Most if not all my trees have wire scars

Messages
90
Reaction score
103
Location
Nanaimo, BC
USDA Zone
8b
It seems that I have left the wires on pretty much everything too long.

Worst is the Albizias.

Least damaged is the spruces.

The vine maples are a little scarred.

The Tsuga heterophylla seems fine but I was very careful to make it super loose.

I have only been using 18 gauge / 1.25 mm wire because that is what the hardware store carries and I am only messing with small trees.

I thought I was checking the plants pretty often but I guess the spring-to-summer transition really kicked everyone into grow mode.

I am looking for useful advice, I guess.
 

Paradox

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,933
Reaction score
7,830
Location
Long Island, NY
USDA Zone
7a
Remove the wire if you haven't already.
The plants should heal the scars.

Next time you wire them, check them more often the following growing season and remove when you see it starting to bite in.

Different trees will add thickness to branches at different times.

I always find that my mugo and Scots pines really bulk up branches in August - September.
 

Firstflush

Chumono
Messages
795
Reaction score
940
Location
coastal sage scrub and chaparral
USDA Zone
10B
If you are feeding them real good and you got great weather in the immediate future, keep and extra careful eye out for growth spurts which will push the outer bark into the wire quicker then normal.
 
Messages
90
Reaction score
103
Location
Nanaimo, BC
USDA Zone
8b
If you are feeding them real good and you got great weather in the immediate future, keep and extra careful eye out for growth spurts which will push the outer bark into the wire quicker then normal.
I took all the wore off when I realized they were pinched up. Soil might be a thing tho. My albizia are in really good compost, maples are in potting soil and everything else that I had wired that didn't scar much is basically in inorganic perlite and diotomaceous gravel.
 

leatherback

The Treedeemer
Messages
11,846
Reaction score
20,951
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
Thje substrate may influence the rate of growth. But I would not change substrate to reduce wires being overgrown. You should remove the wires earlier instead.

Buuut.. Maybe show a picture. Some wire damage is a problem and is best trimmed off at some point. Other scars grow out in a matter of a few seasons.
 

Shibui

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
5,092
Reaction score
9,680
Location
Yackandandah, Australia
USDA Zone
9?
Thin branches and trunks change shape much quicker than many people realize. Thin wires do not need to be on for long. Soft, green shoots will set in a couple of weeks in the growing season.

Sound like the trees are still pretty small so they should heal up as they grow.
Chances are you will realize they also need pruning at some stage and that might get rid of a lot of the wire marks too.
Otherwise just chalk it up as a learning experience.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
31,836
Reaction score
43,731
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
have only been using 18 gauge / 1.25 mm wire because that is what the hardware store carries and I am only messing with small trees

That's quite thin. What type of wire?

If it's copper and you're not annealing it, that could cause more problems, but 18 gauge anything will bite in almost so fast, it shouldn't even be used, except for on the tips of the slowest growing finished trees.

Though it's good to practice wiring, 9 times out of 10, you'll find it safer and as or more effective to use some other out of the box method to introduce movement to such thin shoots, especially on "small" trees which reads "young" to me, which means, extra vigorous, which means, you are going to pull off the disappearing wire trick more often than not.

I leave stubs on things when pruning, these stubs can be used to anchor small branching, with guy wires or even the tree itself, without worry of bite.

You should also be aware of anything that will be cut off, and have no fear wrapping guy wires completely tight around these parts that don't matter, to drag small branches, along with the "massaging" technique, down onto position.

As long as the buds you intend to cut back to remain viable and exposed, it really doesn't matter what the end is doing. Tying branch ends together works. Dragging branch ends down and popping the leaf over a stub works. Dragging longer branches down and sticking a rock on them works.

I find bread ties to be pretty useful too. Not to wire regularly, but to create a "C" that will hold a thin branch down, but also allow enough flexibility to move as the tree grows.

Real trees don't contain much if any movement in internodes. Almost all direction changes are side branches. Using guy wires for downward movement, and "clip and grow", or side branches for right left movement, is a much more natural approach. I'd argue this is why folks are so fond of Walter's trees.

Sorce
 

Forsoothe!

Imperial Masterpiece
Messages
6,878
Reaction score
9,050
Location
Michigan
USDA Zone
6b
Wood doesn't grow in in winter until the buds start expanding in spring, so you can wire branches for longer while they are lignifying over winter. It's not quite as good as holding while growing, but it's a lot less troublesome because you are wiring branches without leaves, and cutting it off without leaves. Then you can put some guy wires on over vinyl tubing protected branches that need a little help staying lower, and that can stay on for a couple months without problems. Since you're cheap, you can buy vinyl coated steel 18 to 20 gauge wire which is comparable to ~2 to 2.5mm aluminum from any hardware store for ~$5. Don't try to unwind it, cut it off.
 

HENDO

Shohin
Messages
316
Reaction score
522
Location
Houston TX
USDA Zone
9a
Wiring technique could be a major factor here?

I find that wiring small branches with the 1.0-1.5mm range (detail wiring) is much more difficult than structural wiring with larger diameter wires/branches 2.0-4.0mm.

Using the smaller wires, I find myself working so closely to the branch that I often forget to coil the wire before it touches the branch, and just bend the wire against the branch instead.

Could be totally wrong, but just my own observations using this small wire. Also finding that a lot of artists don't even bother with 1.0-1.5mm unless doing detail wiring for a show. Just get some bigger plants 😁
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
14,305
Reaction score
33,886
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
Wood doesn't grow in in winter until the buds start expanding in spring, so you can wire branches for longer while they are lignifying over winter. It's not quite as good as holding while growing, but it's a lot less troublesome because you are wiring branches without leaves, and cutting it off without leaves. Then you can put some guy wires on over vinyl tubing protected branches that need a little help staying lower, and that can stay on for a couple months without problems. Since you're cheap, you can buy vinyl coated steel 18 to 20 gauge wire which is comparable to ~2 to 2.5mm aluminum from any hardware store for ~$5. Don't try to unwind it, cut it off.
If wood doesn’t grow in the winter, what good does wiring it in the winter do? And, reading your post, you are advocating removing that wire before growth begins in the spring?

Wiring branches works because the new growth, the new wood that the tree puts on will be in the desired position, and it will be strong enough to hold the new position.
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
14,305
Reaction score
33,886
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
That's quite thin. What type of wire?

If it's copper and you're not annealing it, that could cause more problems, but 18 gauge anything will bite in almost so fast, it shouldn't even be used, except for on the tips of the slowest growing finished trees.

Though it's good to practice wiring, 9 times out of 10, you'll find it safer and as or more effective to use some other out of the box method to introduce movement to such thin shoots, especially on "small" trees which reads "young" to me, which means, extra vigorous, which means, you are going to pull off the disappearing wire trick more often than not.

I leave stubs on things when pruning, these stubs can be used to anchor small branching, with guy wires or even the tree itself, without worry of bite.

You should also be aware of anything that will be cut off, and have no fear wrapping guy wires completely tight around these parts that don't matter, to drag small branches, along with the "massaging" technique, down onto position.

As long as the buds you intend to cut back to remain viable and exposed, it really doesn't matter what the end is doing. Tying branch ends together works. Dragging branch ends down and popping the leaf over a stub works. Dragging longer branches down and sticking a rock on them works.

I find bread ties to be pretty useful too. Not to wire regularly, but to create a "C" that will hold a thin branch down, but also allow enough flexibility to move as the tree grows.

Real trees don't contain much if any movement in internodes. Almost all direction changes are side branches. Using guy wires for downward movement, and "clip and grow", or side branches for right left movement, is a much more natural approach. I'd argue this is why folks are so fond of Walter's trees.

Sorce
Sorce, “real trees” grow at a macro level, with bonsai, we are working at a “micro” level.

Curves in branches on full size trees might occur over a three or four foot length of tree. With bonsai, we’re working in a matter of inches or less!

Using clip and griw can only shape at the internodes. Using wire, we can shape between the internodes. Using guy wires, that allows you to move a twig in one direction. With wire, you can put in curves in multiple directions.

By not using wire, you are limiting your styling options.
 
Messages
90
Reaction score
103
Location
Nanaimo, BC
USDA Zone
8b
To clarify, all my trees that I wired last winter/spring have some wire scars.

These trees are super young, not trees, and probably the youthful exuberance (spring of life as well as normal spring season) played a big part in them getting scared.

By talking about the soil I mean that some are innice compost and some are in bare rocks, bare rocks hasn't actually received fertilizer.

I've just been using aluminum. Maybe I should invest in a heavier gauge.
 
Messages
90
Reaction score
103
Location
Nanaimo, BC
USDA Zone
8b
Using the smaller wires, I find myself working so closely to the branch that I often forget to coil the wire before it touches the branch, and just bend the wire against the branch instead.
Please explain what you mean here. Seems like a technique kinda thing I have overlooked / not learned.
 
Messages
90
Reaction score
103
Location
Nanaimo, BC
USDA Zone
8b
It seems to me that, as the public intellectuals of bonsai say, there may be a meaningful difference between conifers and decidious techniques. My spruces are almost fine while my albizia and maple have loopdiloops up the stems.

I've taken the wire off of everything. But I wired a small flowering almond that is currently in front of my front door. This is about the highest traffic location I've got and if I can't monitor it here perhaps I should abandon wire.
 

sorce

Nonsense Rascal
Messages
31,836
Reaction score
43,731
Location
Berwyn, Il
USDA Zone
6.2
I've got and if I can't monitor it here

You don't have to monitor it there. Knowing ahead of time, when a particular tree puts most of it's bulk on, means you can know when you must check it.

I think generally, the best time to wire for hold and no bite, is fall. Since you are wiring hardened wood.
Where in spring, you are wiring less robust growth, which is easier to mark.

If you wanted to push a wire to move it, you would be better served to use a stick than a petiole.
This is the same principle.

Sorce
 

Adair M

Pinus Envy
Messages
14,305
Reaction score
33,886
Location
NEGeorgia
USDA Zone
7a
Not understanding patience as a tool, is limiting.

Sorce
Lol!!!

Sorce, I’ve been doing bonsai for over 50 years! Believe me I KNOW about patience!!!

I also know about results!
 

leatherback

The Treedeemer
Messages
11,846
Reaction score
20,951
Location
Northern Germany
USDA Zone
7
in the end, it is about taking the wire off in time, and knowing when that time is to be expected. For larch, the difference between fine and scars can ben 2 week in late spring.

I wire my trees in fall, and unwire deciduous during spring. then I wire again and the wire cones off 4-8 weeks later. I might trim and wire at that time again.

I prefer to wire younger flexible branches where possible.
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom