Leaf drop has been slow and erratic at Shibui Bonsai this year. Some of the maples still have leaves but many of the tridents are now bare. that gives the perfect opportunity to review ramification and make alterations.
First step is to shorten any long, new growth that is left after summer trimming.
Next check to see if any areas are getting congested. As the trees develop I find that the branches that previously looked good now appear too close together and some may need to be removed completely.
This is the top of another, smaller trident maple.
The apex needs to be reduced.
You can also see 3 branches growing from the same spot. That will eventually cause localised thickening and reverse taper. at least one needs to go.
I decided to keep the right apex to echo the trunk shape down near the first branch. That option also reduces the height more than either of the others.
Moving to the area just below there are plenty of branches close together. Too many branches will cause thickening of the trunk and will reduce the amount of light available to lower branches. The apex of the tree should be thinner so some need to be removed.
Cut one off the right side
and a couple from the left side to leave the apex of the tree quite thin and open.
Branches should be treated in a similar manner. Here is the lower left branch. It has quite a few smaller shoots growing close together. Shoots that grow here in spring will be very crowded so I need to thin some out.
After shortening the long growth and thinning out crowded and crossing pieces all the buds will have room to grow in spring.