Trunk chopping

maximus8891January 14, 2008

Some articles advise trunk chopping in order to improve bonsai's style, for example, increase tapering. They say after trunk chopping new shoots will grow out of remaining stub, you have to choose dominant one and proceed to develop bonsai.

But in some book (non-bonsai specific) it is said that if tree is heavily damaged it gives new shoots on remaining parts of tree AND root shoots (shoots appearing from the ground, i don't know precisely how it would be in English).

So i decided to try. After i chopped 2/3 of trunk original length, no new buds opened on trunk, but it gave a plenty of root shoots.

And now I'm wondering how i can control appearance of shoots on trunk and from the ground. Tree was an elm.

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Hi, trunk chopping is generally recommended to be done above the lowest branch or branches as getting new ones below that can be a problem (as you found out). Not all trees will 'sucker' (grow new shoots from roots), but some deciduous ones do, particularly apple trees. What you can do is just continue to cut off the root shoots, but if you get no new growth from the trunk, you may want to consider leaving 1-2 root shoots to develop, along with any roots they may grow on the underside of the original root, and eventually cut that root off and grow it as a new tree. Whether or not the shoot becomes the 'tree' you want, I can't say.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2008 at 11:14AM
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It's risky affair trunk-chopping if you can't know for sure whether it will give shoots on the trunk or not... By the way i've let one 'sucker' to survive to develop into a tree, i had no choice.

    Bookmark   January 15, 2008 at 6:40PM
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