Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => Evergreen Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: Woody on March 25, 2012, 08:46 AM

Title: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: Woody on March 25, 2012, 08:46 AM
Hi all

Didn't wish to be rude and hijack a previous topic so here goes...

Noted a couple of comments regarding developing JBPs with sacrificial branches (a.k.a. Escape branches) in a previous topic post http://bonsaistudygroup.com/conifer-bonsai-discussion/great-article-on-growing-pines-from-seedseedlings/. (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/conifer-bonsai-discussion/great-article-on-growing-pines-from-seedseedlings/.) The comments described the ongoing difficulties with scars left behind by pruned sacrifice branches even decades later.

Given that JBPs and other pines grow in a stove pipe fashion, most advice given suggests to use sacrifice branches to improve taper and accelerate development of the tree overall. This advice is often accompanied by instructions to have these branches positioned towards the back of trees where the resulting scars will remain hidden. This naturally would have problems if a new front is chosen sometime in the future. The more demanding visual limitations of shohin would also benefit I'd imagine from a technique without scars.

Thus with the above issues in mind, is there another way to develop the trunk taper we seek in JBPs that doesn't leave large scars? Also if such "scarless" techniques existed, are they applicable to other species? For example, cedars perhaps? (I ask about cedars because of Jim Gremmel's beautiful specimens are an inspiration but cedars are nortorious for scar persistence).

Woody
Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: 0soyoung on March 25, 2012, 11:59 AM
The existence of formal upright style pines tells you the answer is 'yes', there is another way.  The secret being to keep lots of branches alive from near the soil level is obvious.  The existence of another way does, however, does not tell one how difficult and how time-consuming it might be to accomplish.
Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: nathanbs on March 25, 2012, 12:01 PM
Promoting and pruning to have a flat wide root spread is very key to having a wide base. This by itself will not make amazing taper but it will certainly contribute to it
Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on March 25, 2012, 04:15 PM
Grow out, cut back, grown out, cut back.  Scars are manageable if you know how to manage them.

http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/big-jbp-84/ (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/japanese-black-pine-discussion/big-jbp-84/)

Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: Woody on March 25, 2012, 09:29 PM
Thanks for the generous replies.

The use of a good nebari to broaden the trunk base is a good method that is already well described, particularly in deciduous trees.

But just to clarify, sounds like people then are suggesting a "grow-out" technique is the alternative? I'm presuming then that the growth is pruned back in late summer or autumn to facilitate maximum effect on trunk taper/thickening. This technique would seem more like a sacrificial branch technique except that the branches are not allowed to grow quite as large so as to lead to smaller scars when they are finally removed? I'm guessing that this method would also demand that a larger number of these smaller sacrificial branches are used to accelerate trunk thickening and taper.

Matsu - how do you think it's best to approach managing scar healing? I also note there are also scars on the beautiful tree pictured in the thread link you provided. Was this tree grown with the "grow out" method or using sacrifice branches?  

Woody
Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: MatsuBonsai on March 25, 2012, 10:04 PM
There are scars, it's still in training. By the time it's ready to show the scars should be unnoticeable.
Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: gtuthill on March 26, 2012, 06:41 AM
I have read about a method (on bonsai4me i think) whereby half the diameter of the sacrifice growth is removed from the underside of the branch, and the remaining left to grow for sometime before being removed entirely. 

The idea behind this being that the sap being drawn to the remaining part of the sacrifice growth speeds the healing of the part cut away.

Sort of a stepped - stage removal of the sacrifice.  i have yet to try it.  still waiting for the branches to grow ;)

anyone used this method?
Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: scottroxburgh on March 29, 2012, 09:41 PM
I have read about a method whereby half the diameter of the sacrifice growth is removed from the underside of the branch, and the remaining left to grow for sometime before being removed entirely. 

The idea behind this being that the sap being drawn to the remaining part of the sacrifice growth speeds the healing of the part cut away.

Like this:
http://bonsaitonight.com/2011/08/02/big-cut-crape-myrtle/ (http://bonsaitonight.com/2011/08/02/big-cut-crape-myrtle/)
Title: Re: Is there another way other than sacrifice branches?
Post by: garywood on March 30, 2012, 09:43 PM
Woody, this JBP is 11 years old and will only have one scar that is incorporated with movement and taper. It is hidden by foliage now that will be pruned later after the shoots have done their job of growing roots. Next year will start its bonsai journey. There has been no "bonsai" work on it yet. The link gives an idea how it was grown.
http://thingsofwood-gary.blogspot.com/ (http://thingsofwood-gary.blogspot.com/)