This Trident Maple started life as a cutting purchased in 1988 for 50 pence. It was planted in a length of drain pipe for two years to help develop long roots, during this time it was fed well. It was then taken out of the pipe, all the soil washed off, sat on this piece of stone and tied in place with Raffia. The roots were laid out and any surplus ones wound round or tied to others. It was then planted in my front garden, during this time the height of the tree was not reduced.

Two years later it was starting to look such an attractive feature that my wife persuaded me to leave it alone and enjoy it as garden tree. Four years later, in 1996, I dug it up to see how it had developed. All the roots had thickened well and were tight against the stone and to my surprise there was a well developed fine root structure. I potted it up in the deep pot you can see above, taken in 2001. The trunk was cut to 7cm above the stone, where there was a branch that became the new leader.


Each year the leader was allowed to grow unchecked and cut back at the end of the year. At the same time the lower branches were being pinched and pruned to build up the branch structure. I did this over the next 10 years. The picture on the above, shows this.

From 2010 this regime was changed to pinching and pruning to form the shape you can see in the two pictures below, taken in 2020.

The tree is now 47cm x 45cm wide and is in a Walsall Ceramics pot.

Nature as inspiration