Inspiration found for my trident maple?

I have been slowly making decisions on a medium-large field grown trident maple. I have posted pictures of it before, and below is a re-post to remind you of what the tree looks like. From a traditional perspective, it has all kinds of issues: huge shoulders, bar branches, scars, inverse taper, etc. And yet, it also has a strange beauty about it, which is why I bought it. I have been looking for inspiration for a final design, AND. . .

While surfing the internet, I discovered a photo of a tree known as The Major Oak, located in Nottinghamshire England. Awesome, ancient tree, about 1000 years old, and it appears to have many of the same defects my trident has. What do you think? Does 1000 years of survival excuse me from having to follow traditional rules of aesthetics?

The Major Oak, Nottinghamshire, ca. 1000 years


I think you found your inspiration - the goal is often to make our trees look old and even ancient. That is not the traditional Japanese image, particularly for a deciduous tree, but seems to be emerging as a theme is the west.

I’ve had the trident maple for a year, and have been trying to figure out how in the world am I going to get rid of the bulge without girdling the tree or inflicting some permanent, ugly scarring. The English oak shows me I don’t have to do that. How many times have I heard the mantra, “If you can’t eliminate a defect, incorporate it into the design?” Thanks, for the comment, Marty.