Wire to thicken trunks

Mame-Mo

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I came across a thread on r/bonsai where it was mentioned that wire is sometimes left on a trunk as a method for thickening. Does anyone have experience or photos of this practice with junipers? It sounds really interesting but I'm having trouble finding more information.
 

Josh88

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I have no experience with this technique, but I can offer my thoughts... From what I understand, this technique would work for pines as the tissue grows over the wire in time and the bark covers the resulting scars. Since juniper transport resources through veins, I would imagine once the wire cuts into the expanding tissue to the degree that it would cover the wire, it will disrupt the ability of the tree to transport along those veins and the tree will suffer and parts will die. Again, this is not from any personal experience with the technique, just what I would expect based on how the different species grow.
 

Hartinez

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Search this site a bit more. I’ve seen several threads talking about this very subject with quite a few pros and cons. Can’t remember which threads otherwise I’d post a link.
 

Mame-Mo

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Search this site a bit more. I’ve seen several threads talking about this very subject with quite a few pros and cons. Can’t remember which threads otherwise I’d post a link.
I did find one thread but it was mostly bickering over whether the technique was a good thing to do or not which seemed pretty subjective. The only concrete statement I could see was that it increases the chances of damaging a tree but that seems to go without saying. No one really seemed to go in to how it can be done safely and what the results actually are. That said, I can definitely try to look a little harder. Thanks for the response.
 

Adair M

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Does the technique sound too good to be true?

Think about it.

If it were so simple as to wrap wire around to thicken a trunk, why do you think you would have to search for information about it?

It’s a crap technique. Want to have ugly trees? Go for it.
 

0soyoung

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Works better than pounding trunks with a hammer and making longitudinal cuts, if anyone want to list 'junk techniques'.

Nevertheless, if one is interested in tree physiology, the whole thing of spirals of wire biting in versus tourniquets versus thread grafts versus girdled stems is quite fascinating.

If it were so simple as to wrap wire around to thicken a trunk, why do you think you would have to search for information about it?
And if it were as simple as removing a ring of bark from a stem and packing a damp growing medium around it to make air layers ...

I think you would be better served if you would explain that trunks do indeed get thicker quickly, but then there is spiral pattern that remains for years and years if not forever or something like that.
 

Adair M

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And if it were as simple as removing a ring of bark from a stem and packing a damp growing medium around it to make air layers ...
.
Actually, the technique for making air layers IS that simple, and that’s why it’s easy to find out how to do it.

I guess what irks me is people think there is some secret hack, or shortcut, to make bonsai that performs miracles.

There’s not.
 

Mame-Mo

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Actually, the technique for making air layers IS that simple, and that’s why it’s easy to find out how to do it.

I guess what irks me is people think there is some secret hack, or shortcut, to make bonsai that performs miracles.

There’s not.
I respect you and I have read your posts on here many times before. I’m also aware that you have a wealth of experience, my intention was to find out if this might add a few millimeters to a young whips or otherwise useless material that I want to experiment with. I didn’t make this post to personally offend your concept of bonsai or cut 10 years off of the process of growing a tree. I am not woefully ignorant, but I had read that this was not an unheard of practice and simply wanted to know more. The snark is not appreciated, but I do not want to respond in kind. Please try to be understanding of the fact that some of us are just starting out and there is a wealth of information that is difficult to access. I have not had time to go to meetings in my are and was just curious. I’m not out to destroy the hobby. Stating that this is something people do but the results are not good would have sufficed.
 

Mame-Mo

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Works better than pounding trunks with a hammer and making longitudinal cuts, if anyone want to list 'junk techniques'.

Nevertheless, if one is interested in tree physiology, the whole thing of spirals of wire biting in versus tourniquets versus thread grafts versus girdled stems is quite fascinating.


And if it were as simple as removing a ring of bark from a stem and packing a damp growing medium around it to make air layers ...

I think you would be better served if you would explain that trunks do indeed get thicker quickly, but then there is spiral pattern that remains for years and years if not forever or something like that.
Thank you for a tempered and reasonable response.
 
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my intention was to find out if this might add a few millimeters to a young whips or otherwise useless material that I want to experiment with
Sometimes you gotta develop thick skin if you dont want to be personally offended by things said on these forums. That being said it can be difficult not to take things personally.

I dont pretend to speak for any of the guys who have been here for years, but youll note the quote from your post above. The couple years i've been lurking around these forums makes me think that maybe some of the snark comes from the fact that if you are keeping around useless material, you could always try experimenting with the technique yourself. Wrap some trees, observe the results, take some pics and post back on your experiment next year. Most of these guys will give you a fast answer, but sometimes the fast answer comes with a dose of patronizing.

Edit: Also, I notice they go easier on questions like this posted in the new to bonsai forum vs the tree specific ones. God help you if you posted this in the tea house...
 

Mame-Mo

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Sometimes you gotta develop thick skin if you dont want to be personally offended by things said on these forums. That being said it can be difficult not to take things personally.

I dont pretend to speak for any of the guys who have been here for years, but youll note the quote from your post above. The couple years i've been lurking around these forums makes me think that maybe some of the snark comes from the fact that if you are keeping around useless material, you could always try experimenting with the technique yourself. Wrap some trees, observe the results, take some pics and post back on your experiment next year. Most of these guys will give you a fast answer, but sometimes the fast answer comes with a dose of patronizing.

Edit: Also, I notice they go easier on questions like this posted in the new to bonsai forum vs the tree specific ones. God help you if you posted this in the tea house...
It’s common throughout all the bonsai forums have encountered and generally speaking I let sleeping dogs lie. I’m not a confrontational person by nature but I was reading an old post just before getting this response where people on this forum were lambasting an old man for wanting to find a pine tree for less than $100 and it put an already bad taste in my mouth. I figured since my question was specific to junipers I would post in this forum. I won’t make that mistake again.
 
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It’s common throughout all the bonsai forums have encountered and generally speaking I let sleeping dogs lie. I’m not a confrontational person by nature but I was reading an old post just before getting this response where people on this forum were lambasting an old man for wanting to find a pine tree for less than $100 and it put an already bad taste in my mouth. I figured since my question was specific to junipers I would post in this forum. I won’t make that mistake again.
Ah, don't let it discourage you. Take the info you need out of the responses and go make your trees better! Also, my experience has been that local clubs peeps are alot nicer than some of the grumpy online bonsai guys - after all, they need your dues! ?
 

0soyoung

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you could always try experimenting with the technique yourself.
YES ?

Further, unless it is just for satisfying one's idle curiosity, one will have to apply what they've 'learned', experiment or not, and see if the outcome matches expectations.
 

coltranem

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I respect you and I have read your posts on here many times before. I’m also aware that you have a wealth of experience, my intention was to find out if this might add a few millimeters to a young whips or otherwise useless material that I want to experiment with. I didn’t make this post to personally offend your concept of bonsai or cut 10 years off of the process of growing a tree.
Sometimes it might help to put more details in your original question. It seems like the material you have is small. In reality it is probably going to need to grow to get bigger. Wrap it with wire bend it up and then let it grow.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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If you like movement in your junipers you need to wire the movement in while the material is young, especially smaller size junipers. I left some whips alone, forgot about them, and now have rigid, arrow straight whips near 3 or 4 feet tall that will need major effort if I'm going to get bends and movement into them.

So wire up your whips. Observe what happens. Do it sooner rather than later. Although best season to wire is late summer.
 

garywood

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I came across a thread on r/bonsai where it was mentioned that wire is sometimes left on a trunk as a method for thickening. Does anyone have experience or photos of this practice with junipers? It sounds really interesting but I'm having trouble finding more information.
Mo, I guess it's lost in translation ;-) This technique is used in pines because the cambium expands rapidly. Junipers, not so much. With junipers the "usual" technique is to carve the spiral of deadwood with small increments each year. The distinction of causing swelling on pines or deadwood on junipers is one you will have to ??? ;-) Have fun
 

Mame-Mo

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Mo, I guess it's lost in translation ;-) This technique is used in pines because the cambium expands rapidly. Junipers, not so much. With junipers the "usual" technique is to carve the spiral of deadwood with small increments each year. The distinction of causing swelling on pines or deadwood on junipers is one you will have to ??? ;-) Have fun
I believe elms where what was referenced (or some other deciduous tree) I did find a video where someone showed the technique on pine though. I can see how that spiral pattern never really goes away after seeing that. I value my little pines too much to mess with them in that way. My pines are a whole new frontier for me so I’m happy with just keeping them alive. I have heard of the spiral cutting as well but I can’t really wrap my head around how that works. I guess I need more of an education in the physiology of the species I’m working with.
 

Adair M

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I believe elms where what was referenced (or some other deciduous tree) I did find a video where someone showed the technique on pine though. I can see how that spiral pattern never really goes away after seeing that. I value my little pines too much to mess with them in that way. My pines are a whole new frontier for me so I’m happy with just keeping them alive. I have heard of the spiral cutting as well but I can’t really wrap my head around how that works. I guess I need more of an education in the physiology of the species I’m working with.
The best way, or rather, the fastest way to fatten any trunk is to plant it in the ground, and let a sacrifice grow tall.

If you want taper, the sacrifice trunk will have to be cut, and a new leader be allowed to grow tall. This leader will subsequently be cut, and a new one trained to take its place.

Of course, each time the sacrifice trunk is cut, there is a scar. Scars heal best when there is a strong apical leader growing above it.

The key to success is managing the growing, the cutting back, and not letting the sacrifice branch get so big that the scars won’t cover over.

And time.

By the way, anyone can post bad techniques on this or any other website. And, they can post good techniques. It’s difficult to separate the wheat from the chaffe.

By my stating that you don’t find any good examples, or corroboration, i’m giving you a clue that you’ve stumbled upon misinformation.
 

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