Author Topic: Is it ever too late?  (Read 1474 times)

ceasharp

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Is it ever too late?
« on: January 18, 2013, 02:15 AM »
This is a real quick question. Is it ever too late (besides a dead tree) to thicken a bonsai trunk?
 

Owen Reich

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2013, 06:23 AM »
Not really.  There are some species of plants (like some native azaleas for example) that have trunks / branches that thicken really slowly after a certain point in life.  May have something to do with flowering.  Had a Rhododendron canescens for almost 7 years and trunk thickened about a micron even though the canopy ramified and roots were strong.  I can't think of anything that flat-out stops, but now I have to do research....  Anyone?

Growing "sacrifice branches" or putting a tree back in the ground /over-sized pot or box could be deemed "too late" if the process isn't worth the trouble I to improve the aesthetic value I suppose.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 09:28 PM »
How about trunk splitting, has that has any one had good results with that? Also sacrifice branches, how much do they help. Is it better to have a sacrifice branch near the base of the trunk? Is the scarring worth the effort and time saved?
 

JJR

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 10:10 PM »
Are you trying to thicken the entire trunk or just the lower portion?  If you want the whole trunk to thicken you can let a branch grow long from the top of the tree and then cut it back.  You'll probably lose very little in terms of aestetics since you'll have to pick a new 'top'.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2013, 12:51 AM »
 That verifies what I thought, low on the trunk should increase mostly the bottom and a branch higher up should increase diameter from where the branch is down to the bottom. I have collected some live oaks that have been repeatedly knock down back to the base and so they are just knots with small branches coming of off them. The largest one is the size of a soft ball very interesting on it's own but I need a nice trunk coming off of that. It will take some time but I was thinking of letting a couple of branches to grow and let a sacrifice branch start about four inches up and maybe the next year start a second sacrifice branch about a foot from the base. I got a real nice root ball about a foot in diameter so there should be good growth on that tree. I should have good nabari also.
I also have a coastal redwood that I am thinking about trying to split the trunk on. I have read about the process but have never talked to any one that tried it. Redwoods are such fast growers that I think it would heal up and close the gap faster than most trees.
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2013, 02:25 AM »
Post some photos and we can advise better...
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 04:40 PM »
Here is the best looking plant.I think I would turn the end up and use the branch on the right side for the new top. I have to get it healthy first and then let that small  branch grow before starting a sacrifice branch on the side of that one.
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 05:21 PM »
Mightily impressive. I'd argue that you do NOT require a trunk coming off of these and that you should simply grow a foliage canopy directly on the bulbous trunk.
 

Don Dunn

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2013, 01:20 PM »
You mean like a Sumo Shohin?
 

Jerry Norbury

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Re: Is it ever too late?
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2013, 03:22 PM »
Yes