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Ripped out this crepe myrtle earlier in the summer that was unwanted but I have no idea what to do with it. I can’t seem to find any kind of structure fitting for a bonsai. If I just chop off all the top and leave a fat stump I’d be waiting 15 years for a decent sized new leader to come in. Any help would be great (including sketches or pics please)
3E5D04FC-C5EC-4116-8503-986CD4061ACD.jpegE3DEE005-8CC2-4718-98CB-F1D674C8D373.jpeg71F8E5EC-C2CD-46F8-979B-4C73ADCF8779.jpeg4E13747A-4AA3-4482-97A2-829F1F0F084B.jpegD808C58A-90C2-44CD-9962-028EE0ADB24B.jpeg9B396888-5BA0-43FB-8681-18AF9C3662A6.jpeg
 
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@johng has a great selection of videos on his crape myrtle. They may give you inspiration for this beast.

I appreciate it! The issue I have is that where I want the front to be, the smaller trunk is moving the exact direction of the base trunk.
C00927DA-15DB-4D54-B1F2-6CB4E42AFCC7.jpeg

Wondering if I could cut a slice out of the right side of the trunk so I can bend and staple it like this: (red would be the slice cut out)
42653FA6-2FB9-4109-9501-E5EF54195156.jpegSomething along those lines. What do you think?
 

Hartinez

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which second trunk are you talking about? Do you mean the long shoot that runs parallel on that left side there?
 
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which second trunk are you talking about? Do you mean the long shoot that runs parallel on that left side there?
No, the tree used to be a multi trunk tree with a single base trunk. I only kept one of the trunks:
71ADD960-1A8E-43F6-850F-EC957F90A610.jpeg

I’m saying this trunk runs the same direction as the main base, making the whole tree a tapered straight line
 

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Gotcha. It seems to just be the hand you were dealt. A wedge cut on material this big would be extraordinarily difficult. Even wedging almost to the other side would not give you the bend your looking for and would form a horizontal callous across the cut line, or would just kill everything above the wedge. I think you just need to pick a good front with the best movement you see then wire the leader to accentuate that movement. Here’s a quick sketch of what I’m seeing at first sight. Utilize what your given. Make a big uro on one of those cuts and wire out.
B229ABDD-D057-4F19-9484-CC741F96A3F4.jpegECF420CC-761D-4976-8282-90ACBA0D70ED.jpeg
 
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Gotcha. It seems to just be the hand you were dealt. A wedge cut on material this big would be extraordinarily difficult. Even wedging almost to the other side would not give you the bend your looking for and would form a horizontal callous across the cut line, or would just kill everything above the wedge. I think you just need to pick a good front with the best movement you see then wire the leader to accentuate that movement. Here’s a quick sketch of what I’m seeing at first sight. Utilize what your given. Make a big uro on one of those cuts and wire out.
View attachment 383717View attachment 383718
Wow! This really helps.

When would you recommend wiring? Crape myrtle a get brittle fast so I’m wondering If I should start wiring either now or when the shoots get a little longer later this month.
 

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Yeah sooner than later on the longer shoots. there is a point on CM growth where the shoots get a darker brown but are still movable. Just GO SLOW. You’ll bust em right off if your not careful. You should really take a moment to watch this vids I posted. He talks a bit about when he wired young shoots on his. And they are much the same as yours. Massive trunks with little to no movement.
 
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Yeah sooner than later on the longer shoots. there is a point on CM growth where the shoots get a darker brown but are still movable. Just GO SLOW. You’ll bust em right off if your not careful. You should really take a moment to watch this vids I posted. He talks a bit about when he wired young shoots on his. And they are much the same as yours. Massive trunks with little to no movement.
I appreciate it. Any suggestions on the nasty cuts in the back? Should I try concave cutting?
 

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Def concave cut. But I’d absolutely use a good cut paste if you’ve got one. Crape nurture heal over well.
 

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Crepes grow SUPER fast. You could get a leader 2/3 the thickness of the base in 3 years easily. And as long as branches are extending and are around pinky thickness or smaller will still be supple enough to bend easily. The main issue with crepes is young branches like to pop from the trunk when wiring so support for the initial bend is needed.
 
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@johng has a great selection of videos on his crape myrtle. They may give you inspiration for this beast.

In johns vids, i looked at the wire. It didn’t appear he had his wires anchored… any tips on how to wire a tree like mine? I’m completely new to wiring, though I have done plenty of research.

Also when and where do I make the first cut on the branches to start the ramification process? Should I just wire and not cut the branches until they get thick and grow out or should I cut them shorter now?
 

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In johns vids, i looked at the wire. It didn’t appear he had his wires anchored… any tips on how to wire a tree like mine? I’m completely new to wiring, though I have done plenty of research.

Also when and where do I make the first cut on the branches to start the ramification process? Should I just wire and not cut the branches until they get thick and grow out or should I cut them shorter now?

Just let the tree grow for a while. Let more branches go and when they start to lignify then cut and start the bending process. Just walk away from this tree for the next few months!!!
 

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Just let the tree grow for a while. Let more branches go and when they start to lignify then cut and start the bending process. Just walk away from this tree for the next few months!!!
In johns vids, i looked at the wire. It didn’t appear he had his wires anchored… any tips on how to wire a tree like mine? I’m completely new to wiring, though I have done plenty of research.

Also when and where do I make the first cut on the branches to start the ramification process? Should I just wire and not cut the branches until they get thick and grow out or should I cut them shorter now?
Yes def let them grow for sometime. With as thick a trunk as you have, if you don’t let the branches thicken the overal image won’t be proportionally balanced. However, crapes are not like elms. If you don’t wire for direction on crapes young, they become very difficult to wire later and you may never get the branches as horizontal as you like.

Anchor from the main trunk. But go slow and be deliberate. Nothing worse than hurting your tree from crappy wiring. Found this image online.
9E1023E1-391A-4E4B-9BA7-97AAA6360FA2.jpeg

I can’t stress enough how easy it is to break branches on crapes free from the trunk. If in doubt stop bending. Go slow.
 

Hartinez

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View attachment 384034

While the junction between branch and tree can be weak the branches themselves are extremely pliable. Even when starting to lignify.
I’ve def found the same thing and even if you get some cracking or breaking on a newer branch, they heal well. But I have separated a branch from a trunk more than once on a crape, that’s for sure.
 

TN_Jim

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edges will always be edges. sanding would round

#scrape
 

TN_Jim

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like when you select a scar that came off the side of cured meat
 

TN_Jim

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it’s alright when it’s all wrong
 

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