Author Topic: Breaking branches while wiring  (Read 2601 times)

BonsaiEngineer1493

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Breaking branches while wiring
« on: June 07, 2014, 11:22 PM »
Hey,

My trident maple had no branching so for this growing season I decided to out grow branches to establish an appropriate thickness for the desired location. Today I decided to wire two new extended long branches. Unfortunately, I snapped both branches while wiring. It could of been two early or my poor wiring skills. For one of the branches I wanted to add movement and for the second branch I wanted to wire down to be a potential branch for a thread graft. The branches broke and couldn't support their weights no more; therefore, I just cut them back to the first leaf pair. I have two questions, when do you guys start adding wire to address movement in new growth? lastly, if a branch slightly snaps can it still be used ?

Thank you,
Nick   
 

akeppler

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2014, 11:54 PM »
I can't speak to New York watering but out here in Cali. I wire hundreds of tridents without breaking branches. I only wire in the late afternoon before any water is applied. Once a tree is watered the branches become turgid and they will snap. Let the tree dry a little before wire and you will have better chances.
 

Adair M

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2014, 12:01 AM »
Likely, you waited too late to wire.

But, you're on the right path.

I'm assuming g you have your trunk built. Let the new branches extend several inches, maybe as long as a foot, and while the stem is still green, you can wire. The goal is to get the first inch or two going in the direction you want.

Leave the wire on a couple weeks, then remove it and...

This next step is REALLY important...

CUT IT BACK to the first set of vertical leaves. You know how they alternate between side to side and up and down?  Cut back to the up and down. When these buds open, remove the down leader. Let it grow several inches, then wire this upward growing tip down. Let it grow a couple weeks, remove the wire and...

CUT IT BACK.

Each time you do this, you may only extend the branch an inch or maybe two, or maybe only 1/2 inch. But it builds a branch with taper and movement.

Mind you, this process takes years. But it builds the best deciduous bonsai.
 

bwaynef

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2014, 10:11 AM »
I think I get it, but can you explain why you cut back to vertical leaves?
 

Adair M

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 01:04 PM »
Ah... The vertical buds! 

Boon asked me last year which set to cut back to, and I said the horizontal pair. Thinking it would be like we would do for black pine. No, wrong answer!

We want to create undulation in the branches. Up and down movement as well as side to side. Choosing the up bud helps do this.

Why not choose the down bud?  A typical landscape gardener might do this when pruning. But he won't be wiring the new growth. So it will look unnatural. Trees in the wild would have the up bud grow, and the down bud (branch) would eventually be shaded out and die. So, we are just following what would happen naturally. Just making it happen in our lifetimes!

So what we get when we do this is a branch that undulates with movement up, then we wire it down. Up, then down. Repeatedly. Think a series of little humps.

If we instead chose the down bud, the undulation would go: down then up, down, then up. Think a series of valleys.

It took me a little while to "get it".
 

bwaynef

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 04:37 PM »
It makes sense, and that's what I was thinking, but I've never seen it spelled out like that.  Glad to "know" that now!
 

M. Frary

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2014, 09:34 PM »
  What they said Nick. Plus if you break a branch but not off the tree completely you can save it as long as bark is still attached. If I crack or break a branch during wiring I leave the wire on but bend the broken ends back together as tight as possible. If you try to take the wire off now you usually end up doing more harm than good. Once the broken ends are back in place I wrap the break in masking tape. I suppose others might use something more fancy but it works. Besides who has grafting tape laying around anyway?
 

gaitano

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2014, 08:28 AM »
One other method I have used with success is super glue.
 

BonsaiEngineer1493

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Re: Breaking branches while wiring
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2014, 07:19 PM »
Thank you everyone for your responses. Unfortunately, I wasted a year. On the bright side I am more prepared for the next growing season.