Trident maples make some of the best root over rock bonsai. The roots grow and thicken quite fast so we can get a good result in less time than most species.
Many of you will already be familiar with the Shibui Bonsai method to create root over rock bonsai. For those who would like to review and those who have not seen this check this post – https://shibuibonsai.com.au/?p=1780
You might also be interested in the development of these over the first few years – https://shibuibonsai.com.au/?p=1807
You can find more posts by searching Root over Rock here.
The bare root seedlings we get from the garden here rarely have suitable roots for starting a root over rock bonsai. They will need a good root prune and another year of growth to develop good long, lateral roots first.
Trees that grow in rocky areas rarely have straight trunks so I feel that root over rock bonsai look best with short, twisted trunks. That means starting with a seedling that already has some good bends or adding some with wire or pruning.
I noticed the nice bends in this one as I was selecting the trees for the group planting shown a couple of days ago. I think it has potential for root over rock so I have pruned the roots quite hard. Thick roots make it really difficult to sit the tree on the rock properly.
I then selected a taller pot to encourage longer roots through this summer.
It helps to have some choices when fitting a tree on a rock so don’t just start one of these. Get a few started and hopefully one will match your rock well. Even better, start a few more and have at least a couple of suitable rocks for an even better chance of a winning combination in a few years.
Bare root trident maple seedlings available from Shibui Bonsai until spring growth starts.