Looking for design suggestions for a trident maple

Hi everyone. I just acquired this prebonsai trident maple. It is 7" at the base, 22" tall. I would appreciate some suggestions for initial design options:


I love picture three as the front, especially if you tilt it to the left just a bit to get the first section of trunk slightly off of vertical. Very cool material!

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A very powerful piece of material!
I’ve just been watching the re-potting video where Ryan discusses the scarless traditional Japanese style vs anything else.
Picture one appears to have the best taper from bottom to top with the least apparent reverse taper. It will be interesting to watch it develop.


Agree with @cab_lad_70 on the best front and other points out of offered pics. Also it leans to the front to the viewer this way.
I like the movement even more if top part of trunk like removed and redirected to the right branches.


I like that idea @ CoffeeCherry although I just realized that you had whited out the upper part of the trunk in your photo. I think if you took it down further, to right above the right branches forming the new top, it would improve the taper.

@ Makuen-amer What did you see in the tree when you bought it? What ideas did the rough material suggest to you?
It’s so easy to suggest that someone else cut off significant branches on their tree! :nerd_face:


@cab_lad_70, actually, @CoffeeCherry rubbed out the top of the tree, and I think you are both right. I think I need to take it down to where @CoffeeCherry said, and then take it further down to the crotch. What I saw in the tree when I purchased it was (1) a pre-bonsai that would need lots of development (2) beautiful mature bark (3) a well-buttressed lower trunk and (4) some large (massive?) secondary branches I thought would be fun to work with. What I didn’t see was the two large areas of inverse taper-- one on the lower node where most of the lower branching is coming from and a second that goes from the top of the lower node to the bottom of the next. That is going to take the lion’s share of my effort to fix.

I’m going to wait to see if I get any other suggestions or “aha moments” before I do any major cutting. Thanks for your input!