Fusing trunks to create a clump?

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Fusing trunks to create a clump?

Post  Richard S on Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:49 pm

Earlier this year I purchased a number of Field Maple saplings with a view to putting together a group planting but I was wondering whether a better use for three of these trees might be to create a clump.

I've read about making clump bonsai by growing Acer Palmatum together until the trunks fuse (which I believe the Japanese refer to as Tsukami-yose). Is there any reason why this wouldn't work equally well with Acer Campestre?

I was thinking of holding the trunks together with a tree tie or similar (to reduce the risk of damaging the bark) and then letting the trees grow freely for a few years. Presumably in the ground would be best?

Does anyone have experience of doing this (with Acer Campestre or any other species)?

Roughly how long do you think it would take for the trunks to fuse and would there be any advantage to removing the bark and exposing the cambium at the point they touch.

It's not uncommon to see trees in the wild with fused trunks or even fused branches where they touch so presumably this is a viable idea? Also I guess it is essentially the same process by which you can approach graft new roots to the base of an established tree.

Any advice or suggestions very welcome as I'm a novice when it comes to this sort of thing.

Regards

Richard

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Re: Fusing trunks to create a clump?

Post  MrFancyPlants on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:09 am

I've fused some prunus together over the last six years or so. Although I forget the exact species, I think they could make a decent sized med to large size bonsai, but I made the mistake if using seedling/volunteers. The disadvantage is that the bark and foliage characteristics will always be off from branch to branch. If I were to try the experiment again, I would try it from cuttings off of the same plant.

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Re: Fusing trunks to create a clump?

Post  leatherback on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:31 am

THis should work quite well. THere are complete websites on this technique to create thick trunks. It does work with acer campestre; I have seen some sites in the past where they have fused trunks this way.

If you are going to do this: There is an open competition on trunk fusion on the bonsai empire website: http://www.bonsaiempire.com/forum/current-competition/6332-bonsai-empire-competition-trunk-fusion

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Re: Fusing trunks to create a clump?

Post  Guest on Mon Mar 18, 2013 3:34 pm

Acer campestre would be one of the species thats excellent for using this technique of fusing.
Its a quick grower, it thickens rapidly when you allow free growth, and roots can also fuse easily.
Look at many containerplants, how easily they fuse roots...
They're also great for threadgrafting and approachgrafting.

I would tighten them togeterh just aboven the root bases of those young plants you have, and bury it, with the soil reaching just above the place where its all tightened together. Let that grow freely for 3-5 years and you should have nice results (free growth for first 2 years is absolutely necessary, and just a limited amount of pruning in next 2 years). After that, harvest or rootprune and prune, and build up again.

New roots should also form, just there where its bound together, so you dont really have to worry about 'esthetics'. In my opinion after those 3-5 years it should have fused and you should have the beginnings of a new nebari too perhaps

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Re: Fusing trunks to create a clump?

Post  Richard S on Tue Mar 19, 2013 8:16 pm

Thanks for the advice folks, really appreciated.

I'll hopefully be putting it in to practice this weekend!

Regards

Richard

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