Most excellent Peter Tea blog post about summer work on Maples!

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#41
the problem is, it's not theories, it's a method used with good results by a lot of people (including me), you don't believe it but it works, because it is not "obvious" (if how plants grow was so obvious, there wil be no need for science working on it), and your reasoning about more growth = more thickening is not entirely true (at least it's not enough to explain thickening), the total lenght of the branch and the arm of leverage it puts on the attach of the branch (mechanical stress) is a decisive factor in the thickening of the base of the branch. By removing side branches, the branch lengthen much more than if left to ramify naturally, because all the push or growth is concentrated in the apical shoot, thus mechanical stress on the attach is stronger and then the tree deposits more wood on the base of the branch.
 
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Anthony

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#43
There is a sucker born every day.

I am lost by all this discussion,

To get a larger trunk all we do is ground grow in a colander.
At the same time we get 6 branches.
The fustic is now taking 6 months and under to 3 inches.

I got in trouble with Al when I first got here over a trident
maple with a 3 inch trunk.

Learnt that because we have a 70 deg.F at night and under
90 for the rainy months things grow very fast.

Now testing J.B.pines. Rains only now starting.

We use large plastic bonsai pots for refinement of branchlets.
Only a few trees down here will respond to a "grow box "
Will be reading.
Good Day
Anthony
 
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#44
i think one of the thing making people not understand this technique is that it is not so much about more wood production (in terms of total wood produced the more growth more wood is most probably right) but rather WHERE this wood is deposited to support the branch (because only the base of the branch will be kept in the end), and this is what achieves this technique, having the most wood deposited at the base of the branch
 
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#45
the problem is, it's not theories, it's a method used with good results by a lot of people (including me), you don't believe it but it works, because it is not "obvious" (if how plants grow was so obvious, there wil be no need for science working on it), and your reasoning about more growth = more thickening is not entirely true (at least it's not enough to explain thickening), the total lenght of the branch and the arm of leverage it puts on the attach of the branch (mechanical stress) is a decisive factor in the thickening of the base of the branch. By removing side branches, the branch lengthen much more than if left to ramify naturally, because all the push or growth is concentrated in the apical shoot, thus mechanical stress on the attach is stronger and then the tree deposits more wood on the base of the branch.
You have not proved anything either... cause you don't have controls...

I think that @MichaelS is right. It makes no sense that removing side branches will increase growth/thickening on the main brach/trunk section. You're removing and reducing everything (hormones, sugar production, floem and xylem transport, water circulation, everything. You need a stronger (and thicker) structure to support a greater biomass. Also, more branches = more drag. Some people say that is the bouncing of the branches in the wind that makes them thicken...

i think one of the thing making people not understand this technique is that it is not so much about more wood production (in terms of total wood produced the more growth more wood is most probably right) but rather WHERE this wood is deposited to support the branch (because only the base of the branch will be kept in the end), and this is what achieves this technique, having the most wood deposited at the base of the branch
I think it is you who is not understanding. So you're saying that having a main brach with a 10 more side branches will not thicken faster at the base of of the main branch compared to a single main branch without side branches? Hard to believe...

Again... why do we thin shoots down to 2 arising from the same location? It's common practice right? No one questions this... Think about it.

PS: not all the great bonsai artists are with this theory. I remember listening to Ryan Neil in one of his free videos (I can't remember which one) that it's foliar mass that drives branch thickening. And guess what: he was taught in Japan...

This is a very simple experiment.
Grow 10 individuals from the same species from seed. In half of them, you continuously cut side branches as they appear. The other half you leave untouched. Otherwise, all equal. After 1 or 2 years (or more if you want), measure the diameter at the base. Also, cut all side shoots (in the control) and weight everything...
 
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#46
My argument is that by removing side growth of any kind will inhibit thickening. There are no ifs or buts about this. It just is a fact.
Actually, your argument seems to be: I’ll been pruning trees for a long, long time so believe what I say.

Here’s the thing. Peter Tea is not alone among bonsai artists recommending this technique for thickening branches. It’s also in the Peter Adams Japanese maple book. You may disagree with Peter Tea’s rationale about why it works to thicken branches, but it seems quite clear that the technique does actually work.
 
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#47
Actually, your argument seems to be: I’ll been pruning trees for a long, long time so believe what I say.

Here’s the thing. Peter Tea is not alone among bonsai artists recommending this technique for thickening branches. It’s also in the Peter Adams Japanese maple book. You may disagree with Peter Tea’s rationale about why it works to thicken branches, but it seems quite clear that the technique does actually work.
The question is not if branches thicken. Is, how do they thicken the fastest...

How can you tell if it works? Just because the brach grew? There's no comparison... nothing to contrast with.
 
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#48
if i've learned one thing about professionnal bonsai growers/successful bonsai artists, is that they usually don't waste their time using unefficient techniques (even if the explanation about the technique is sometimes physiologically wrong), they a have businesses to run, and time is money, keeping a leader as a single unramified whip take some of their time compared to letting it run freely, so if letting the branch grow freely was more efficent, they would just do and advice that
 
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#49
if i've learned one thing about professionnal bonsai growers/successful bonsai artists, is that they usually don't waste their time using unefficient techniques (even if the explanation about the technique is sometimes physiologically wrong), if letting the branch grow freely was more efficent, they would just do and advice that
Well, I keep hearing all the time that the fastest way to build a trunk is planting the tree in the ground and forget about it for a numbers of years. Or do you think people go there to prune side shoots every month?
 

Anthony

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#50
When growing up this what we were taught.

The Chinese will not teach you everything or they will
lose control. The Japanese have the same belief.

I am 1/2 Chinese, grandfather from Canton. Grandmother
Trinidad born Chinese.

So our cousins and friends in China and Japan, who also
grow Bonsai, do a great deal of filtering for us.
Al is not lying.
Good Day
Anthony
 

Anthony

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#54
Actually Gustavo,

the results we get are the same as in China.
They just don't tell you.
And we are exploring with natives.

We already have the results for certain cultivars of Southern
Chinese elms. 3 inch trunks - 6 months ----- 1/3 of a 55 US
gallon barrel ,[1994 ]
Big market for Mallsai.
Good Day
Anthony
 
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#55
The question is not if branches thicken. Is, how do they thicken the fastest...

How can you tell if it works? Just because the brach grew? There's no comparison... nothing to contrast with.
Because I only did the technique to one of my trees initially and the acceleration of growth on those branches was pretty dramatic in comparison. It wasn’t a formal experiment and there was a little bit of apples vs. oranges involved because I did it to my Amur maple and did not do it to the Japanese maples. However, the results were good enough for me to decide to use the technique on all my maples.
 
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#56
the physiology of the tree doesn't change in a pot, the space and ressources available do , hence the total amount of growth it can produces does, This technique it then about how make the best of the growth a tree is able to have in a pot.
 

Anthony

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#57
Beware of cultivars as well.

Some are amazing in what they can do.
And in Sifu / Adair's words, the Japanese, don't sell
the best.

Which is why when Nellie [ was a member here and IBC [
went to Japan, she was advised to buy the J,B.pine cultivar
that has 2.5 cm needles naturally.
Her country in Africa had no conifer restrictions.

As to branches, if you ground grow, you can add in [ we only
need 6 ] the branches at t.he thickness you want
It requires growing several attempts to get a feel for the plant
and the use of a DESIGN.

The last stage is just branch refinement.

Most folk don't reach these stages.

Instead they use the old idea of refinement boxes.

Bonsai is not that slow, and refinement does not take that
long.
Good Day
Anthony
 
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#58
the physiology of the tree doesn't change in a pot, the space and ressources available do , hence the total amount of growth it can produces does, This technique it then about how make the best of the growth a tree is able to have in a pot.
You should think before replying. Yes it slows down in a pot. But it does so for both techniques. How does that related to what's being discussed here?
 
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#59
As
Because I only did the technique to one of my trees initially and the acceleration of growth on those branches was pretty dramatic in comparison. It wasn’t a formal experiment and there was a little bit of apples vs. oranges involved because I did it to my Amur maple and did not do it to the Japanese maples. However, the results were good enough for me to decide to use the technique on all my maples.
as you say. You're comparing apples with oranges. No comparison possible. But if it makes you "believe" so... I'm not a man of faith...
 
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#60
I’d like to say congrats to everyone so far, for keeping this civil.
Usually these debates get heated and tempers flare, devolving in to arguments.
It’s great to debate, a lot of info comes out, which is great for beginners such as myself.

Well done so far!
Excellent point Conor! As this discussions go on, as a newbie I love to read input from many different views. I know the major people in the discussion feel like it is purely a debate of their ideas, techniques, etc, but for the rest of us it is a great way to get deeper into the ideas. I read the initial link getting lots of ideas and it got me into thinking about various parts of growth and Bonsai. Then the post discussion has caused me to even dig deeper. I love discussions like this because it makes us question and really get deeper than just reading do A to promote B. And never really understanding what A->B really happened.
 

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