Trunk taper development with minimum scars

Cajunrider

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For trees that have beautiful barks that we want to preserve, how do we develop good taper with minimum scars?

I'm asking because I have a rainbow eucalyptus with constantly changing beautiful color bark. Having scars definitely is a minus on such trees.
 

0soyoung

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You're captive to the nature of the species. The 'lip' around a wound is covered with younger bark. It will eventually be just like the other bark (but who knows how long?).

So make cuts toward the back. You never know exactly where this will be until you choose a front --> slant all cuts to the same side. Making uro is the ace up your sleeve (to recover from a 'damn-I-wish-I-hadn't-done-that').
 

RobertB

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You could also try sacrifices you don’t let thicken to much. Say around an inch or so. This is definitly the slow way but should minimize your scaring.
 

Shibui

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I use early pruning to get plenty of leaders. Multiple leaders can add just as much bulk to a trunk as a single leader but when you prune back you have several smaller cuts rather than a single huge one. When the leaders are from different levels on the trunk each adds to the girth below which means even better taper down low. Multiple leaders also give you the opportunity to selectively prune for better taper (leave a smaller leader, prune the largest at each point) and for trunk movement (cut the straightest and vertical ones and leave the one that moves a little to one side or the other)
Promoting horizontal lateral surface roots and removing deeper vertical roots also seems to promote flared trunk base and adds to taper, even without sacrifice branches.
Time is the other factor to consider when producing good trunks with few scars. I'm happy to add 5-10 years to development if it will give me a scar free, superior trunk.
 

Cajunrider

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About the only big cut I want to make is to get rid of the stupid lazy S I created. Thankfully the tree back bud easily so I think I can develop the trunk with multiple small branch cuts. It is 2.5 yr old and the bark peels have already shown the multiple colors.

PS: I forgot to add some thing for size perspective. The pot is a 55 gal plastic drum cut off so it's around 2 feet across.

20190514_174657.jpg
20190514_174708.jpg
 

peterbone

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Growing out the lateral roots while suppressing downward growing ones will increase the basal flare of the tree, which will produce taper without scars. This is best done in the ground. Many of the best trees with great taper and no scars are likely from yamadori that developed that low taper through root growth and a lot of time.
 
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Cajunrider

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Growing out the lateral roots while suppressing downward growing ones will increase the basal flare of the tree, which will produce taper without scars. This is best done in the ground. Many of the best trees with great taper and no scars are likely from yamadori that developed that low taper through root growth and a lot of time.
I can't put it in the ground. I planted three dozens in the ground and had some as tall as 12 ft and they all died two winters ago. This one is in this very large shallow pot with only 6" of soil. A year ago when I potted it, the tap root was cut and all other roots arranged out radially. It is healthy and growing well. I'm pretty certain that under the soil now my nebari is developing. When I repot it next year to replace the soil, I will find out how well my root flare develops. I know that the roots have reached the edge of the pot already and the root mass is getting thick so the lateral roots are healthy.
 
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Gene Deci

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Not to hijack the thread, but I would love to hear more about the Van Meer technique. I am wondering if anyone has any experience using this or something like it on material that does not heal scars well (or maybe at all) such as Ginkgo.
I tried it a couple of times years ago. It didn't work. It might be possible to make it to work, but not easily.
 

BobbyLane

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About the only big cut I want to make is to get rid of the stupid lazy S I created. Thankfully the tree back bud easily so I think I can develop the trunk with multiple small branch cuts. It is 2.5 yr old and the bark peels have already shown the multiple colors.

PS: I forgot to add some thing for size perspective. The pot is a 55 gal plastic drum cut off so it's around 2 feet across.

View attachment 242330
View attachment 242331
i would be largely concerned about the reverse taper in that trunk. will take a very long time to correct. scars can be obscured, healed over, carved. inverse taper will just get worse.
 

Cajunrider

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i would be largely concerned about the reverse taper in that trunk. will take a very long time to correct. scars can be obscured, healed over, carved. inverse taper will just get worse.
Though it doesn't have much taper, there is no reverse taper in the trunk. I couldn't get a camera angle at the base and took the pictures from the top down.
 

peterbone

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Not to hijack the thread, but I would love to hear more about the Van Meer technique. I am wondering if anyone has any experience using this or something like it on material that does not heal scars well (or maybe at all) such as Ginkgo.
I don't know of anyone who's used the Van Meer technique successfully, inluding Van Meer himself. It's pretty much impossible to bend the flaps over without breaking them and to line up the cambium layers well enough.
 

Paulpash

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If you want to heal a chop site there's a few things you can do to speed it up :

1. Allowing gross growth above the chop site. Resources moving past the chop site is essential for callus to form.

2. Buds popping at the sides of a chop are also beneficial and provide 'localised' healing as opposed to global or whole tree healing in the case of #1.

3. Use a very sharp saw. Clean up the edges of the chop with a sharp knife, eg grafting knife, box cutter. Seal to avoid dessication. If possible, cut from leader to a back branch. This serves 2 purposes : it keeps the chop point at the back of the tree and out of sight. Secondly, the back branch will serve as a 'point of energy' for the tree, ie it should not die back beyond it.

4. You can use the Ebihara technique and chop in stages. See MarkyScott's excellent 'Ebihara maples' thread for more details.

5. Do not expect a tree growing in a bonsai pot to heal a major chop quickly. A large container or the ground allows max growth. Obviously, give it optimum conditions - lots of sun, water and fertilizer.

Unless you are a bonsai genius the van Meer technique is fiction. Just try it and see how long it takes for you to swear.
 
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Cajunrider

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I stared at the tree long and hard and decided that, much as I like to keep the trunk to show off the colors, it is too long. I air layered the top away. Once done I should have an easier time to get taper with the 10 inch trunk left that has healthy side branches every 2".

The top has some interesting twists and turns. It should make a good bonsai as well.
20190519_081859.jpg
 

Shibui

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Please report progress or lack of. Eucalypts are not known for ability to produce roots but fingers crossed this tropical species might just be able to do it.
 
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