(Very) newbie questions

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(Very) newbie questions

Post  FlyingFox on Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:03 pm

OK so I'm extremely new to bonsai (as in about a week) and have devoured Tomlinson's complete bonsai book a few times. I also have a bonsai tree that I've looked after for many years, but I bought it already shaped. (It's a Chinese elm if you're interested.) There are a couple of hawthorns growing in the hedge out the back that I was thinking of "bonsaiing" but anyway my question is this:

When you are choosing a shape for your bonsai, it seems usual to prune it right back to maybe less than one fifth of its original height, which includes chopping the top off the main trunk creating a stump. From what I understand a new shoot is supposed to grow up and over the stump, making it part of the new trunk. However on my existing tree this has not happened. Is it usual to expect it to heal over? And will it continue to taper at the same gradient all the way to a point? Or have I just got the wrong end of the stick (trunk)?

Thanks for entertaining a newbie!

FF

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(Very) newbie questions

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:18 pm

Hello Flying Fox. Sounds like a WW2 film[ Broadsword calling Dannyboy] So many questions, so many different answers.Sometimes you will cut a tree back hard ,other times not so. Your best option is to post pictures and we will endeavour to answer your queries.

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Re: (Very) newbie questions

Post  FlyingFox on Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:22 pm

Ok, I'll have a look around for the ones that I think are the most appropriate and take a few snaps. In the mean time, expect a barrage of questions about other stuff!

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Re: (Very) newbie questions

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:38 pm

Noy a problem.

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Re: (Very) newbie questions

Post  JimLewis on Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:49 pm

But to give you one answer to your chopping question . . . You normally would perform the chop just above an upward-slanting branch that can be wired up to become the beginning of a new top. That way, you don't wait for the serendipitous appearance of a branch just below the chop. That often just doesn't happen.

The existence of the branch also helps the scar heal -- as the base on that new top fattens it promotes the growth of callus over the site of the chop.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: (Very) newbie questions

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