Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

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Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  liam.longbottom on Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:48 pm

Hi there, I'm relatively new to the work of Bonsai. Loving every minute of it though!

Whilst trimming back and bending my juniper shrub I have managed to spit the trunk down the middle. About 2cm straight between two medium sized branches (ill put up a photo when i get a chance). I was wandering what the best way of repairing this might be? I was thinking Kiyonal sealant and some florist tape should do the trick? Any suggestions?

Thanks.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  Vance Wood on Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:15 pm

liam.longbottom wrote:Hi there, I'm relatively new to the work of Bonsai. Loving every minute of it though!

Whilst trimming back and bending my juniper shrub I have managed to spit the trunk down the middle. About 2cm straight between two medium sized branches (ill put up a photo when i get a chance). I was wandering what the best way of repairing this might be? I was thinking Kiyonal sealant and some florist tape should do the trick? Any suggestions?

Thanks.

I'm not certain if you are talking about a verticle split or a horizontal split. Crazy glue for wood will work really well if we are talking about a verticle split but if you split across you are in deep doo-doo.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  liam.longbottom on Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:24 pm

It's a vertical split. In the middle of a "V" shape of two branches and down the trunk..

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  Precarious on Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:34 pm

Vance, I've read about using super glue but have always wondered: is it intended to cover the entire break surface to seal it?

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  arihato on Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:39 pm

I would see if I could make a twin trunk.....

I did it with a Larch: IMG_2814 by Arihato, on Flickr

Here is the whole progression: https://www.flickr.com/photos/arihatos_bonsai/sets/72157632714370590/

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  leatherback on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:30 pm

otherwise: Little wire around it, leave for a year and the plant eventually healthover. Will remain weak though

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  beer city snake on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:50 pm

i did the exact same thing on a shimpaku... i just wrapped it tight with floral tape and after a full growing season it appeared to be completely healed and re-joined, but i was wrong... and i re-split it in the same place, so i would think that wrapping it does work, but it might take more than one growing season to completely heal...

curious though to hear vance's follow up on the super glue for wood scratch

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  Vance Wood on Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:59 pm

People are in general kind of ignorant of how a tree really heals in a situation like this. You can wrap the tree and the opposing sides of the wound will in fact grow together but the split is still there and always will be. The entire split will not heal together because the only portion of the tree that has a growing potential is the cambium layer below the bark. That will heal but the split will still be there substantially weakening the trunk. Gluing the trunk together will still allow the cambium layer to fuse but the split portion of the trunk will also be fused together. Gorilla Glue will also work but it is slower to set and requires that the split be closed for a time splinted together while the glue cures.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  beer city snake on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:01 pm

i hate it when someone states the obvious...
i hate it even more when the obvious makes perfect sense and was overlooked (by me). Wink

as always, thanks vance !

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jan 08, 2015 1:19 pm

Just remember, trees MEND; they do not HEAL.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  Vance Wood on Thu Jan 08, 2015 2:35 pm

beer city snake wrote:i hate it when someone states the obvious...
i hate it even more when the obvious makes perfect sense and was overlooked (by me). Wink

as always, thanks vance !

That happens to all of us. We tend to want to accept the evidence of our eyes in some cases where that evidence is only superficial. On re-thinking this issue I think the glueing is even more important if the branch is actually a critical element in the design of the the tree. There will always be stress on the joint and if it is not anchored properly it will always be an issue. Somewhere down the line it would probably be best to start thinking of a design that eliminates that particular limb.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  beer city snake on Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:29 pm

Vance Wood wrote:Somewhere down the line it would probably be best to start thinking of a design that eliminates that particular limb.

which is the exact end result of my split... branch eliminated.
the tree this happened on is the one that i posted as my first phoenix graft and is one of the "lessons" that led to that new design Rolling Eyes

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  Vance Wood on Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:24 pm

I am really glad you have learned to adapt and think by the seat of the pants.  I have had this happen doing a public demonstration.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  M. Frary on Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:39 am

And when you apply glue to a split or break make sure to apply it to the inside or old wood not on the cambium. Then you may tape,wrap a wire around it or a zip tie it to hold it together.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  beer city snake on Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:46 pm

Vance Wood wrote:I am really glad you have learned to adapt and think by the seat of the pants.
that is how my life tends to be led Wink

Vance Wood wrote:I have had this happen doing a public demonstration.
affraid Razz

and thanks mike, thats what i was thinking and was going to ask for verification on this reply to vance.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  M. Frary on Sat Jan 10, 2015 4:39 am

Broken my share of branches.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  beer city snake on Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:38 pm

i fully expect to break one later today when i go for a radical bend or 2 on a willow leaf ficus...
but of course i hope i dont... Wink

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  M. Frary on Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:35 am

Well that way at least you won't be surprised if you break one Kevin. And now you will know what to do if one does break.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  leatherback on Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:40 am

M. Frary wrote: Well that way at least you won't be surprised if you break one Kevin. And now you will know what to do if one does break.
Better yet: If you expect one to break, take proper care & prepare the branches so that they do not, cannot, break..

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  beer city snake on Sun Jan 11, 2015 12:57 pm

oooooh... "cannot" ???

big words tough guy !!! Wink Razz

i suppose my developing skill sets will one day allow me to boldly say (in a rumbling basso profundo),
"THIS BRANCH WILL NOT BREAK !!!"

as opposed to (in a begging pleading breath-holding whisper)
pleasepleasepleaseohmanherewegopleasedonot...break.

but i pulled it off w/o incident... will post pics in different thread.

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

Post  leatherback on Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:46 pm

beer city snake wrote:oooooh... "cannot" ???
big words tough guy !!! Wink Razz

Lol. Maybe I meant more something along the lines of: You know where the risks are, so you do not take risk, and you wrap things up, And you take extra care when bending. (That being said.. My last "snap" moment was about 2 months ago, with a crucial branch in the upper canopy. So.. slowly back the branch went. Tape came out, and the tree was left alone.. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Accidentally split the trunk! Help!

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