Developing tridents: the next phase

Another year or 2 should see some trunks with both taper and attractive bends. Maybe they even have some shoots in the right places for branching.

Take a closer look at some of the issues that need dealing with.

The first branch has died back a bit and the remaining shoots are crowded and growing at awkward angles. Maybe it would be possible to wire these and bend them into acceptable positions but the outer ones look a bit rigid to me so I’m just going to prune back to a thinner part that I can bend with wire. Pruning also puts valuable taper and good bends into the branch.

Further up the trunk there are 2 upright branches, both trying to be the apex of this tree. there are also those strong upright new shoots that grew last summer. Note the long internodes.

Either of the leaders could give a good overall tree shape but I’ll keep the longest one to give the tree more movement.

Those long internodes are no use on a small bonsai. remove all shoots with long internodes completely if you don’t need a branch in that place or back to the base if you would like a branch there. Fingers crossed that the next shoots to grow will not be quite so vigorous. This time I am lucky. there are already smaller shoots with shorter internodes growing below those big vertical ones. just right as the basis for a future branch so I’ve pruned the strong vertical ones off completely. (see final photo)

There are more shoots with long internodes toward the top of the tree. (blue lines) New shoots can only ever grow from the nodes so If I try to make branches out of these shoots they won’t have many side shoots. Remove all long internodes, even if you do want a branch at that point.

Now on to the apex.

I’ve removed the right shoot at the top mainly because I think movement to the left looks better. the left shoot is also a bit thinner so taper is enhanced.

A little wiring has been used this time to help position the remaining branches. A couple have been bent down closer to horizontal and others have been rotated so the smaller twigs are now horizontal as the basis for future branch ‘pads’

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