Return to the Bonsai Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Garden Centre Plants

Posted by justclox Somerset UK (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 26, 13 at 7:28

According to the books I have read one is supposed to leave the tree in the ground for a few years to thicken up the trunk. OK sounds reasonable, except...
I recently bought a crab apple tree from the Garden Centre, it had obviousely been in its nice large pot for a few years. It is now taller than I am. I am obviousely missing something which is not being explained. How do I leave it in the ground for a few years and not have it end up as a big tree which I would then have to cut down to size, leaving a horrible flat top?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Garden Centre Plants

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jan 29, 13 at 16:49

The answer you're looking for is "trunk chops".

Maybe this little mulberry (that needs root work) I'm working on will help explain. This was a volunteer that showed up in the raised beds I use for growing on bonsai material. I let it grow until it was a little over 2 meters tall, then cut it back hard. This is only one of the options I had for building a tree on the trunk that was left.

Photobucket

I could have allowed ONE new branch to emerge from high on the trunk below the chop, and trained it up as the new leader. This would have thickened, and thickened the lower trunk as well. I could then have performed another chop - as many as I wanted to do, to build taper into the tree and make it look old.

This maple will (already is) be chopped just above the small branch with wire on it, and allowed to grow.

Photobucket

I don't really care yet about the branch structure. I'm interested primarily in building a good root system

Photobucket

and a tapered trunk. Once I've developed roots and taper, I can start working toward a tree that will look believable when it's presented.

Al


 o
RE: Garden Centre Plants

Thanks for your well documented explanation. On your mulberry, will you be able to get rid of the flat top, or does that matter?

Alistair


 o
RE: Garden Centre Plants

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a mid-MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 30, 13 at 16:27

By 'flat top', do you mean the scar left from the chop? That will eventually heal over - or I can carve a hollow into the trunk to make it look more natural. The plant actually looks much better than it does in the picture. The congestion on the left is because you're actually looking at 2 branches, one superimposed over the other. And, this is just the first year of developing the plant after the chop, so it's come a long way in a year.

Al


 o
RE: Garden Centre Plants

Hello,
Yes it was the large flat top to the tree that I was looking at. This conversation has been VERY useful. Thank you.

Alistair


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Bonsai Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here