[POLL] BC (and Red Maple) collection/yamadori's this season in the SE USA -- discussion on horticultural-timing of doing the deed!!

When is the earliest "OK" time to collect BC's in the SE USA?

  • December

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • 1st half Jan

    Votes: 1 6.3%
  • 2nd half Jan

    Votes: 3 18.8%
  • 1st half Feb

    Votes: 7 43.8%
  • 2nd half Feb

    Votes: 10 62.5%
  • 1st Half March

    Votes: 5 31.3%

  • Total voters
    16

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
[edited-in: I altered Poll phrasing from "optimal" to "OK", was my mistake - we already know optimal lol - so, "OK" is inherently subjective, for me I'd say it's acceptable to collect when I know I'll be getting a minimum of 4/5 success rate, whereas waiting to 'optimal' is more of a 19/20 success rate IE losses are pretty rare]

Poll -- You can choose 3 of the time-frames, this'll get far more precision by having the poll-choices split & allowing multiple(3) answers per poll-reply, instead of "Dec, Jan or Feb?"

[Note: dates are "for convenience", I - like most collectors - only use the calendar as rough guidance, it's the species - even the specimen themselves - and how it's "waking up" that determines optimal timing to lift a tree from the ground!]

I'm VERY much hoping @Zach Smith can kinda "put aside commercial thoughts" or 'trade secrets' because my interest here is explicitly from viewing his site the other day. It's my go-to site when showing non-bonsai folk what BC's look like "when new"(new-to-us, I mean!), at any rate I noticed the other day that there's plenty of offerings from "Winter 2020".......I googled because I couldn't be sure if that meant last winter or this winter, colloquially it means this winter and, based on your site's wording & presentation Zach, I do suspect those are specimen you've pulled this winter (ie in the past ~month)

I only collected 1 Maple last year, no BC, am certainly "making up" for it this year and already have an awesome (quite large too) area that I've got full thumbs-up on, and I know I "could" go and collect right now, I know the act of trunk-chopping some mostly-into-dormancy BC will "wake it up" and cause backbudding, but then I'm in that situation of needing to be prepared to protect all this backbudded-growth until, say, February (here in FL, longer elsewhere IE where you are, Zach!) so I'm just curious about collecting right now and "being ready for the cold days" (but otherwise having a 1-2 month head-start!!!), hell I know I've heard anecdotes of lifting BC's in the summer and them doing quite OK, but if I'm being honest I'd assume the worst window of the year to lift one would be early fall through ~early January, since timing is entirely - AFAIK - entirely based around the new buddings & the environment they'll be in. Hence, right-at-budbreaking is optimal, it's when the specimen was ready to explode vegetatively.....and, conversely, any "Before spring, subjecting the backbudded growth to spend its infancy in the coldest moments of the year", would be the the most sub-optimal....but then I see a BC-guru who's seemingly already done a good deal of his collects for this current winter so am left confused!

Heck maybe you(Zach) have an artificial setup for them (greenhouse/etc) but i'd be worried here in Tampa-area and I know you get a lot colder there, I've got some recently-budded yamma's right now and know I've gotta take them inside 2-3 nights this coming week as nighttimes hit mid-30deg's, w/o an artificial growing setup I'm left very confused about lifting trees when they're still "in early dormancy, during a time that's still many weeks from 'optimal for vegetation' phase beginning", so any insight would be appreciated :D

Very eager for this year, especially having learned some old, un-ID'd specimen of mine were Nyssa's (still cannot get answer on which cultivar..) so now I've got 3 species (bc/maple/nyssa) to hunt and the area I'm allowed to do this in is nearly 5 acres, sooo stoked for this year's collection season (and would be upset to find I waited too-long...I'd always thought that there's "a truly 'optimal' moment" for lifting them, this moment being right-before bud breaking on that particular specimen, and that the earlier you do it, the riskier it becomes -- even if the tree doesn't die, it can be 'stunted' a bit by the stressors and have a less-than-stellar first season of growth)

Thanks for any input (oh and Happy Holidays to everyone doing that!!!!)
 
Last edited:

Zach Smith

Omono
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,789
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
Couple comments: 1. "Winter 20xx" means the January that is the heart of winter for me. So Winter 2020 meant January-February of 2020, not now. I rarely collect anything in December, as it confers no advantage and there's too much holiday stuff going on - though I am in hopes of doing a little this coming week, depending on circumstances (so I don't have any new BC's or other specimens yet for the 2021 season). 2. With regard to temperature swings post-collection, this seems to be a perennial challenge. No, I don't have a greenhouse to lug tubs full of BC's to and from post-collection. There have been occasions where we get a warm snap in February followed by renewed cold in March and lasting into April. This can set back new material, in particular BC's which I collect mostly south of my location where they tend to wake starting in February anyway. For the most part, though, the trees I collect are able to weather the weather and wake up fine. I figure the trees need to have at least a certain degree of toughness if they're going to live in shallow pots anyway, so the challenge of temperature swings may help weed out weaker specimens. Who knows?

As far as "trade secrets" of collecting material go, I have shared just about everything I know about collecting on this forum. It's hard work, often miserable when the weather sucks, and not everyone wants to or can do it. I love collecting trees like I love bonsai itself, and you won't do either for long unless you really do love it.
 

Trenthany

Chumono
Messages
868
Reaction score
667
Location
Arcadia, FL
USDA Zone
10A
Couple comments: 1. "Winter 20xx" means the January that is the heart of winter for me. So Winter 2020 meant January-February of 2020, not now. I rarely collect anything in December, as it confers no advantage and there's too much holiday stuff going on - though I am in hopes of doing a little this coming week, depending on circumstances (so I don't have any new BC's or other specimens yet for the 2021 season). 2. With regard to temperature swings post-collection, this seems to be a perennial challenge. No, I don't have a greenhouse to lug tubs full of BC's to and from post-collection. There have been occasions where we get a warm snap in February followed by renewed cold in March and lasting into April. This can set back new material, in particular BC's which I collect mostly south of my location where they tend to wake starting in February anyway. For the most part, though, the trees I collect are able to weather the weather and wake up fine. I figure the trees need to have at least a certain degree of toughness if they're going to live in shallow pots anyway, so the challenge of temperature swings may help weed out weaker specimens. Who knows?

As far as "trade secrets" of collecting material go, I have shared just about everything I know about collecting on this forum. It's hard work, often miserable when the weather sucks, and not everyone wants to or can do it. I love collecting trees like I love bonsai itself, and you won't do either for long unless you really do love it.
I’m with you Zach I love collecting! I grab something new every chance I get! Lol. I’m getting better at it. I saved a bald cypress middle of summer and it lived. It’ll make an interesting tree one day. Main trunk died except the very base so I’m thinking of going for lighting struck, kind of a reverse flat top. It’s got several branches popped just above ground so I am thinking of carving the 12-16” dead trunk to look weathered and shattered instead of saw cut. My other idea was to just cut back to the new leader and ground layer off the stump in a few years. I’ll be starting from scratch with a lot less interest but might give me the opportunity to try for a formal upright.
 

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
Couple comments: 1. "Winter 20xx" means the January that is the heart of winter for me. So Winter 2020 meant January-February of 2020, not now. I rarely collect anything in December, as it confers no advantage and there's too much holiday stuff going on - though I am in hopes of doing a little this coming week, depending on circumstances (so I don't have any new BC's or other specimens yet for the 2021 season). 2. With regard to temperature swings post-collection, this seems to be a perennial challenge. No, I don't have a greenhouse to lug tubs full of BC's to and from post-collection. There have been occasions where we get a warm snap in February followed by renewed cold in March and lasting into April. This can set back new material, in particular BC's which I collect mostly south of my location where they tend to wake starting in February anyway. For the most part, though, the trees I collect are able to weather the weather and wake up fine. I figure the trees need to have at least a certain degree of toughness if they're going to live in shallow pots anyway, so the challenge of temperature swings may help weed out weaker specimens. Who knows?

As far as "trade secrets" of collecting material go, I have shared just about everything I know about collecting on this forum. It's hard work, often miserable when the weather sucks, and not everyone wants to or can do it. I love collecting trees like I love bonsai itself, and you won't do either for long unless you really do love it.
So well-put, thank you for posting :)

That 'winter 20xx' thing had me thrown and, well, wasn't particularly difficult to imagine a 20x10' tented greenhouse where some old-school lighting provides both heat & lumens to the newly-budding trees ;D ((lol am thinking of the Live Oak stick-in-pot that I have now, over a month old and just-now sporting some 2mm buds that are about to open - I use halogen lamps on it some days, during this critical period! Obviously it's the worst time of year to have such a trunk-chopped yamadori but it was a circumstance of that-or-nothing and its taproot was already taken care of so I went for him!))

What about working on *existing* BC's? Mine are all 'quasi-dormant', having branches of half-brown (or fallen) foliage that falls off if I hose it hard enough, with other branches displaying live, lush green growth at the tips (this mix is on every one of my BC's)
On these BC's, I have a lot of hard prunes to make this season -- would you consider "optimal time" for this to be the same time as "optimal collection time"? I guess I'd thought that, but am now re-thinking it because I'll be removing a pretty large # of primaries from the trunks (that'd grown for 2-3yrs and are no longer wanted and/or needed) and I don't want them swollen with buds&resources when I go to cut them off.....honestly just keep thinking I should cut them off now, the only thing stopping me is "new growth now is bad" but rebound growth from removed primaries shouldn't be too strong it should just be some extra vigor to the already-active tips (maybe awaken some more tips) Would you time removals the same time, mid/late Feb? (I'm guessing that's where you voted? I'd vote late feb as 'optimal' though I'd collect up to 2 or 3 as early as now if the circumstances made it opportune, thankfully no rushing necessary this year :) )
Also- wiring? I've been wiring them now, while I can strip-away leaves....is this poor practice, either the wiring or the stripping of leaves to make it so I'm not wiring half-dead leaves against the branches?

Thanks a ton for insights, am soooo stoked because I have two (maybe 3 actually) that I expect I can close the chop wounds on this season :D Oh btw I'll recheck your site, of course, but IIRC you do recommend trunk-chops be done diagonally, right? Then, ideally, you're using a backbudded primary from higher-up on that slope so its branch-collar can just 'roll-down' over the chop wound? Am reviewing my approach before actually getting wet this year (I have to go in standing water, I wonder if that's the case for most of you other bc hunters? I've gotten bc's from 'mucky land' that wasn't actually standing water 1 time, every other time I was never able to see / only to feel the bases of potential collections :p )
 

Zach Smith

Omono
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,789
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
So well-put, thank you for posting :)

That 'winter 20xx' thing had me thrown and, well, wasn't particularly difficult to imagine a 20x10' tented greenhouse where some old-school lighting provides both heat & lumens to the newly-budding trees ;D ((lol am thinking of the Live Oak stick-in-pot that I have now, over a month old and just-now sporting some 2mm buds that are about to open - I use halogen lamps on it some days, during this critical period! Obviously it's the worst time of year to have such a trunk-chopped yamadori but it was a circumstance of that-or-nothing and its taproot was already taken care of so I went for him!))

What about working on *existing* BC's? Mine are all 'quasi-dormant', having branches of half-brown (or fallen) foliage that falls off if I hose it hard enough, with other branches displaying live, lush green growth at the tips (this mix is on every one of my BC's)
On these BC's, I have a lot of hard prunes to make this season -- would you consider "optimal time" for this to be the same time as "optimal collection time"? I guess I'd thought that, but am now re-thinking it because I'll be removing a pretty large # of primaries from the trunks (that'd grown for 2-3yrs and are no longer wanted and/or needed) and I don't want them swollen with buds&resources when I go to cut them off.....honestly just keep thinking I should cut them off now, the only thing stopping me is "new growth now is bad" but rebound growth from removed primaries shouldn't be too strong it should just be some extra vigor to the already-active tips (maybe awaken some more tips) Would you time removals the same time, mid/late Feb? (I'm guessing that's where you voted? I'd vote late feb as 'optimal' though I'd collect up to 2 or 3 as early as now if the circumstances made it opportune, thankfully no rushing necessary this year :) )
Also- wiring? I've been wiring them now, while I can strip-away leaves....is this poor practice, either the wiring or the stripping of leaves to make it so I'm not wiring half-dead leaves against the branches?

Thanks a ton for insights, am soooo stoked because I have two (maybe 3 actually) that I expect I can close the chop wounds on this season :D Oh btw I'll recheck your site, of course, but IIRC you do recommend trunk-chops be done diagonally, right? Then, ideally, you're using a backbudded primary from higher-up on that slope so its branch-collar can just 'roll-down' over the chop wound? Am reviewing my approach before actually getting wet this year (I have to go in standing water, I wonder if that's the case for most of you other bc hunters? I've gotten bc's from 'mucky land' that wasn't actually standing water 1 time, every other time I was never able to see / only to feel the bases of potential collections :p )
I'm not familiar enough with the quirks of your local climate to advise on BC work at this time. I know you tend to get temperature ups and downs, so if you cut on your trees too much you might prompt premature growth which could be set back when the next cool snap arrives. If it were me, I'd just wait till late February to start my work. As for wiring, I don't see any problem with doing that task now.

No, I don't recommend trunk-chops on large BC's (trunk base 3"+) be done diagonally; it's exactly the opposite. If your leader really gets strong, which is almost always the case, you can quickly develop a reverse taper at the diagonal chop point. My first trunk chop is horizontal, followed in year two of three with a "half-diagonal" second chop. By the next year you can carve the original chop more fully diagonal. That prevents the reverse taper.
 

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
I'm not familiar enough with the quirks of your local climate to advise on BC work at this time. I know you tend to get temperature ups and downs, so if you cut on your trees too much you might prompt premature growth which could be set back when the next cool snap arrives. If it were me, I'd just wait till late February to start my work. As for wiring, I don't see any problem with doing that task now.

No, I don't recommend trunk-chops on large BC's (trunk base 3"+) be done diagonally; it's exactly the opposite. If your leader really gets strong, which is almost always the case, you can quickly develop a reverse taper at the diagonal chop point. My first trunk chop is horizontal, followed in year two of three with a "half-diagonal" second chop. By the next year you can carve the original chop more fully diagonal. That prevents the reverse taper.

Thanks!! For your view of optimal-collection times, what indicators are you looking for? In past years, I've basically just waited til I saw the first specs of green on a BC grove somewhere/anywhere locally and take that as my sign to get-going!

Re collecting-times, and pre-season pruning times, both want to be done before too much resources go from roots to the trunk/shoots....would you consider the optimal pruning period, and optimal collection period, to be equivalent? I can't help but think the pruning would be better done before the collections (not this early, for reasons you mention), because with a collection you're 're-starting' it to a large degree, whereas with the prunings you're altering an established tree and - the longer time spent waiting - the more resources are going into the branches you're going to be cutting-off! Guess I'm just looking at it now like "Should I wait til mid-/late- Feb and spend a couple weeks pruning *then* a couple weeks collecting? Or should I do them at the same time, just 'overlapped'?"

Re "no diagonal chopping" and 'bulge'/inverse taper there.... I think I was laboring under a false impression that some bulge there would, in the years in-between the initial fattening of the leader-primary and the finished product, that the inherent trunk-growth would effectively erase that.. (I also can't help but think how you could simply wire the leader in the same direction of the bulging so that the bulge, as part of the leader's branch-collar, would 'flow' nicely from the trunk...gah I gotta draw it to explain what I mean, for instance using the leader-primary on your sloped-cut to actually increasetaper from chop-to-top! Like this:

20210115_141329.jpg

[note that the 1st image has 'kill' at the top-- I simply mean the primary-leader is to be the sole branch in that area, otherwise inverse will definitely occur. But, if it's just 1 primary at the spot, sure it's branch-collar will protrude from the trunking (which'd potentially cause inversed taper) but, so long as that branch is angled into position properly, the collar would simply become part of the taper!]

The following example/approach is something that I found recently, caught my eye on some site, anyway I gotta say this is about "as bad as it could be" insofar as primaries-at-chop but, if I'm observing this artist's approach properly, they're essentially holding-back the smaller primaries on the wound's side, to help with closure without ever letting their collars get large-enough to be problematic!
bald cypress - all THICK AF BRANCHING LOOKS SOOOO MUCH BETTER, fewer & thicker!!.jpg
/gotta say that^ is a pretty novel approach to these eyes, would be lying if I said I'm not considering trying it myself...would be a PITA digging-out such a large trunk, and can only imagine how insane it'll look when first potted as a stick-in-pot lol, but with the aggressive/quick, strongly apical growth patterns of BC's I suspect this^ could actually work out well (or are you seeing that and thinking it's gonna be a flop / have unfixable inversed tapering at that site forever?)

Thanks for taking the time dropping wisdom in here it is very, very appreciated man :)
 

Zach Smith

Omono
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,789
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
Well, that sumo cypress is a good example of how to avoid a reverse taper. With that said, the tapering transition has been mishandled (notice how your eye is invariably drawn to the two acute angles on the trunk where the original chop occurred - that's how you find the flaw in a tree) and will never look right unless the leader is completely regrown and the crown redeveloped. This was no doubt done by frequent pruning of the emergent leader, then development of the crown prematurely.

If you angle-chop your trunk in the beginning and get a reverse taper, it won't grow out in time. Wiring the leader in that direction doesn't help; the overgrown callus looks like a bubble, and keeps on looking that way.
 

Timbo

Shohin
Messages
495
Reaction score
260
Location
Kalkaska, MI
USDA Zone
4b
I'm not familiar enough with the quirks of your local climate to advise on BC work at this time. I know you tend to get temperature ups and downs, so if you cut on your trees too much you might prompt premature growth which could be set back when the next cool snap arrives. If it were me, I'd just wait till late February to start my work. As for wiring, I don't see any problem with doing that task now.

No, I don't recommend trunk-chops on large BC's (trunk base 3"+) be done diagonally; it's exactly the opposite. If your leader really gets strong, which is almost always the case, you can quickly develop a reverse taper at the diagonal chop point. My first trunk chop is horizontal, followed in year two of three with a "half-diagonal" second chop. By the next year you can carve the original chop more fully diagonal. That prevents the reverse taper.
Do you do that on all your trees? Or are you just referring to BC's?
 

Zach Smith

Omono
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,789
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
I start all collected trees off with horizontal chops. You just can't predict where a bud may break on the downside of an angled chop. If you don't get one at the low end of the angle, there's a good chance you'll get some dieback down the trunk. By chopping straight across, you have the opportunity to select a low point to angle cut in year two. I've found it just works a lot more reliably.
 

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
Well, that sumo cypress is a good example of how to avoid a reverse taper. With that said, the tapering transition has been mishandled (notice how your eye is invariably drawn to the two acute angles on the trunk where the original chop occurred - that's how you find the flaw in a tree) and will never look right unless the leader is completely regrown and the crown redeveloped. This was no doubt done by frequent pruning of the emergent leader, then development of the crown prematurely.
Would love elaboration to be sure I understand you...when you said "unless the leader is completely regrown and the crown redeveloped", could you specify how you'd do it if you were given this tree (and *forced* to work on it lol, no "I woudl sell it" answers ;D )

I certainly see those two acute angles you mention...while another way of saying the same thing, really, I do see them but I envision them as "tapering bumps" that, over time, would eventually flow/taper-smoothly....frankly I'm having trouble understanding why you think otherwise because there's no inversing at all the "sharp angles" aren't inverse angles, so all that'd be needed to get a smooth trunk-to-canopy taper would the continued filling-in & smoothing of that area which, unless I'm missing something, would be achieved in a few/several more years of its development (which is probably the time needed to finish the branches' ramification anyways)
 

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
@Zach Smith oh by the way it really made me smile reading your endorsement that that was a good approach for "crown completion" of a BC (I mean the first sentence from your post, Re the overall idea not that particular artist's work here) because the idea was tempting the heck out of me, a big slope with multiple primaries to close it.
My instinct is that, initially, they probably did NOT allow so many primaries in that area, instead allowing them to grow & develop after the true-leader had begun making some 'callous ring' at the wounding (I say this because I would've pictured that, if they were all included on the slope from the start, the area would be inverse/swollen...am expecting it's all about keeping those "side-of-the-wound" primaries in-check, if you 'let them run' you'd probably get inverse real quick no?
 
Last edited:

Zach Smith

Omono
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,789
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
Let's see if I can clarify. This tree was chopped much closer to the base than I would have done - though I have no idea what the trunk above the chop looked like at the start, so maybe that was all that could be done. So with the diameter of the trunk at the chop as the starting point, to make an appropriate tapering transition would require allowing the leader to literally run wild for probably two growing seasons, possibly more. The thickness of the base of this tree appears to be something on the order of 6" when measured 6" above the soil, and that's a WAG of course judging by the buttressing, etc. So that makes the diameter of the chop point a solid 4". I don't usually have a chop-point diameter of more than 3" to start with, and that's 24-28" from the soil so I have a lot less of an uphill battle to make it look right. In this case of this tree, the artist was trying to make a 4" expanse taper down very quickly to the thickness of the leader at the transition point, which looks to be no more than 2". That's why those angles are so acute and don't look right. How do you fix it? Put the tree in a larger tub, first of all, and then rechop the leader a couple of inches above the transition point and let a new leader run for a couple of years (or more, as needed). Don't think about developing side branches on the leader or keeping it cut back, as that will only get you back to the same place you are now.

Your idea that those acute angles are going to somehow go away with several more years of development with the tree left as-is is, IMO, wishful thinking.
 

Timbo

Shohin
Messages
495
Reaction score
260
Location
Kalkaska, MI
USDA Zone
4b
The thickness of the base of this tree appears to be something on the order of 6" when measured 6" above the soil, and that's a WAG of course judging by the buttressing, etc. So that makes the diameter of the chop point a solid 4". I don't usually have a chop-point diameter of more than 3" to start with, and that's 24-28" from the soil so I have a lot less of an uphill battle to make it look right. In this case of this tree, the artist was trying to make a 4" expanse taper down very quickly to the thickness of the leader at the transition point, which looks to be no more than 2".
Ugh, I think I need to chop a 5 1/2-inch American hornbeam trunk to a 11in high 1/2 in thick branch this year. :confused:
 

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
In this case of this tree, the artist was trying to make a 4" expanse taper down very quickly to the thickness of the leader at the transition point, which looks to be no more than 2". That's why those angles are so acute and don't look right. How do you fix it? Put the tree in a larger tub, first of all
Agree it needs a larger container to fuel the proper growth of that top (and wouldn't be letting anything but the top leader primary grow)

But the concept of that - successfully using >1 primary to close the large (tapered)wound - if that works then no matter how you do the math you're able to close bigger wounds in any given period of time, getting to final results in quicker time...if & when it can be done this way, I wonder, then, why it wouldn't be desirable (or are you saying that it would be, at least for some, it would be valid, in-context of large/fatty specimen like that?)

Your idea that those acute angles are going to somehow go away with several more years of development with the tree left as-is is, IMO, wishful thinkin
ROFL man of course I wish that my trees don't have inverse-taper :p Meant to ask your thoughts on "using dremel on the bark to thin-out thick-bark scarred areas"? Have heard of people doing this, and have plenty of scar-tissue but fear it'd just expand if touched!

Re "wishful thinking" I fear you misunderstood what I was trying to convey, I was trying to convey using the leader going away from the trunk (like I drew, not like I've been developing all of my own), for instance here's a good picture-example of using the leader's-collar in the way I meant:
bc done as flat top from arboretum similar to bc.png
That ^ left-leaning top primary-leader branch coming off the cut is angled-with its collar or "away from trunking", my thinking & illustration was to try saying ^ this style only even more emphasis on 'the taper' (for instance, avoiding having any branches near the base of the diagonal wound, like this example ^ does have)

[off-topic but Zach do you have ANY knowledge on how aggressively I can cut Rubrum/Red Maple roots? I collect them alongside my BC's and always leave WAYYY more roots on them, wanna be more aggressive but yet to find an answer....actually made a thread on it but figured to ask you here while I have your ear :) ]
 

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
While I'm not saying I'm happy with the final design of this thing (looks artificial to me for some reason..I'd be scruffin'-up the bark of the leader alllll over :p ) but this is same style/approach I think:
bald cypress bonsai awesome style.png
and damn lol was going to post this one but then realize it's actually your work :p
bc from 2013 from zach's site's for sale page.jpg

Isn't that ^ same principle?

I remember when I came home with my first BC's the first year I'd gone collecting, once leaders were chosen I drilled Tap-Con screws into the chop wounds to use anchors to pull the branch/leader forward into the trunk, my thinking being "it's a continuation of the trunk" and having had no prior experience with thick-callousing material (was still doing almost all Bougainvilleas when I began collecting bc's/maples/etc) and, yes, now I've got a pair I'm wishing, hoping, and genuinely half-expecting I can get to the finish line w/o inverse but only time'll tell for those ones, it's all about improving with each one & with all of them over time :)
[beautiful work there BTW in my/YOUR 2nd pic here^!!! Hope that one got closer to 1k than 300, am quite sure it did/woulda!!]
 

Zach Smith

Omono
Messages
1,513
Reaction score
2,789
Location
St. Francisville, LA
USDA Zone
8
Agree it needs a larger container to fuel the proper growth of that top (and wouldn't be letting anything but the top leader primary grow)

But the concept of that - successfully using >1 primary to close the large (tapered)wound - if that works then no matter how you do the math you're able to close bigger wounds in any given period of time, getting to final results in quicker time...if & when it can be done this way, I wonder, then, why it wouldn't be desirable (or are you saying that it would be, at least for some, it would be valid, in-context of large/fatty specimen like that?)


ROFL man of course I wish that my trees don't have inverse-taper :p Meant to ask your thoughts on "using dremel on the bark to thin-out thick-bark scarred areas"? Have heard of people doing this, and have plenty of scar-tissue but fear it'd just expand if touched!

Re "wishful thinking" I fear you misunderstood what I was trying to convey, I was trying to convey using the leader going away from the trunk (like I drew, not like I've been developing all of my own), for instance here's a good picture-example of using the leader's-collar in the way I meant:
Whatever works is fine. I was just offering my view on the likelihood that in a small container, a tree with that big a trunk chop is somehow going to erase those acute angles in any timeframe that would satisfy most of us. The smaller the chop, the faster and easier it is to heal it and make it blend in. A 4" chop will take quite some time to heal, and if in a bonsai container you aren't allowing unrestrained growth in your leader you won't get the desired result. That was the problem with that sumo tree - the artist called an end to the tapering transition when they finished out the crown prematurely.

That ^ left-leaning top primary-leader branch coming off the cut is angled-with its collar or "away from trunking", my thinking & illustration was to try saying ^ this style only even more emphasis on 'the taper' (for instance, avoiding having any branches near the base of the diagonal wound, like this example ^ does have)

[off-topic but Zach do you have ANY knowledge on how aggressively I can cut Rubrum/Red Maple roots? I collect them alongside my BC's and always leave WAYYY more roots on them, wanna be more aggressive but yet to find an answer....actually made a thread on it but figured to ask you here while I have your ear :) ]
I can't comment on how aggressively you can cut rubrum's roots and end up with an intact tree in five years. I've had rot set in in year three at the chop point, which usually leads to death down into the root zone. Recently I've been keeping the original root ball right near the trunk intact, hoping to prevent the dieback. It's been a mixed bag, but shows some promise.
 

SU2

Omono
Messages
1,322
Reaction score
368
Location
FL (Tampa area / Gulf-Coast)
USDA Zone
9b
Whatever works is fine. I was just offering my view on the likelihood that in a small container, a tree with that big a trunk chop is somehow going to erase those acute angles in any timeframe that would satisfy most of us. The smaller the chop, the faster and easier it is to heal it and make it blend in. A 4" chop will take quite some time to heal, and if in a bonsai container you aren't allowing unrestrained growth in your leader you won't get the desired result. That was the problem with that sumo tree - the artist called an end to the tapering transition when they finished out the crown prematurely.
SO glad to read this, yes I fully agree with you and in fact I see it ALL the time (trees that still need structural girthening but are in 'show' containers...since I never bought an already-finished bonsai, I don't have any 'show' containers just grow containers...how I understood it *should* be but there's a massive % of trees that aren't done being developed but still shoved in small pots, that BC was certainly one! I'd only used it to demonstrate that specific type of horizontal-wounding since it was an extreme example)

In the interim I browsed (my annual browsing :D ) my BC's folder a bit and @rockm 's beastly beauty here caught my eye as precisely what I was conveying w/ the others (only, as he should, he's got it in an appropriate container...well if we consider solid-walls appropriate still :p )
BC *massive* from rockm.jpg
....frickin' wow what a looker, not even just 'has a knee' but "has fluting appropriate-to the knee", totally awesome catch there @rock, I would LOVE updates on this guy it gives me some hope because I can certainly see a lil inverse going on at that wound site, nevermind that such quality stock warrants updates anyways so if at all able I'd love to see a pic (or link, if it's already elsewhere)

~~~~~~~~~~~

While not precisely the same, I found something fascinating Re wounding on BC's that I'm hoping @Mellow Mullet can help me understand, I've got these pics of yours Mellow:
BC's aWound Closure before nibbling.jpg a finished, bulging wound-site, which you then:BC's bWound closure after nibbling.jpg cut right off!

It appears you remove mostly bark but I would LOVE to know any&everything you can tell me about this....BC's, in my experience, will swell in any spot you stare too long. I literally score/scratch my BC's in spots where I want thickening or better taper...but what you did here, so far as I knew it would cause a bigger callousing which, obviously, wouldn't be something you'd be aiming for!
Have tried removing areas where there was an especially thick callous on the side of the trunk from a prior branch's removal, try to remove more deadwood & "try creating a deeper hollow for it to roll-into" but no matter what I do it seemed to inevitably just cause thickening so I now just use that principle for thickening, there ^ it appears you're using it for thinning a callous, I gotta know what's what on that :D
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom