I'm not callus....just curious.

Smoke

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I watched the video, couldn't help but wonder about this guy's knowledge of how plants work.

Wound callus tissue does not transfer nutrients. The rolling wounds are useless to the tree, other than to compartmentalize injury by the wire:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/trees-new/text/tree_anatomy.html

It is not until much later that regular cambium tissue overgrows the callus tissue--possibly decades...If you're too aggressive with this kind of thing, you will kill your tree.
A week or so ago debate insued over callus tissue and it's ability to transfer nutrients or not. Some said no, I said yes. I said I had some pictures to share and now I can relate what I have and maybe more discussion can move along.

Mark's quote above suggests that rolling callus tissue is a poor conductor of nutrients due to the nature of callus tissue which for all intents and purposes is actually akin to cancer via growth cells out of control. My contention is that callus tissue is a defence mechanisim for a tree damaged and in a state of shock. While I agree that a callus is a poor conductor of nutrients my contention is that nutrient travel does not take place in the callus tissue but much deeper at the cambium which knits almost within days of damage. The callus tissue is a bandage of sorts to protect the vital life line below that needs protection from damage or else the tree dies. This tissue is much like the tissue that evolves around burn victums where by thick blubbery scar tissue develops to protect the baby like new skin where real vital fluid exchange takes place. Many of my clients have suffered burns in house fires and during reconstruction many times a healed wound will begin bleeding at the slightest touch. This could be curtains for a tree.

I showed these pictures to Ted Matson whom I think we can all agree is a very noteable bonsai master around the nation. During our exchange he verified indeed that damage to trunks and branches will take place at the cambilum level in only thousand's of an inch cell tissue to maintain life and fluid/nutrient exchange, while scar tissue (callus) is only a topical bandage.

The Central Valley of California, Bread Basket to the World is full of agriculture. One of my current homes under reconstruction is a Japanese family whose home burned down a few months back. He was a farmer for 62 years. Mostly stone fruits and grapes. I asked him about grafting, and callus tissue.
This was his story and how it realates to bonsai.

Making money in the food growing businesss is very complicated. Many times a farmer will plant a crop that is making money one year only to have it fall out of market the next year. In the case of stone fruits many years of growing to achieve adult crop producing trees may take many years. If a certain fruit begins to decline financially, what can a farmer do? Change to a better stone fruit. How can you invest ten years in growing trees only to pull them out to plant new ones then waste another ten years to get back to where you were?

You don't plant new trees, you graft on a better financially sound tree. In the case of this farmer, he related that when peach trees are planted a farmer can have his choice of grafting on literally any peach, any nectarine or any plum to the peach stump. If a farmer starts with plum as a stump then he can only graft on a new plum or apricot but no peach or nectarine.

So peach is the way to go....

In this first picture we can see peach stumps with new stone fruits grafted on. A large sacrifice leader is left on the stump to keep it alive while the new scions knit. (Just so you know I have already spent most of January and all of February learning his grafting skills and he has said that when he finds his old knives he will give them to me. They are his Fathers from Japan and they are close to 175 years old. I can hardly wait).

In the fourth picture we can see that the grafts have already taken and callus tissue is starting to grow. This callus tissue is growing nearly five taimes faster than the tissue at the cambium intersection at the point of conception for lack of a better term. The nutrient path was the first thing the tree made. in the case of the callus tissue it serves two purposes, one to protect this tender bond, and two to lay down the necessary wood to maintain the bond. At this point wind will tear these off in a heart beat. I know, they lay all around the orchard as testiment to their weakness at this point.
 

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Smoke

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A couple years later and the wounds are starting to bulk up. The sacrifice leader is cut back and grafts applied there or it is just sealed over.
 

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As years pass the tissue starts to smooth over as the tree by now is producing fruit and the tree is energised.
 

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Smoke

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Sometimes the wood grows so fast that grotesque shapes begin to form on the trunk. The callus wood is so thick that surely nutrients could never pass thru this conglomeration of mixed up callus cells....or could they. Sure they can. They are doing that several inches below this scar tissue.

These fruit trees could never produce fruit if this was the case of no nutrient exchange. Sugar has to pass to make fruit...right?

Or does it?

Lets wait and see.
 

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Smoke

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When this callus tissue is growing so fast it begins to migrate. It starts to find it's own path and begins to use the stump as a sort of host untill it can take over. In about 15 to 20 years time the graft will fully envelope the stump covering it completely making it's own root system around the old stump. In essence a new tree has formed over the original stump with the grafts roots now supplying the needs to the tree.

This is not always a good thing. The original roots kept the hybrid nearly disease free and stronger by way of different roots. Now on it's own roots the trees will decline in production and will succumb to disease and topple over in the wind. Of course this orchard will have produced nearly 2 million dollars in it's life, so maybe new trees can be a better option.
 

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Now for the coup de gras....

This guy...what a dope...

He cut the trunk all the way around a priceless orchard of peach trees. An orchard capable of bringing in 150,000 dollars a year or more. What is he thinking. This cut will kill the tree. He has cut all life line from the top of the tree to the roots. No exchange of sugar (nutrients) can go on now. What a dope.
 

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Smoke

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Ok what the farmer has done now is an age old process called girdleing. What he has done is to cut export of sugars to the roots forcing the sugars into the fruit buds and growing superhuman fruit. This fruit if I am guessing, (and I'm hardly ever wrong) will be bound for Japan since over 25 percent of fruit produced in California goes to Japan. This will be the fruit that gets packed in the white cushion sock and placed into a purple tissue hole in a pretty packing label box bound to some poor sap in Japan that will pay about 12.00 dollars for a piece of fruit that they can't grow in their own country.

The timing on the procedure is critical. The line must be cut just (possibly hours) before bud break. You can see in the picture that buds are indeed opening as we speak and blossoms will pop in the coming weeks. This girdle (layer in essence) will heal in about 90 days, meaning that cambium tissue from above and below will crawl over the exposed wood in an effort to "mate up" and heal itself. Once the knit is made the tree will grow out the fruit as normal except that thru selective bud picking and increased water flow large fruit will develop. That 90 days will garner this grower possibly 50,000 more dollars in his crop than normal fruit. A gamble well worth it. This does absolutely no harm to the tree, but can only be done every few years or so, maybe every four years. The tree will weaken, but not enough to kill it.

So there you have it. Wrap your black pine in wire and let it bury itself deep in the trunk, it will not kill the tree. But ask yourself this...Just how long were these growing and would they have become as large as they did without the wire? I think I heard 40 years....

Cheers and hope you all don't become bored with this saga, Al
 
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DaveV

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Wonderful Al! That is a great article. I have a young semi cascade JBP with wire still wrapped around the trunk. I recently called and asked the man who I bought it from if he feels I should remove the wire. He said to leave it on, it would not harm the tree.

DaveV.
 

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Al,

I can't argue, but you're not entirely right and I'm not entirely wrong. Do some reading on what plant and arborists have to say. There is a sliding scale of what callus tissue can do. Ultimately, the tissue is MEANT to block off the injured section of the tree. THat is it's function and a basic function of how plants heal injuries. They lack white blood cells and other infection fighting cells found in animals. They developed a defense mechanism that relies on walling off the injured section--not in healing it.

And as for the efficacy of wrapping a bonsai tree's trunk with wire to make it look better, I can only refer back to the images in that video of the old pine it had been done to. The technique did not, in my opinion, look any better with the silly looking spiral scar than a comparable old pine bonsai.
 

bonsai barry

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Thanks, Al. Good stuff. Near the end of the sequence you mention that the callous can create its own inferior root systems. Why doesn't the farmer just cut it back? Also, do you know if they use a special machine to girdle the trees?
 

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Al,



And as for the efficacy of wrapping a bonsai tree's trunk with wire to make it look better, I can only refer back to the images in that video of the old pine it had been done to. The technique did not, in my opinion, look any better with the silly looking spiral scar than a comparable old pine bonsai.
I agree, thats why I put the question at the end of my saga. What if he would have just grown them out using conventional methods. I think they would have bulked up as much.

In fact I relied on callus tissue entirely during the grow out of my tridents. Leaving the 1/4 inch stubs on the base and allowing the tree to bud back there and close those wounds created a tremendous amount of callus tissue. I had very little budding in that tissue in the field of the callus. It budded from the wound collar but not the field. It was not growth wood but bandage wood probably incapable of doing anything but growing fast. The question is not whether the wood will support buds, grafts or branches...but if nutrients pas thru these masses of tissue. It contend they do. No matter how grotesque it is.

Leaves is one thing, but the reason I went to farmers that count on the passing of nutrients for fuit was very interesting to me. In their mind this has never been an issue.....for a hundred years.
 

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I'm confused, you contend that callus can support the flow of nutrients ...and support that case/argument by citing the use of grafting. I'd thought the callus that forms in grafting is superfluous ...while the cambium is where the nutrients flow. Essentially theres no break in the cambium.

Am I missing something?
 

Smoke

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I'm confused, you contend that callus can support the flow of nutrients ...and support that case/argument by citing the use of grafting. I'd thought the callus that forms in grafting is superfluous ...while the cambium is where the nutrients flow. Essentially theres no break in the cambium.

Am I missing something?
Exactly read my words above again and you will find that what you said is what I said. You just said it with fewer words. cambium is cambium at all times on a tree. It will always support the exchange of nutrients.

Budding, thats a different can of worms.
 

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Plants differ from that of mammals and it is important to keep in mind when realizing how they heal. All plant cells begin life exactly the same (undifferentiated). In mammals, skin cells are replaced by skin cells, bone by bone, and liver cells by liver cells. In mammals they are very specific for the role they will play. In plants, this is not the case. Plant cells can differentiate after being created to fill the needs of the plant. When a plant is wounded, it genereates volumes of this undifferentiated tissue. It can then later form into the specialized cells needed for structure, and movement of resources.

Dave
 

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Exactly read my words above again and you will find that what you said is what I said. You just said it with fewer words.
Ok. I found the first pertinent quote. It seemed to sum up what I thought your point was.
Smoke said:
A week or so ago debate insued over callus tissue and it's ability to transfer nutrients or not. Some said no, I said yes.
My takeaway from that is that you think that callus tissue can transfer nutrients. Am I right?

My question arises when I realize that the examples you use to back up your argument/case don't really have anything to do with Callus tissue transporting nutrients. Its the cambium that's transporting the nutrients. There isn't a break in cambium for the callus to wall off (if the graft takes) so your examples don't really support the argument.

Right?
 

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In thinking about this, my questions regarding the validity of the argument still remain ...with regard to the use of grafting as a basis of proof.

I'd forgotten the girdling you mentioned. I can't account for that.
 

Attila Soos

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The cambium (=vascular cambium) does not transport nutrients. The role of cambium is to produce phloem cells and xylem cells. In other words, its role is not to transport anything, but to produce the cells that do the transporting.

On the outside, cambium produces phloems cells. Phloem cells are elongated cells that transport nutrients from the leaves to the roots.

On the inside, cambium produces xylem cells. Xylems cells transport water and nutrients from the roots to the smallest of branches.

So, there are two different (opposite) flows of nutrients, separated by the cambium. On the inner side, nutrients flow from the roots to leaves and twings. On the outer side, nutrients flow from leaves to roots. The cambium is a thin layer that separates the two.
 
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rockm

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"I think they would have bulked up as much."

That is not the point I took away from the video. The grower was not trying to induce bulk, but "character" in the trunk. This technique, IMO, provides superficial character for the most part. The damage induced does not produce lasting character, as can be seen by the image of that pine. He could have done the same (or better) just leaving the trunk to weather on its own.

The callus tissue may or may not (I still lean towards "may not) be an issue in the tree's health. If I were working with smaller less developed trees, I would look at a technique like this with a skeptical eye both from a horticultural perspective and from an aesthetic one.
 

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The cambium (=vascular cambium) does not transport nutrients. The role of cambium is to produce phloem cells and xylem cells. In other words, its role is not to transport anything, but to produce the cells that do the transporting.

On the outside, cambium produces phloems cells. Phloem cells are elongated cells that transport nutrients from the leaves to the roots.

On the inside, cambium produces xylem cells. Xylems cells transport water and nutrients from the roots to the smallest of branches.

So, there are two different (opposite) flows of nutrients, separated by the cambium. On the inner side, nutrients flow from the roots to leaves and twings. On the outer side, nutrients flow from leaves to roots. The cambium is a thin layer that separates the two.
Not entirely accurate. Yes, the flow of water and minerals ascends through the xylem. however in the phloem, the transport is source to sink, and can travel to wherever it is needed.

Dave
 
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