Trident “SUMO” Fusion TR-#01
This is a Trident Fusion I started some 22 years ago with 50 x 2yo whips from Ray Nesci in Sydney by mail order. I had no idea what I was doing at the time, and had never seen or heard of the process….. but for some reason the idea came to me, and I thought I’d give it a try. I didn’t use any ‘form’ to wrap the whips at all…… just anchored a small tallish plastic nursery pot to some ply wood, and roughly started placing them around the pot, gradually tied them together with hesian thread which I knew would rot away after time and not cut into the bark. Once I had all 50 tied up I detached the plastic pot from the plywood base, and planted the whole thing into a large plastic nursery tub and let it grow mad for a few years trying to maintain some sort of shape to the image in my head for the final tree. About 5 winters later, I pulled it out of the tub and gave it a good prune…. rearranged some roots, removed the plastic pot from inside the trunk and repotted it back into the same tub. The whips were fusing together quite well.
I have no photos of the project up to this point much to my disgrace, as at the time, really didn’t document my hobby at all…. just did it, and enjoyed it. Anyway, I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I’d never seen anything to compare it to…. so fast forward to 1996, when we moved from down south to sub tropical Byron Bay in northern New South Wales, onto 5 glorious acres, rich with deep red volcanic soil…. Now for the first time in my Bonsai life was I able to ground grow bonsai material. It went into the ground and over the past 15 years have styled it in the ground as a triple trunk about 1200 mm tall and 800mm wide with branching starting about 150mm up from the ground.
It was a pretty big bonsai then, and due to long term back pain thought i’d never be able to dig it up, and get it into a bonsai pot. The roots hadn’t been touched in all that time. Well last winter, I bit the bullet and heavily pruned the tree back to a smaller single trunk “SUMO” style formal upright that you see here. Branches are yet to be formed , but I am very happy with the taper and overall health of the tree after its severe root prune. There was next to zero fibrous roots so I just scraped the bark underneath the large roots to encourage new ones.
This is how the tree looks today. I am in 2 minds about this tree now I can see it from all angles every day. I am starting to like the back of the tree better as the nebari looks much more impressive IMO….. but the chop near the apex is my only hesitation. With some more concaving of this wound, it will grow over well and I should be able to hide it when the apex ramification kicks in. I’m letting some branches grow freely to use as thread grafts down the track…… so far so good. Through summer it has suffered the dreaded Trident “Mystery” disease/ issue with deformed and burnt leaves, but I have come to discover that when the tree grows freely and has heaps of big healthy leaves….. the problem seems to abate. It seems that when you reduce the amount of Photosynthesis it returns again ? ? Anyway I’m not as panicked about it as I used to be as it seems ALL my tridents have had it at some point through the season, including ones in the ground…. and they are growing along happily some now 8-10 meters tall.
The one thing I do remember when I did this experiment all those years back was….. I don’t recall my initial grouping of the whips to be particularly “NEAT” in its arrangement. I definitely remember there being considerable gaps between the whips at the base of the project…. anywhere from 5-10mm. I know I tied off the area where I wanted the apex to be, and the whips were tight and snug, but I also tied off about midway up the tree to pull its waist in so to speak…. but I know there were gaps and spaces everywhere. In my ignorance, I guess I was giving the whips room to fill out, and fill out they certainly did. Once in this rich soil this thing took off, and the rest is in the result.
Vertical grafted shoot laid into a carved channel which has it’s own side shoots which will hopefully become 6-8 individual branches of there own which I can select from in the future.
May 16th 2012
Another approach graft.
Graft area September 26th 2012…. these will be allowed free growth for most of the season.
Sept.26th 2012…New Front will be this side rotated clockwise a 1/4 turn.
One month later… October 27th 2012, fertilized weekly with 1/2 strength Nitrosol
Light prune to redirect vigour to lower branches.