To chop or allow to grow

Share your success stories about defoliation, bare rooting and anything else relating to maintaining healthy bonsai.
Akhi
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To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

Well some six odd years ago there was a plum that had shot up from the roots of the mother tree. I potted it up and since left Melbourne but this treeling has grown now.
Initially looked to make a broom out of it but later realized the trunk was too long. So now the idea is the air layer the top half to created a broom in due course of time while developing a different course for the base.
I encouraged a new branch near the base by making a small parallel cut on the main trunk. The issue is that the first cut that was made when I first took the tree has not yet healed over and it's been a few long years.
I was thinking of air layering the top this spring any suggestions on my course of action greatly appreciated.Image
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Bonsai_creations »

Maybe wrap that new shoot around the cut and let it grow over it, or maybe sit a tall bit of drift wood over it or a tall rock to cover it.. .or drill through the cut and bring that new shoot through ..or cover with soil and let new roots grow over it? or do some carving or splitting..,,,other things but,that gives u few ideas.. :2c:

edited 3 times yea yea... :tu:
Last edited by Bonsai_creations on June 6th, 2017, 10:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Watto »

Are you sure its a plum? It is difficult to tell from the photos, but the leaf looks very much like an apple.
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

Watto wrote:Are you sure its a plum? It is difficult to tell from the photos, but the leaf looks very much like an apple.
Image

This is a photo of the flower from last autumn and I think that is some sort of plum by the looks of the flower but can be wrong as I didn't have an is for it.



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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

Bonsai_creations wrote:Maybe wrap that new shoot around the cut and let it grow over it, or maybe sit a tall bit of drift wood over it or a tall rock to cover it.. .or drill through the cut and bring that new shoot through ..or cover with soil and let new roots grow over it? or do some carving or splitting..,,,other things but,that gives u few ideas.. :2c:

edited 3 times yea yea... :tu:
I might try your first suggestion as I want to see a small stout tree for the base part so healing that wound is important I don't have a lot of experience with carving or any tools so that's possibly a no go zone for now :-(


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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Max »

I agree with Watto...looks like an apple
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

Well as it happened, I have decided to let this one continue on its journey for now and will be air layering the top off this spring. Then I am planning to try and do a bark graft to cover up the open wound (still haven't figured how) In the meanwhile though it has had a number of buds with a couple of them opening today. My apple trees are all still sleeping so I guess that it isn't an apple. Only plums, prunus and almonds are in bloom here in adelaide at this time.
Is there a specific time I can start an air layer? I was hoping to start it out as early as possible so I can avoid the dry summer.
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Boics »

Hello Akhi.
In general air layer when tree is growing.
One word of caution though be careful of being too early.
You want the juice flowing and bark to separate nicely.
I've noticed on some species that the bark does not separate cleanly if attempted too early in the growing season.
I'd wait until a full flush of leaves is present
One of the fabulous things about growing bonsai is as you get old and decrepit your trees get old and beautiful
Akhi
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

A nice warm day today so decided to complete the air layers fingers crossed now hoping to get three trees out of this one
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Pearcy001 »

Good job getting the layers on Akhi,

Can I ask why they were placed so low? The bottom one especially is going to leave you with a long straight boring initial section of trunk.

Remember you don't need to do them just above where you're wanting to chop for the section below, you do them where you want the new base of the tree to begin.

Cheers,
Pearcy.

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Last edited by Pearcy001 on September 9th, 2017, 6:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Akhi
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

The bottom one I have kept low as I think I might just be able to sneak another one out of it in future. I initially thought of getting it much higher but then thought that would be a waste of trunk :-)


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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by treeman »

It should have been layered here...It still can.
layer.JPG
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Last edited by treeman on September 10th, 2017, 5:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by Akhi »

Three up and coming trees now...
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Re: To chop or allow to grow

Post by shibui »

Well done on those layers.
i see the old cut still has not healed over. I think one of the factors is that there is still a stub of the old branch/trunk proud of the trunk line. It will take quite a while for the trunk to grow thick enough to start flowing over that. To get more rapid healing over a wound you need to cut it flush or even a little concave below the current trunk surface. That's why the branch cutters have curved blades. If your branch cutters are not large enough to make a clean cut you'll need to pare it away with chisel (difficult and can be dangerous if you slip in the wrong direction) or some other cutting tool. The rounded knob cutters are good for nibbling larger stubs away to get a concave cut too.
I have found that a wound sealer seems to promote more rapid healing of wounds so a cover soon after carving the stub back should help.
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