Cutting help..

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Cutting help..

Post  jvreaper15 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:49 am

So i have this tree that my gf gave to me about a month ago and it has a big cut right in the middle as though it was cut from a bigger tree and i just dont know what to do with it...can anyone recommend any method i could use to maybe hide it or get rid of it?

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  John Quinn on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:01 am

Welcome to the IBC! Please post a picture of your tree so that we may be better able to offer advice.
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t243-tutorial-on-posting-pics

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Xavier de Lapeyre on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:47 am

Just a textual description does not give any information at all on the matter.
Another alternative could be to keep it and blend it into the tree to make it look older and more weather beaten.
But once more without seeing the actual cut it is difficult to give any real suggestions.
Post a picture of the whole tree front and back if possible + a closeup of the cut.

Front and back : To get an idea of what the tree looks like and how the cut could be worked to become part of the design.
Closeup of the cut : To get an idea of how nasty the cut is.


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Re: Cutting help..

Post  jvreaper15 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 10:50 pm

https://i42.servimg.com/u/f42/17/92/55/03/img_0212.jpg
first time in a forum so idk if how to upload a pic[url=][/url]

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Xavier de Lapeyre on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:21 am

Bad cut indeed.

What kind of tree is it?
Mimosa or acacia or other?


For one thing, personally for me, the tree does not seem all that good for a bonsai as it is.
The branch placement is not distributed radially enough. It lacks branches in the front and back to give it more depth. If you rotate the pot 90 deg, you will end up with empty spaces on both sides. There are other issues that I listed below.
That aside, with some skills and some growth from your tree they can be resolved over time.

One alternative is allow the tree to grown and eventually it will cover up the cut. I dont think that this is an option you would want to hear, but it one open to you none the less.
Another alternative is to open the cut towards the bottom on one section that does not have branches.
And carve it in to give a cracked tree impression.
Ex:
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATHawthornLilfordProgression.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATHawthornDevelopment.html
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATchamaeprogression.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATHawthornboglandprogressionseries.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATBirchprogressionseries.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATdamagedhawthorn.htm

Dont forget to look up how to create and preserve deadwood.
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATCreating%20Deadwood.html
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATUro.htm
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATPreserving%20Deadwood.html
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATpromoting_rot.htm

I did not add any lime sulphur links because your tree's bark is already pale.
Adding lime sulphur will not complement it and it usually does not improve the bark/deadwood contrast if the bark is already pale to begin with.


The other branches at also too long for the trunk's height and width.
It needs some ramifications to give off the feeing of an aged branch on a tree.
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATDeciduousBonsaiBranchStructure.html
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATDeciduousBonsaiAutumnPruning.html
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATDeciduousBonsaiBranches.html
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATDeciduousBonsaiImportanceofBranchTaper%20(1).html

And you will also need to build up the apex.
http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATapexbuilding.htm

And choose a form
http://www.bonsai4me.com/Basics/Basics_StylingForms.html

Optionally develop a nice nebari too.
The trunk is way too straight. Its kind of late to give it some movement, so a nebari should greatly improve it IMO.

Hope that helps out.
There might be other options for the cut but I dont have any in mind right now.






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Re: Cutting help..

Post  fiona on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:56 am

jvreaper15 wrote: first time in a forum so idk if how to upload a pic

Hi. The link John gave you in his post was to the tutorial on posting pictures. Just in case you missed it, here it is again - just click on the text and you will be taken straight to it.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t243-tutorial-on-posting-pics

I've changed your pics for you just now so we can get you some answers. Here they are:




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Re: Cutting help..

Post  jvreaper15 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:44 pm

thanks man! thats an awesome help =)...it was actually a gift from a person that does not know much about bonsai so this is why the tree looks like that and its goin to be hard to turn it into a bonsai but i'll try i just dont want it to die out by doing that big cut...u have any suggestions as to how i can make that cut?? and also bring the leaves closer into the tree instead of them growing away?...also its an acacia =)

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Leo Schordje on Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:12 pm

Hi, Welcome to the forum from Chicago area.
Someday I hope to visit Ecuador.

Your acacia has potential. Good news about acacia is that they grow very fast, you will be able to develop a nice tree fairly quickly. The links that Xavier supplied in his post really do include the various techniques for hiding old cuts. There are hours and hours of reading there, and the answers are in those articles. But I will offer you a few thoughts.

The cut looks okay, it is beginning to heal. The health of your acacia is not in danger. You don't have to do anything immediate to fix that cut. You can wait until next year or later to fix the cosmetic appearance of that cut, but there is no immediate threat to the health of your tree right now.

About bringing the foliage closer to the trunk. Acacia if severely pruned while in active growth, can sprout from dormant buds, and they tend to have a lot of dormant buds all over the tree, even on old wood. When you do a hard prune, prune off all growing tips. You will get very dramatic budding if you chop off all foliage, and chop the branches back to stubs shorter than what you envision as the final size of the tree.

I see this tree needing several cycles of chopping back hard, and then allowing it to grow out. This first few cycles you need to focus on getting the trunk diameter you think you will want for a finished tree and in the process encourage the formation of as many branches as possible. The multiple branches will give you choices when you do the formal styling of the tree. Don't try to style the tree until after you have the thickness you want for the trunk. The links in Xavier's post address this, the technique is similar regardless whether it is a hawthorn, elm, maple or acacia. The tree species only modifies minor details, the general idea is the same. This is a deciduous trees in terms of styling technique.

Our fellow member Khaimraj Seepersad (Anthony) has extensive experience growing tamarind and acacia, search on his name for posts started by him. Jun also has more experience than I growing in the tropics, look for posts from him. And of course you can send them private messages through this forum if you like. There are many other members with more experience with Acacia than I, hopefully they will offer their advice.

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  jvreaper15 on Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:18 am

thank you for the info this forum is pretty awesome so helpful! =)....well im going to take your advice and cut down the branch size, as far as the trunk size i think its perfect its good enough although it could thicken up some more..ill post an update on this and see how it goes =)

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:05 am

Oh Dear,
Leo, Anthony is my friend Guan's handle on-line. I often have to go away and he house sits. When he house sits he takes over on the laptop. He and his wife are very old friends and they live obliquely across the street from me.

We keep the forums we are on separate, he does not have an internet link, and I have no camera. So he shoots the images and uses the laptop when he needs to.

I had asked vreaper15, to post an image here, in response to his request in a p.m. I am afraid I don't recognize the tree.
Ecuador is a long way off from us and that may be a native plant that does not grow on my side.
Stay Well.
Khaimraj

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Leo Schordje on Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Oh Dear,
Leo, Anthony is my friend Guan's handle on-line. I often have to go away and he house sits. When he house sits he takes over on the laptop. He and his wife are very old friends and they live obliquely across the street from me.

We keep the forums we are on separate, he does not have an internet link, and I have no camera. So he shoots the images and uses the laptop when he needs to.

I had asked vreaper15, to post an image here, in response to his request in a p.m. I am afraid I don't recognize the tree.
Ecuador is a long way off from us and that may be a native plant that does not grow on my side.
Stay Well.
Khaimraj

Oops - sorry Khaimraj, I got Anthony from a post (on that other forum, Bonsai Study Group) Anthony must have been posting photos for you. Sorry about that.

JVReaper - I don't recognize the species either. But in general, most tropical acacias, including the now separate genus Leucanea, behave quite similarly. The temperate zone acacias need a dormancy, but given you are in Ecuador, the acacia you have must be one of the fully tropical acacias. The Brazilian Rain Trees are a related genus, which in many ways behave like the tropical acacia. So also look at posts about Brazilian Rain Trees for inspiration.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t1547-acacia-caven-espinilo?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t5123-acacia-cyanophylla?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t6972-aroma-acacia-farnesiana?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7010-acacia-for-bonsai?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7514-what-to-do-with-this-acacia?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7787-acacia-galpini-group-planting?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7806-acacia-burkei?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t8745-newly-collected-acacia-arabicum-sp?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t7408p30-huge-acacia-fornesiana?highlight=acacia
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11823-acacia-trees?highlight=acacia


From Brazil, here are some rain tree posts.
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11448-informal-brazilian-rain-tree-starting-by-roberto-gerpe-brazil
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11557-another-brazilian-rain-tree-by-alexandre-chow-brazil
http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t11594-brazilian-rain-tree-chokkan-by-alexandre-chow-brazil


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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Xavier de Lapeyre on Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:01 pm

Think that this could help when you decide to work on the cut


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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:36 pm

Wow ! Xtolord,

I actually felt sorry for that tree. A healing wound at the back of the tree and then to be hollowed to encourage decay, at the back of the tree ?????

Sometimes I wonder about these Bonsai Masters [ and I actiually watch and admire Mr. G.Potter for his series.] ????

Guess I am spend too much time thinking about living things and what we do to them as decorations.
Thanks for posting anyhow.
Khaimraj

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Xavier de Lapeyre on Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:34 am

Hi Khaimraj,

I'm not really sure I get your point. There is a mix of school thoughts and ideas in the video.
There are several things that are done in the video and I personally don't agree with a few actions taken, but then again I don't have the knowledge and experience of Mr G. Potter in neither bonsai nor in this particular tree.

It is mainly the bark callus leveling and initial carving process that I wanted to share to our friend who started the thread, but I think it slipped my mind to point them out. Sorry 'bout that.

For the overall video, lets see:
1. First of all that tree is a typical mass produced tree. Allowed to grow thick then slashed once the main trunk is thick enough and then trained to place the cut at the back of the tree to hide it from view. That's more or less the same as our friend who started out the thread.
The cut is healed and the only issue here is the aesthetic aspect of the cut when view from the "back" or a certain angle.

2. The cut is at the back of the tree. So basically the front of the tree is unaffected by the cut.
Now on viewing a bonsai tree you have one school of though that tell you to choose a front and you would usually to that by angling the tree so as to hide any imperfection from direct view.
You also have another school of though that tell you that a tree should be good/viewable from any angle [ 360 deg view ]
ex: http://www.ausbonsai.com.au/360/Chinese_elm_ah/
I'm not here to start a debate on which is good or better - just stating a fact that those two views exist.
Mr G.Potter seems to be from the latter school of though - a 360 deg viewable tree.
When you create / improve a tree with a 360 deg mind-frame you want to make it so as to not hide the imperfections, but blend them into the tree.
And that's what Mr. Potter just did.

3. Regarding the hollowed carving to encourage decay.
I might not have done the hollowing carving that he did, but the initial carving out is what I usually do on my trees.
The hollowed carving will basically store up water and eventually drill a hole up [or eat a path] to the bottom of the tree if left unchecked. It is not uncommon in real life trees. But it is a scary though to a lot of bonsai enthusiast who would not know how to tackle it, me included to some extend, though I get the theory behind it.
Something like this : http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATLongThinOneProgressionSeries.htm
Read more on using decay : http://www.bonsai4me.com/AdvTech/ATpromoting_rot.htm
Some specific points [ taken from the link above ]
+ Use only on hardwood species and never on softwood species.
+ Only use on species of tree that you are familiar with, already understanding the nature of its wood and with which you know you can halt the continued spread of rot.


To conclude, IMO.
As the tree was initially with the "ugly" healing wound, the bonsai could only be viewed from the initial front.
After the carving, and the necessary after care to prevent the cuts from rotting out of control and using appropriate preserving methods, the tree can potentially be views from the side as well as from the back, displaying the carving as the new front would be a serious possibility if the carving is "natural" looking enough and blends with overall look of the tree.

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:55 am

Xtolord,

the idea for me was, the tree was - healing - the wound.

I too believe in the 360 view, but to deliberately hollow a tree, whilst talking about the healing that would take place, is very confusing.
Either allow the tree to heal and re-balance the branches, or use the hollow specifically as the front of the tree as a decorative feature.

Hollows can be very attractive, and are easily used for a successful front.
Carving simply because it makes you feel like a master, is a waste.

I have a very old elm, some 50+ years old, bought as stock back in 94, Chinese import, the trunk went hollow, but the tree re-healed it's top and left the base hollow. There is nothing to be gained with this hollow state so eventually I will have to fill the centre with something.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Cutting help..

Post  Xavier de Lapeyre on Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:46 am

Khaimraj,

I see your point and it would be perfectly valid in the case of a fresh cut / wound.
In this case it seems that the cut was an old one.
The tree had already started to callus over the cut around the top, due to strong sap flow towards the upper branches.
But the lower section would need much more time to heal over for one thing [if it heals over at all ] and for another, seeing the size of the cut, if it allowed to callus all over the wound it "might" not be all that blending with the overall design of the tree - The tree already has a decent nebari, adequate branch placement and an acceptable ramification.

If you watch the vid again, notice how he did not carved or removed the existing callus that formed over the healing process.
But carved inside the callus, into the deadwood and stopped when he reached the livewood.
My guess is that the wound will continue to heal over, and the callus will then extend into the carved/hollowed wound.
From the healing cuts I've had experience with and seen on cut off branches in the parks, when the callus heals over the exposed deadwood it tends to bulge out, specially on flat cuts like those.
In this case with a straight flat cut, it might not bulge out too much but I somehow doubt it. Its a pretty big cut and callus will have to go over itself over and over again before it can cover it up. That might create a huge bulge there.

Cheers
Xavier

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