of you to tell the professional blowhard when he tells you your maple looks like a pine. You can tell him "thank you very much, that is what I was going for. I have benches of maples at home but wanted to represent a pine with a maple for variety."

Cheers, Al
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: John Kirby on July 30, 2014, 03:24 AM
Al, do you have one that looks like a maple? I thought you were still stuck in the Sumo mud with the rest of us.

This tree would be relatively easy to convert to a more mapley look. Looking at the change in flow and direction of movement on trees in the woods or down along the river would give one a good sense of how to adjust branches, and which to remove. I look forward to seeing what you do with it.
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Herman on July 30, 2014, 03:50 AM
I opened that dialog at the other site with my simple reply: "Nice looking pine".

lol... I wouldn't call that a fair amount of heat...a fair amount of heat to me would mean that I've had enough now and I'm going to introduce my fist to your face if i don't walk away....but that's just me. it seems I may have read the situation wrong; I thought his tree was called sh#t on another forum, and I've seen a lot of people changing their bonsais just to be accepted by the larger community...so I made the response about the "fanatics", was not aimed at you Mr Keppler. It was aimed at reassuring the op that he can train any species of tree in any style he wishes so long as that style is done properly.

So I agree with you by and large, but I still do not see the pine styling? the bottom branches are too low down on the trunk and not wide enough and there are no defined foliage pads anywhere on the tree. It looks more like a deciduous tree competing for space and the only way is up. I get that the tree has a narrow silhouette and a lot of branches coming from a single trunk, and that the branches are trained in a horizontal fashion, but this alone does not make it look like a pine to me, not even a young pine that still has it's lower branches

I respect you a great deal though, and I may be wrong about this too,but its just my opinion on the matter

kind regards
Herman
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: Josh on February 28, 2015, 11:59 AM
Late winter update. 1 year into what I see as a 5 year redesign. Present goal is to build branches, and gain appropriate branch caliber. This work is most needed above the 2 lowest branches. Four grafts placed. Busy area 1/2 way up left of tree will be simplified, once a suitable branch or two are chosen. Reverse taper 2/3 way up at elbow is just life. Top supporting 2 grafts will be shortened 4-6". 8" root spread, partially covered by moss. Pot 24"
Title: Re: Trident progression
Post by: SHIMA1 on February 28, 2015, 08:53 PM
Josh...I have nothing but respect for the thoughtful care and attention you've given this maple over the years. I see a bright future for this lovely tree.

Bruce