Despite relatively cool temperatures this spring, my trident maple has been growing vigorously. I removed the large leaves and trimmed new shoots in April, and found the tree full again in May.
May 2011 – the long shoot that appears to emerge out of the tree’s apex was previously earmarked for an approach graft
To further stimulate the interior shoots, I defoliated all but the weakest branches.
Foliage on the right side of the tree removed
Defoliation complete – front
Defoliation complete – back
Within weeks the tree was full again. This tells me that I can likely defoliate at least two more times this year. If all goes well, I’ll encourage the interior shoots that are necessary to produce a full silhouette.