This is a trident maple, about 30 cm tall, with a lot of potential and coming along very well but the widespread roots are not attractive and diminish the quality of the tree. I accepted this for several years (when I should have done something about it straightaway) but eventually could not ignore the need to improve the nebari.

An incision was made from one end of the left extended root to the right end and hardwood rooting powder applied to the wound. Dirt was piled up and then wet sphagnum moss put on top to keep the area constantly moist. The tree was repotted into a seedling tray to give it room to grow and develop roots. A year later, during June’s root prune and repotting, it was pleasing to see a number of new roots growing strongly. If I do this again, I feel it would be better to put a flexible tube or a roll of clay under the area to encourage the roots to grow outwards before growing downwards. However, with a couple more years of development and thickening the nebari should be far more satisfactory and improve the quality of the trident.

The maple has been put back in a bonsai pot (because I’m the impatient sort) but sphagnum moss piled over the root area again to maintain the moisture and allow the roots to develop faster. This way, I can remove the sphagnum moss if I want to display the tree and still keep up the growing regime. It is looking better after this work and this proves that it is just as important to tend to the nebari as to the upper structure of your trees.