Bonsai Study Group Forum

General Category => General Bonsai Discussion => Topic started by: bwaynef on August 02, 2013, 10:59 AM

Title: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: bwaynef on August 02, 2013, 10:59 AM
Does anyone have any pictorials on proper chop technique?  I've seen Bonsai Journal's article (http://bonsaijournal.com/beginners-trunk-chop-101.php), but wondered if anyone had less idealized examples ...from the real world.

I've got a smattering of Tridents that've been chopped and I'd like them to heal smoothly/well.

Thanks
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Sorce on August 06, 2013, 07:28 AM
Smatter of fact, I would love to get pro advice on this too! 
If I recall Bwaynef, Peter Tea's blog has some really well healed tridents, not chopped, but I would consult him.
Best tridents info I've found. 

https://peterteabonsai.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/repotting-a-beast/

Just my bookmark page, search content for tridents.

And a pic cuz its easy, of my chopped elm that budded all around the cut, almost perfectly.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on August 06, 2013, 08:39 AM
Here is one I'm working on...

February
March...cut flat
July...growing strong
Carved for taper
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Bonsai Study Group Admin on August 06, 2013, 08:48 AM
Welcome to the Bonsai Study Group.  Please take a moment to read the Welcome thread (http://bonsaistudygroup.com/general-discussion/welcome-to-the-bonsai-study-group-18/).

If you have images to share with your post we ask that you upload them here. Ideally we want users to upload their photos here for discussion, as often external links and embedded photos become broken as images and other files are removed or URLs change.  Additionally, images posted here are hidden from guests, encouraging visitors to register for the site and contribute to the community.  You can still embed uploaded images within your post using Bulletin Board Code and the uploaded image URL.  If you need a reference please visit the help section of this site. If you need further assistance please feel free to post your question to the forum feedback section.

You are allowed to edit a post for up to 45 minutes.  If that time passes and you wouldn't mind uploading your photos in a separate post a forum moderator will be happy to edit and place the images for you.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: bwaynef on August 06, 2013, 10:48 AM
February
March...cut flat
July...growing strong
Carved for taper

What's it look like about 50-60° ccw on that last pic?
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Judy on August 06, 2013, 03:13 PM
And what did you use to "carve" that with?  I find this part pretty challenging too, nice to see a good pictorial.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: 0soyoung on August 06, 2013, 05:52 PM
A quality cross-cut saw (such as would be used in a miter box) works well to make the angled cut. I also like 'textured tooth carbide' bits for Dremel (http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=textured%20tooth%20carbide#/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=textured+tooth+carbide+dremel&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Atextured+tooth+carbide+dremel) tools for this and similar purposes.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: bwaynef on August 06, 2013, 07:44 PM
To be clear, an angled cut isn't much of a mystery to me.  Its the smoothing of the angled cuts that form realistic scars ...that melt away over time into smooth trunk sections is what really interests me.  That's why I'd like to see BVF's tree showing the scar rather than the taper the chop created.

Do those Dremel bits not gum up during use?
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on August 06, 2013, 08:11 PM
The first angled cut was made with a saw, the I used big root cutters to smooth it out.  I did not hollow it out, it's mostly smooth, and I can keep hollowing it out if necessary as it heals.

I don't have a shot of the back, here's the closest I can get.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: 0soyoung on August 06, 2013, 11:35 PM
Do those Dremel bits not gum up during use?

Yes, when used on live wood, but they do keep cutting even when gummed. They are easily cleaned with a small butane/propane torch (temperature is far too low to affect the tungsten carbide teeth).
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on August 08, 2013, 06:52 PM
Backside...
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: bwaynef on August 15, 2013, 01:22 PM
Here are the victims.  The intent is/was to go ahead and chop them, then for several, to layer them in a better place next spring.  What do you think?
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: bwaynef on August 15, 2013, 01:23 PM
Last one for now:

(Sorry they're not uprights.  I'll work on that later ...maybe.)
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Brian Van Fleet on August 17, 2013, 08:27 AM
Good base on a couple of those!
On carving, I'll wait and carve the backmore concave next year after the wood starts to dry, then open up the cambium to keep the callus rolling.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Chrisl on August 18, 2013, 10:15 AM
Good base on a couple of those!
On carving, I'll wait and carve the backmore concave next year after the wood starts to dry, then open up the cambium to keep the callus rolling.

Is this is something you do every yr Brian till it closes completely?
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: akeppler on August 18, 2013, 11:38 AM
Any technique on a trident will heal given enough time. Thats just the nature of the way they grow.

To heal a chop say 1 inch across takes about 5 years to really have it close completely. Even blogs like Peters do not have enough pictures or history of the sequence to be of any use. What you need is a pictorial taken from the beginnig to the end of the job with yearly documentation.

Most people do not document their work or even take pictures period. There are a few of us out there and I have lots of sequence shots on tridents but not spcifically what you are after. I am close though. Maybe next year.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: bwaynef on August 18, 2013, 05:29 PM
Any technique on a trident will heal given enough time.

With the exception of Ginkgos, I'm reasonably certain, given enough time, most trees will heal a wound.  I'm primarily concerned with the work that needs to be done after the chop and before everything's healed that would yield a new section of trunk that forms a believable transition.  I referenced an article @ bonsai journal that goes into some detail.  I was wondering how other people deal with this.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: akeppler on August 18, 2013, 10:37 PM
Yes I have read this many times. I too can draw, drawing and actual practise is way different.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: bwaynef on August 19, 2013, 08:39 AM
Yes I have read this many times. I too can draw, drawing and actual practise is way different.

I can't tell if we're saying the same thing or not.  To clarify, while I appreciate the article and the renderings, I'd prefer advice from someone who's done it before ...preferably with pictures.

Barring that, I've taken pictures of what I've done and asked for feedback.  I'll try to follow up with these trees at meaningful times and see how I've done.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: CaseyC on August 25, 2013, 02:00 PM
This is my 6 year old 9 tree Maple Forest that is due for pruning at the end of Sept..  Whatcha guys think??
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on August 27, 2013, 11:12 AM

Barring that, I've taken pictures of what I've done and asked for feedback.  I'll try to follow up with these trees at meaningful times and see how I've done.

On all of the trees you pictured, my thought is that you have a bulge, too much wood leaving a stump. For a couple, to clean up and heal to disappear, you have to take off the lower heal of the cut, making it more acute angle. I would go back an using a saw, re-cut most of your chops. Take off thin Wedge shaped piece for each, creating a sharper angle. For some you only have to take maybe 1/4 inch. For a couple, looks like you may have to take off more, but its hard to gauge size from photos.

Colin Lewis taught (if I remember correctly) to make sure there is no ridge or lip along the outer edges of the cut, there should be no ridge of wood to prevent the bark from rolling over to cover the wound. Second, leave a slight mound in the center of the wound. Slight is key, 1/8 inch is all that is needed, little more or less is not a problem. Just don't want a concave dish. Bark has a harder time closing a depression. He suggested taking a knife and removing any bark, take it back to green cambium, the rolling edge of the healing bark if it formed any hard dry mature bark. Want to keep the bark flowing, rolling over the scar. Carving yearly keeps the healing edge active. Apply cut past to rolling edge after re-wounding. Peter Tea's blog discusses this more completely. Also check Colin Lewis's website. It might be tucked in his articles there.

One analogy that comes to my (slightly defective) mind. You don't want the chop wound to have an outer edge like a meteorite crater. That lip of dead wood around the outer edge of the chop will create a barrier to healing. You do want the uprise toward center of the wound. The bark will flow up the slope quicker than filling a concave dish.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Leo in NE Illinois on August 27, 2013, 11:23 AM
One more thought. You need to let escape branches grow above the chops to get the diameter needed to get a nice, smooth transition. I'm sure you plan to do this, but stating it anyway for the benefit of those that didn't know.
Title: Re: The proper chop technique: (a request)
Post by: Neli on October 02, 2013, 01:02 PM
The Japanese use a technique where they cut a wedge on a branch or trunk, and let it start healing before they cut the rest.
Another technique is to leave bark,  which is bent over the cut, covering it, and taped and kept moist.
A friend uses clay lump plastered on large celtis cuts and they heal very well, and fast.