How exactly is a trunk like this formed?

Jupiter

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Hey guys, I have seen many very nice trees with trunks such as the one in the attached photo. What are the general methods for creating these? I am assuming this isn't the usual trunk chop or cut and grow method. Any insight is as always very much appreciated!
 

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ShadyStump

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Haven't gotten there yet, but that's my understanding; same techniques you'd normally use to build up a trunk, but compressed into a smaller section.
 

just.wing.it

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It's hard to appreciate the time that goes into some of these. Some people will grow a tree in a field for 25 years, chopping hard every 3-4 years, before ever seeing a pot.
Very true.
This particular plant looks like a ficus to me, and I can tell by that cart handle bar in the background that it's no shohin. That thing has some meat on it.
 

Bonsai Nut

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This is one illustration of how to form a tree. I don’t know that it will apply to the trunk in question.
I believe it applies pretty well. Note how there is a difference between refined branches and sacrifice branches, and how as you develop taper, you move the sacrifice branches up the trunk, and they become less and less significant/thick before you remove them.
 

just.wing.it

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I believe it applies pretty well. Note how there is a difference between refined branches and sacrifice branches, and how as you develop taper, you move the sacrifice branches up the trunk, and they become less and less significant/thick before you remove them.
Yeah it shows the bottom up progression, it's kinda cool!
 

Malix

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I’m glad you guys liked that illustration. I remember when I first saw it it was very helpful to understand a certain way of developing a tree. It gave me a great new context for long term growth and planning. It may be worth posting, at some point, in its own thread as it may be helpful to others.
 

Bonsai Nut

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I’m glad you guys liked that illustration. I remember when I first saw it it was very helpful to understand a certain way of developing a tree. It gave me a great new context for long term growth and planning. It may be worth posting, at some point, in its own thread as it may be helpful to others.
Note we are generally talking deciduous trees here; though the same principal applies to conifers, it is much more important/challenging to try to keep low fine growth while also creating sacrifice growth at the same level. Or else, get ready to improve your branch grafting skills :)
 

Jupiter

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yes I have seen that image around. I was just thinking maybe something else had been done. The girth on that trunk is ridiculous. Something I would like to one day be able to have on one of mine. I saw the scars as well but wasn't sure if that was it. I would like to do this with one of my japanese maples and have something maybe about 15 inches tall but with a base of about 45% of that.
 

Jupiter

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Based on the number of large scars, this looks like cut and grow to me.

Let it grow unhindered for three or four years, cut back hard. Repeat.
Now when you say cut back are you talking trunk chop? What height would you typically recommend chopping to during the years of waiting for the lowest diameter to get to where I would like it?
 

leatherback

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Hi Jupiter,

A little play-around I once did on trunk diameter & taper during development. I am not committed it is AS simple as described, but I like to simplify processes :) :


1641794412895.png
 

Shibui

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I agree it looks very much like chop and grow trunk.
That's how I grow most of the trunks I sell here.
Tridents I can chop each winter but slower growing species need a few years between chops to grow.
First chop is aimed at around the height you want the first bend/ branch so will depend on the ultimate size you are planning. Typically my first cut is around 5-7cm (2'-3'). Subsequent chops are higher each time allowing each successive section to be thinner than the parts below.
Check some of the photos in the trident maple catalogu on Shibui Bonsai.com.au - https://shibuibonsai.com.au/?page_id=215
Regular root pruning promotes better nebari. Better nebari causes the base of the trunk to swell out even wider at the roots so even if regular root pruning slows trunk growth (I'm not sure it really does) that's more than made up in the increased basal flare.
Regular trunk chops means the earlier chops are healed or partly healed by the time the trunk is ready for a pot which is a great time saver during the subsequent branch and apex development phase.
 

Ugo

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I agree it looks very much like chop and grow trunk.
That's how I grow most of the trunks I sell here.
Tridents I can chop each winter but slower growing species need a few years between chops to grow.
First chop is aimed at around the height you want the first bend/ branch so will depend on the ultimate size you are planning. Typically my first cut is around 5-7cm (2'-3'). Subsequent chops are higher each time allowing each successive section to be thinner than the parts below.
Check some of the photos in the trident maple catalogu on Shibui Bonsai.com.au - https://shibuibonsai.com.au/?page_id=215
Regular root pruning promotes better nebari. Better nebari causes the base of the trunk to swell out even wider at the roots so even if regular root pruning slows trunk growth (I'm not sure it really does) that's more than made up in the increased basal flare.
Regular trunk chops means the earlier chops are healed or partly healed by the time the trunk is ready for a pot which is a great time saver during the subsequent branch and apex development phase.

You got some good example there Neil!
Too bad shipping trees from Australia to Canada requires permits and paperwork as I would have ordered one Trident for sure!
Continue your good work.

Ugo
 

Canada Bonsai

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Too bad shipping trees from Australia to Canada requires permits and paperwork as I would have ordered one Trident for sure!

You cannot ship Acer buergerianum from Australia to Canada, regardless of permitting/phyto certificates/quaratine etc. The change in hemisphere would be a considerable problem anyways.

You can import Acer buergerianum from Japan though -- I brought in several hundred last year, from Fuyo-en and elsewhere.

Yves from Bonsai ENR has been growing Tridents for +35 years, too.
 
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leatherback

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You cannot ship Acer buergerianum from Australia to Canada, regardless of permitting/phyto certificates/quaratine etc. The change in hemisphere would be a considerable problem anyways.
Do think so? I would think that shipping them at the end of Canadian winter, timing arrival with early spring would give them a good start in their new home.
 

Shibui

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The change in hemisphere would be a considerable problem anyways.
Far less of a problem than many would imagine.
We have growers here who import trees from Japan. They adapt just fine to the change of seasons - after a longer than normal winter or summer depending on the time of year they are shipped.
Quarantine and the required treatment is far more of a problem for the trees and very costly.

That said I'm not interested in working through all the paperwork and protocols so don't ask.
It is easy enough to grow your own tridents. Really good trunks can be grown in 3-5 years. Another 3-5 years to develop branches and apex and you have a great bonsai.
 

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