Heavy bending

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Heavy bending

Postby Mitch_28 » December 2nd, 2018, 9:54 am

Hi there,

I have a cedrus that I want to start to style including some heavy bending. I can't find info on when the best time to undertake this? My thoughts were now is probably good as sap flow would good so bending would be easier? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Image

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Re: Heavy bending

Postby shibui » December 2nd, 2018, 4:07 pm

I bend whenever the need arises regardless of the time of year. I've heard some talk about avoiding active growing times because when the cambium is actively growing the bark detaches more easily and may lead to parts dying.
I think if you are doing heavy bending you'll wrap the areas tightly with raffia or similar which should hold things together and prevent bark slipping. Even if some damage occurs while it is actively growing should heal up quickly provided it is all held in place.
Good luck with the bends.
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Re: Heavy bending

Postby Mitch_28 » December 2nd, 2018, 4:21 pm

Thanks for your advice. It makes sense. Don't have raffia but had seen it done with bike inner tube. If raffia is a better option, I'll look into getting some first. Cheers

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Re: Heavy bending

Postby SteveW » December 2nd, 2018, 7:33 pm

Yes, they bend well and can take years to set. Wrap it well.

The bend in the bottom right is more than a bend. The bark was split and a wedge of wood removed. Ouch.
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Re: Heavy bending

Postby shibui » December 2nd, 2018, 7:45 pm

Inner tube is good and a little easier to apply. Stretch it as you apply so that it holds quite tight against the bark then apply plenty of wire - enough to hold any bends that you intend to put in. For really tight bends you may also need some guy wires to hold the bends. Removing some wood is usually needed for extreme bends as Steve has shown above. Ratchet straps work well to pull bends together and hold while you get guy wires in place.
You do not need to take bends to the full extent in one go. If it seems too much just bend as far as you are comfortable then leave it for a few days. I find that the tension in the wood seems to relax and you can bend further a few days or a week later.
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Re: Heavy bending

Postby Mitch_28 » December 2nd, 2018, 8:07 pm

Looking forward to having a crack! Not literally I hope haha. I guess its all learning. Nice cedar Steve! One of yours? Do you know it's age in training?

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Re: Heavy bending

Postby SteveW » December 2nd, 2018, 9:45 pm

Joe Micaleff, from Canberra, made it in the 60's from stock obtained at a nursery located where Lake Googong is now. You can visit it at the Collection in Canberra.
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Re: Heavy bending

Postby Mitch_28 » December 4th, 2018, 12:50 pm

Snapped..... Probably first of many. Hadn't even put much pressure on it. Oh well
[CRYING FACE]
Lesson learnt
Thanks for all the advice.

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Re: Heavy bending

Postby shibui » December 5th, 2018, 6:49 pm

Was it properly wrapped? Hard to believe that a well wrapped tree would just snap. Sure you can get cracks but the wrapping holds it all together until it heals up.
No photos so I hope there is still some live parts left on the trunk which will probably make an even better tree than the original trunk bent.
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Re: Heavy bending

Postby Mitch_28 » December 5th, 2018, 7:27 pm

Probably not wrapped properly in hindsight. Was only 1 to 1 1/2 tight wrap of inner tube with an overlap going up the trunk, then wired with double 3mm copper. Thinking maybe a few layers of wrapping might have been better. End of the day comes down to inexperience, not being shown proper technique and probably biting off more than I can chew. I think the bending point could have been better supported too. It bent very easy but seemed to snap just as easy suggesting to me better wrapping and support next time. At this stage I've had a crack at grafting, no pun intended, with nothing to lose, if it works I might get a nice garden tree, if it fails I'll reevaluate. Will definitely wrap better and be more cautious next time. Might stick to clip and grow...

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Re: Heavy bending

Postby melbrackstone » December 6th, 2018, 9:17 am

Check out Ryan's structural wiring techniques to get some hints. Practice, practice, practice.... it's really the only way to get comfortable with it. Then learning how best to use raffia or inner tubes is another

https://live.bonsaimirai.com/

I'm in a rush, but think Harry has some raffia articles.

http://bonsai4me.com/Articles.html
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Re: Heavy bending

Postby Beano » December 6th, 2018, 10:18 am

Not sure if it has been mentioned, but heavy bending usually requires a twisting motion of the branch too, less likely to snap that way.


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Re: Heavy bending

Postby Mitch_28 » December 6th, 2018, 1:35 pm

melbrackstone wrote:Check out Ryan's structural wiring techniques to get some hints. Practice, practice, practice.... it's really the only way to get comfortable with it. Then learning how best to use raffia or inner tubes is another

https://live.bonsaimirai.com/

I'm in a rush, but think Harry has some raffia articles.

http://bonsai4me.com/Articles.html
Thanks for those links mel! Will check them out, all helps. Cheers

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Re: Heavy bending

Postby Mitch_28 » December 6th, 2018, 1:36 pm

Thanks beano!

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Re: Heavy bending

Postby melbrackstone » December 6th, 2018, 2:56 pm

http://bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/AT%20Bjorn%20Bjorholm%20Juniper%20Bonsai%20Styling%20Video.html

There's some raffia being used in this video from Harry Harrington's site (at around 32mins in)
Last edited by melbrackstone on December 6th, 2018, 2:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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