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

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#61
As i see the discussion it pertains to techniques that have been used successfully to thicken branch and trunk. I have applied it to tree's grown from seed. I have used the techniques on trees grown in the ground and in containers. I do not see it as a debate between the amount of foliage supporting photosynthesis or the amount cut off to create ramification.
I do not believe there is much value in debating things we have not tried or assigning the idea to one group of believers. The technique was suggested to me by a North American Bonsai grower and has been explained thoroughly in botanical literature. This Bonsai technique works because it creates a hormonal imbalance that triggers a specific growth response. Other Bonsai techniques create a change in the amount of sugar produced and where sugar is used which can change plant shape as well. ( defoliation, needle pulling). Removing the big buds on the end of the branch removes the largest drain on sugar use which allows the tree to strengthen other weaker areas. ( Balancing )
The fact is, that pruning can invigorate growth when used correctly.
Understanding plant physiology can only add to the effectiveness of our efforts in Bonsai. Certainly allowing the tree to grow unimpeded results in a balance of normal growth. ( all other factors being equal such as water, sun, oxygen, fertilizer, temperature) . Bonsai techniques ( Pruning) allow us to modify the tree by creating imbalance in hormones. ( two key ones being Auxin and cytokinin ). Which is why the technique was suggested. Specific purpose to thicken the branch in a shorter period of time. The key is to understand and apply Bonsai techniques to obtain the desired result. When growing and training young trees we keep the end buds to promote root and trunk growth. When refining older trees we decandle or cut back the ends to create more and smaller interior growth. Also for those who have been doing Bonsai for a long time it is understood that the pruning and balancing techniques are applied differently to trees and shrubs. This is because of where the dominant hormones are located. Apical or Basal dominance.
For those who care to do the research, or review the botany behind the theories, i believe it will lead to a deeper understanding of why many traditional Bonsai techniques have been effective.
 

Anthony

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#62
On the:eek: more evil side, if you wanted explanations
for free, without admitting it and maybe lose face or
respect.:p
Good Day
Anthony
 
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#63
As

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...
I’m not a man of faith either. So, I went out and took a look at my Amur maple this morning because I know that I did not apply the technique to every branch. Here’s a comparison that is much closer to an apples to apples situation. Both of these branches are this years’ new growth on the same tree. The branch that was left to grow free without pruning is both shorter in length and thinner at its origin where it meets old growth. The branch that had its side branches pruned is both longer and thicker at its origin.

Branch that was not pruned:
EF441652-5776-4F1D-AD6B-C9C0A7493F88.jpeg

Branch with side branches pruned:
EB01749D-162F-49FF-9B0D-1D381B2B1D75.jpeg 754E078C-250A-439C-BBFB-8993C89FFADF.jpeg
 
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#64
I’m not a man of faith either. So, I went out and took a look at my Amur maple this morning because I know that I did not apply the technique to every branch. Here’s a comparison that is much closer to an apples to apples situation. Both of these branches are this years’ new growth on the same tree. The branch that was left to grow free without pruning is both shorter in length and thinner at its origin where it meets old growth. The branch that had its side branches pruned is both longer and thicker at its origin.

Branch that was not pruned:
View attachment 196642

Branch with side branches pruned:
View attachment 196643 View attachment 196644
Thanks for sharing! What would happen if you kept trimming the side branches? I think Amur keep growing though the season. It would be interesting to see the results.
 
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#65
I’m not a man of faith either. So, I went out and took a look at my Amur maple this morning because I know that I did not apply the technique to every branch. Here’s a comparison that is much closer to an apples to apples situation. Both of these branches are this years’ new growth on the same tree. The branch that was left to grow free without pruning is both shorter in length and thinner at its origin where it meets old growth. The branch that had its side branches pruned is both longer and thicker at its origin.

Branch that was not pruned:
View attachment 196642

Branch with side branches pruned:
View attachment 196643 View attachment 196644
I see no side branches in the unpruned shoot, which is still a shoot
 

Adair M

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#66
Here are a couple of JBP sacrifice leaders.

DECCB740-2653-4E53-9CF5-219B10536E3E.jpeg 3F526634-CA95-4267-99F9-330B2C440972.jpeg

If you look closely, you can see there are several years of sacrifice growth. With branches in between. But the trunk growth below the branches is about the same as the trunk growth above the branches.


In my opinion, the branches made an immaterial effect on building caliper size on the trunk. The apex growing strongly is what puts on the wood.
 
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#68
Thanks for sharing! What would happen if you kept trimming the side branches? I think Amur keep growing though the season. It would be interesting to see the results.
That’s exactly what I intend to do, keep trimming off the side branches.
 

Adair M

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#70
What do you think Adair ? Keep trimming?
The sacrifice needs to get somewhat taller than the rest of the tree before the tree will start to realize that it’s the tallest part of the tree. Once that happens, it will start to receive most of the energy, and growth will accelerate.

Sacrifice branches that just extend sideways do not thicken nearly as quickly as those that become new apexes.
 
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#71
Ok. All good. Just don't forget to cut all the branches of trees when you plant them on the ground to build a thicker trunk.
 

Anthony

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#72
Hmm, I dd wonder if this information was not cultivar of a maple
specific ?
Most of the high quality work [ if not all ] is cultivars.

We have observed this on southern Chinese elms.
Matters not what you do, without the correct cultivar, you
are wasting time.
You will not get the result.

We have an elm here that is thick trunked, rough,finely
branched and dense with leaves.
We also have others that are a waste of time.
Good Day
Anthony
 
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#73
Gustavo, it would be much better to keep things civil ( the kind of "think before writing" comments). thank you. I know how to think you can believe me, my profession IS biology. It seem you did not understand that in the ground the tree is not limited in the amount of growth it can produce compare to when it's in a pot (or ground growing techniques will not exist). In a pot the total amount of growth is limited, this technique serve then to direct this limited amount in the most efficient way. You don't think it's working, ok, but did you ever tried? i did, several other people here that tried it are also saying it's working, as well as several growers or famous artists. It seems only the people who did not try are convinced it's not working. Oh yes and as a scientist, i'm likely to think that none of the techniques used in bonsai were ever tested with real scientific approach with sufficient sample numbers and/or controls, so one could say that nothing is proved lol And to me, when talking about bonsai techniques, i rarely give any credit to the opinion of people who have not used/tried the said techniques. And when i'm not sure, i try, and make myself my opinion, arguing endlessly will convince no-one. you THINK it's not working, I KNOW it works, that's the difference.
 
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#74
Gustavo, it would be much better to keep things civil ( the kind of "think before writing" comments). thank you. I know how to think you can believe me, my profession IS biology. It seem you did not understand that in the ground the tree is not limited in the amount of growth it can produce compare to when it's in a pot (or ground growing techniques will not exist). In a pot the total amount of growth is limited, this technique serve then to direct this limited amount in the most efficient way. You don't think it's working, ok, but did you ever tried? i did, several other people here that tried it are also saying it's working, as well as several growers or famous artists. It seems only the people who did not try are convinced it's not working. Oh yes and as a scientist, i'm likely to think that none of the techniques used in bonsai were ever tested with real scientific approach with sufficient sample numbers and/or controls, so one could say that nothing is proved lol And to me, when talking about bonsai techniques, i rarely give any credit to the opinion of people who have not used/tried the said techniques. And when i'm not sure, i try, and make myself my opinion, arguing endlessly will convince no-one. you THINK it's not working, I KNOW it works, that's the difference.
I'm a biologist too... and I've done my homework now... Let's see

“The annual growth of the tree is driven by available photosynthetic products after respiration losses are accounted for. The photosynthetic rate of foliage depends on the amount of light. The amount of photosynthates allocated to the growth of new tree segments is controlled by the light conditions and the amount of foliage on the mother tree segment. ” Perttunen et al. (1996) Annals of Botanty 77, 87-98

“The distribution of biomass between the growth of the branch and export to the trunk of the tree is controlled by the phenology of shoot (branchlet) growth” Ford & Ford (1990) Journal of Thoeretical Biology 146, 1-13.

“These five processes together define branch growth as a balance between positive and negative feedbacks. In the early years of branch growth the more rapid the foliage development, the more available biomass increment there is to produce more foliage. However, as the branch elongates and foliage is held further from the tree, greater foliage amounts comes to require greater amounts of branchwood for support. The potential biomass increment exported from the branch to the trunk first increases, as foliage increases, and then decreases as the demand for supporting branchwood increases.” Ford & Ford (1990) Journal of Theoretical Biology 146, 15-36.

“The relation between foliage growth and wood formation is highly expressed in the young tree. A young tree is essentially all crown, and the crown structure exerts a pronounced influence on the type of wood produced. The current-year shoot at the apex of a tree several years of age still constitutes a sizeable proportion of the total tree, and consequently it dominates wood production on the stem. As the young tree grows older and larger, the lateral branches assume an increasingly larger role in the production and regulation of wood formation. ” Larson (1969) Bulletin 74, Yale University

“Thus, like the terminal shoot, each lateral branch influences wood formation according to its position on the stem and its relative vigor ” Larson (1969) Bulletin 74, Yale University

“Retention of additional branches down the stem of the older tree, if open-grown, provides more foliage for wood production on the lower stem and also a greater regulatory influence on the wood produced. Conversely, removal of the lower branches through stand competition confines the sources for wood production and regula- tory processes to branches of the upper stem. ” Larson (1969) Bulletin 74, Yale University

“Contribution of branches to wood formation declines with age and length of branches” Larson (1969) Bulletin 74, Yale University

And because an image is better than a 1000 words.
Captura de ecrã 2018-06-14, às 15.37.24.png
From: Larson (1969) Bulletin 74, Yale University

This is also interesting...
Captura de ecrã 2018-06-14, às 15.31.57.png
From: Larson (1969) Bulletin 74, Yale University
 
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#77
lol i don't see what you are proving with these.... nor am i going to enter a "who's peeing the farthest contest". Again just try, i don't care convincing anyone not willing to be convinced. We have a saying here that can translate as "there is no worst deaf than one who doesn't want to hear". None of those growing principles unconnected to the method discussed will change the factual results of the technique i (among a lot of others) have seen on my trees. If you are a a biologist, i'm not going to learn you that hypothesis are only speculations untill confirmed by facts. You do hypothesis about it not working from those articles, i've seen the facts of what really happens when you actually do it.
 
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#78
Thanks for the work that you put into this @Gustavo Martins, we all appreciate it i'm sure.

As an academic myself, I can say with confidence that there is almost always disagreement in scientific literature on just about every point where it is possible to disagree with somebody. This is, in fact, a widely known reality of the world of academic publishing and scientific research.

lets keep this civil, and don't forget to keep your goal in mind as you type:

Do you really care about persuading people to see things your way, about proving people wrong, or is your goal to simply share your perspective, understanding, and research and set it, politely, along side the ideas of others? I'm sure you'll find greater pleasure in the latter.

Thank you,
Derek
 
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#79
I wrote to Mr. Tea asking him to clarify.

I also asked him if I could post an image of his response here. If he disagrees, I will summarize in my own words.

I am very curious myself, since the idea of removing solar panels for the purposes described by Mr. Tea seem counter intuitive at best. It is my understanding that the photosynthesis that occurs in the solar panels produces the sugars and carbs that lead to vascular growth and branch thickening.

It is true that many people can point to examples where they have removed all of the leaves along a branch, leaving only the terminal bud and a few leaves, and that branch has subsequently thickened. However, it does not seem rational, at least to me, to say that that same branch would not have thickened at the same rate, or would have thickened less, or more, if all of the leaves would have been left on it. We simply cannot know this.

Anyways, how great can the differences possibly be? One technique is probably not saving people 5-10 years of development, otherwise the difference with each technique would be very clear to all.

Bonsai shouldn't be a race anyways, at least I don't view it that way.
 
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#80
On a side matter, also found very interesting stuff for pines...

All images from: Larson (1969) Bulletin 74, Yale University
View attachment 196765 View attachment 196766
We experienced a much warmer spring than usual this spring, the result on my young red pinesis consistent with Larsen's observation that temperature is one factor in pattern of pine IMG_1032.JPG growth variation. The spring apical candle on the tree to the left is over 45 cm and the one on the right is 35 cm. Unusually long extensions for this time of year. Same water and fertilizer routine placed in the same location exposure as previous years.
 

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