Guidelines for Multi-trunk trees?

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I know that there is a great deal of variation in multiple trunk style trees. What are some of the guidelines you would consider deal-breakers in multi-trunk style? Which ones would you be willing to bend?

Here's my only multi-trunk tree, a twin-trunk American elm I also posted in the elms section. It has some serious defects, the worst of which I have addressed (nebari, planting position, pine style), and a couple more that are to be fixed in the next two years (branching and upper area of the right trunk). Do you see anything else that this tree needs to become a better bonsai?
 

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Jon Chown

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Hi Chris, The twin trunk style (Mother/Daughter - Father/Son) is one that I am partial too. Looking at yours, I see two very strong (dare I say masculine) trunks with just a little too much space between them for my liking. I would attempt to raise the trees when next repotting and bring the smaller trunk a little to the front of the larger trunk. Hopefully this will show a better joining of the trunks at the base and visually reduce the distance between them.

Jon
 

bonsai barry

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I was reading an old Bonsai today magazine where the author was planting two trees together. When repotting he cut out a significant portion of the main trees trunk so he could slide the smaller tree much closer to the larger tree, which he did and t hen angled the smaller tree to the side somewhat.
 

John Hill

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Hi Chris,
I have to go along with Jon. There is just to much distance between the two. I would saw them apart and pot closer together. My eyes just sees the space between the two. I know the guidelines say that between the two trunks it should form a V. With the two trunks being to far apart it doesn't really give this composition any depth.
You could find a small elm and place in between the two in the back? This would give it that z axes.
With a two trunk composition the trunks should be divided at the base or soil line.
I know you don't like virtuals but I had to see what it looked like close together.
This is just my Humble opinion.

A Friend in bonsai
John
 

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Hi Chris,
I have to go along with Jon. There is just to much distance between the two. I would saw them apart and pot closer together. My eyes just sees the space between the two. I know the guidelines say that between the two trunks it should form a V. With the two trunks being to far apart it doesn't really give this composition any depth.
You could find a small elm and place in between the two in the back? This would give it that z axes.
With a two trunk composition the trunks should be divided at the base or soil line.
I know you don't like virtuals but I had to see what it looked like close together.
This is just my Humble opinion.

A Friend in bonsai
John
John, how would you make the join look natural? I'll admit it's not a great piece of material, but it does have some age to it. I think rotating the pot another five or ten degrees clockwise might make the difference. The base may have something going for it. The roots came out so well all around, I am anxious to see how the nebari has developed in the last year. It is potted just a little deep because the roots were so new when I severed the tree. I'm hoping the nebari will be one of the more charming features, so I am loathe to chop it up.
 

John Hill

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John, how would you make the join look natural? I'll admit it's not a great piece of material, but it does have some age to it. I think rotating the pot another five or ten degrees clockwise might make the difference. The base may have something going for it. The roots came out so well all around, I am anxious to see how the nebari has developed in the last year. It is potted just a little deep because the roots were so new when I severed the tree. I'm hoping the nebari will be one of the more charming features, so I am loathe to chop it up.
Yes rotating may do it if that is the only way you are going to look at this composition? But if you were to get them to join as a harmonious one then you could work on it as one tree. I know I am not making any sense right now I just got back from a night out.;)
If it were mine I would treat it as an,,say,, approach graft. I know you know what that is? I would cut and separate and the slice a piece of the main trees trunk and part of the second trees trunk to match up for the position.
Each tree does have there own root system I expect? Or do they share the same root system? In other words are they SOKAN or SOJU? Do you want them to be one or do you want them to be two?

A Friend in bonsai
John
 
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The trees were on a common stump, sharing some bad roots. I airlayered the stump, providing me with a single nebari for both trees. Not sure if I understand your final question.
 

bonsainotwar

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The trees were on a common stump, sharing some bad roots. I airlayered the stump, providing me with a single nebari for both trees. Not sure if I understand your final question.
I have a cherry like that. The "trees" are currently just shoots.Has anybody seen a jinned out stump, with multiple trees coming out of it ? Somehow,I think that would look cool.
 

jomawa

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virtual, I had to see what it looked like close together.
Wow John, do you mind informing us what "virtual" program you used to pull that off? And from my view of what you did, moving a limb here and chopping a limb there, nice refit. I would probably attempt to copy that in the real if that were my tree(s). (just checked the dates of other replies, hope you're still around)
 

Dav4

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Wow John, do you mind informing us what "virtual" program you used to pull that off? And from my view of what you did, moving a limb here and chopping a limb there, nice refit. I would probably attempt to copy that in the real if that were my tree(s). (just checked the dates of other replies, hope you're still around)
John hasn't logged into Bnut in 2.5 years...
 

jomawa

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John hasn't logged into Bnut in 2.5 years...
Yeah, checked John's status after replying re "virtual" (because I did notice other reply dates) and saw that info, but thanks for your help also. Soooo, do you happen to know of any virtual programs that do what John did?
 

Dav4

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Yeah, checked John's status after replying re "virtual" (because I did notice other reply dates) and saw that info, but thanks for your help also. Soooo, do you happen to know of any virtual programs that do what John did?
No, sorry...
 

coh

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Lots of people who don't post anymore in this thread! Trip down memory lane. Anyway, Jomawa there are lots of image manipulation programs out there that can do this kind of thing...two that I have used are photoshop (very expensive) and GIMP (free and very similar to photoshop). Both can do way more than necessary for this kind of simple virtual. There are probably many free and simpler routines available if you look.
 

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