Bought at the Illawarra show last May, the basic plan for this old trident maple (1991) was to deal with the congestion at the apex, remove the highest root on the right-hand side and change the angle when repotting.

Trident maple in early June

The original sandy soil mix, which was drying out too quickly, was to be replaced, so the decision was made to bare root it and once this was done, the opportunity was there to address the uneven and ugly nebari.

Initially, only the right-hand side root was to be removed and the planting angle adjusted to achieve a more pleasing nebari but once the soil was gone the left-hand side root too dominant and had to be significantly reduced. The decision was then made to take the long-term path and remove any heavier roots and restart the nebari lower down the trunk. All wounds were sealed.

With the large roots removed, the root spread was now nicely flared and evenly spread but there was little root mass left to stabilise the tree in the pot. The solution was a plywood base which could be anchored firmly in the pot. Four wire holes were drilled into the base so it could be tied down. Two screws were drilled through the base and into the core of the maple’s trunk.

Firmly secured the tree and base only need to be tied in

The base was then tied down. The pot was filled with straight akadama, top dressed and watered thoroughly.

End product

The maple will now be left alone to recover.

Thanks Tree Makers and Hugh Grant.