Here’s another chunky monkey trident maple I have the privilege of working on.
If you are wondering, after the suggestive title, what my usual treatment might be you are about to find out, my friends.
My friend Dave, who shall be making an appearance later on in the post, likes to tell the story of when he first met me.
He had a two foot tall ficus salicaria (a willow leaf ficus) that he had paid a good penny for and he was really proud of it too.
The trunk was at least 2 inches thick with a 3-4 inch nebari (as I recall).
I told him to chop the trunk about 4 inches up from the base.
He thought I was an asshole, but he did it.
When he got home, his wife wondered what happened to the tree.
She wasn’t happy either.
Here I went, cutting off 80% of the tree and now it was just a sharp stick.
I don’t think she’s ever forgiven me.
Hee hee.
Beware of Adam and your tree.
The trunk chop is how we roll in Florida.
Things grow so fast that it’s always an option to chop the trunk. Especially with a ficus.
Anyway, this is a trident.
First, does it grow as fast as a ficus?
Prit’near does. (Sorry, prit’near is a Southern Saskatchewan word which is a contraction of “pretty” and “near” and means “almost”).
I have quite a trunk to chop
I do not enjoy moving this tree. Hopefully it will be a whole lot lighter when I’m done. I’m figuring about six inches from the soil level.
First, as always, I must address the roots.
The tree was field grown and dug up and as a result, some I the roots are long, straight and have no taper.
And during the aftercare of the tree the soil degraded and some of the roots didn’t quite make it into the soil.
A few more views of the tree:

This is the front I’m going with at the moment.
As I warned you about earlier (and I did warn you) let me introduce (again, he’s made several appearances here)
Yes, that is a babies blanket on his head and, yes, it has yellow duckies on it.
He had forgotten his hat and, since he’s bald as a cue ball, he needed something to protect his tender scalp from the brutal Florida sun.
I feel sorry for his poor daughter, Krystal, when she snuggles up to her blanky at nap time and she smells it.
I can see her saying “Papa, it’s so stinky, go wash it now!”
Poor girl.
She has daddy wrapped around her finger though.
Back to the tree and the “root” of the problem…..ahem.
That’s better. Since the roots weren’t even in the dirt, this won’t hurt the tree.
Now, the trunk.
That’s a big chop.
I’ll try to root that top, I’ll let you know if it works.
Did I cut off enough?
Naw, if I don’t cut it back more I’ll have some terrible obverse taper.
That’ll do.
For now.
I just need to clean the cuts and let it grow out.
I’ll wire the new branches as they develop, giving them a downward cast.
One problem I need to take care of in the future is this chop.
I might carve it out, or fill it with epoxy or cement to encourage it to heal. As it is it won’t heal.

But I’m not too worried about it now though. It’s the branches that I need to grow.
This is my sketch.
What I need is a branch to grow at the turquoise arrow on the next pic.
Just below that cut. There is a bump that could possibly be a bud but if I don’t get a shoot I’ll have to thread graft one on.
That’s another post for next year.
Oh, and the red arrows are just pointing out some important things.
There, and there.
I’m glad I showed you them.
That’s it for now.
I will wait to fertilize it until I get about two or three sets of leaves and they harden off.
I want short internodes (branches closer together) and if I fertilize now, the tree will shoot out growth too fast and then I won’t have many little branches (long internodes) where I might need them in the future.
Next post is how I got my neea ready for the Epcot show. There will be carving, trimming, mossing and getting all oiled up.
Should be exciting, right?

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