combining trunks

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combining trunks

Post  bucknbonsai on Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:20 pm

I am thinking of combining several of my 1" to 2" diameter tridents to a 5" thick one that has horrible nebari and branching, to form a true monster of a tree. I am planning to form an image similar to the angel oak or some of the clump style baobabs. I have been told the angel oak is actually several liveoaks that grew together. I am planning on each tree that is added to become one of the main heavy branches so that Im sure that section/added tree will have plenty of sapflow and not die back in case fusion does not occur. Does anyone know if you can fuse tridents of this size or is the bark to "woody" to pull that off. I am already familiar with doug philips method using young saplings but Im not sure about trees of this size. My plan was to screw them together and then wrap the whole thing with a thick layer of duct tape and ties, and plant it in the garden for several years. Do you think I should carve out a trough in the mother tree to lay these trees into, or could I simply relay on fieldgrowing to help melt them together to form a united look? As long as each added tree does indeed have a branch keeping it alive, do I not have to worry about exposing and lining up cambium etc..? I am in no rush with this thing and if it takes 10 years in the garden to form a solitary looking base/trunk then that would be fine. I know there is a clump style that people do with japanese maples often using about 3 to 5 half inch to 1" diameter trunks and they seem to fuse convincingly but they are only joined right at the base, I would be shooting for something that fuses a little higher up on the trunk to look like a single tree.

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Re: combining trunks

Post  JimLewis on Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:38 pm

That will "work." but I'm not sure how attractive it will end up being.

You might reconsider the duct tape. It is likely to damage the trunk when you (try to) remove it. Some vet tape or grip tape (tennis), with a few strips of plumber's plastic tape wrapped over it, should do the trick.

But again, I suspect it will take MANY years for something like that look like more than several trunks cobbled together.

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Re: combining trunks

Post  bucknbonsai on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:21 pm

thanks jim. I guess the other option would be to thread graft in branches and roots. Do you know if there is a limit to the diameter of a whip that can be used in thread grafting roots or branches? For example if you have a big tree with 1" diameter roots in the nebari, could you threadgraft in a 1" sapling so that the added root looks like an appropriate age? or do you have to use 1/8" to 1/4" stuff that you see on all the videos etc.. I like thread grafting roots rather than approach grafting roots because the angle is perfect and its very secure while it heals. when using larger whips do you have to do any scraping to get down to the cambium or can you just simply thread it though like you do when using seedling whips? thanks

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Re: combining trunks

Post  JimLewis on Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:41 pm

Sorry, can't help. A tree surgeon I'm not.

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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: combining trunks

Post  Mitch Thomas on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:00 pm

Bucknbonsai
Do a google search on Doug Phillips mission olives. He has done a lot of what you are envisioning. But ultilimately with time involved I think you would be better off planting in the ground and letting them grow out and the lop them off and regrow. I have seen many Ficus done this way, but that was in tropical zones.


Mitch

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Re: combining trunks

Post  marcus watts on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:41 pm

Hi, this quote comes from Peter Tea, and just about sums up working on material to make bonsai

"Every tree has potential, but is that potential worth your time? Think about it... that's the first step"

Only you know if the initial tree is worth the many years work ahead - but when you look at fused clump acers and trident root on rock trees made from 2 or 3 seperate parts that were done 40-50 years previously with small trees the joins are still visible so it will probably never become 'one' tree

cheers Marcus

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Re: combining trunks

Post  attila on Tue Feb 28, 2012 5:18 am

sure it is possible and it happens all the time in nature when 2 or more trees grow close together and in time trunks get too thick and fuse or they rub against each other. there is a fine exampl of a huge potensai
http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?scm=1007.77.0.0&id=13431327228&ad_id=&am_id=&cm_id=&pm_id=

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=110-1hsl-2ab09.66wa-bEr0t.ebfR-57CgLh&id=13388255048

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?scm=1007.77.0.0&id=13058854491&ad_id=&am_id=&cm_id=&pm_id=

i am doing a few this year but i cant show you as they are under soil at the moment, i treat them like a giant grafting srcew them together and put them under soil for a few years. i did quite low down the trunk so they are very thick. i chose trunks with interesting fetures but no nebari, but young roots develope quickly on tridents. also i grafted new nebary on old trunks drilling holes and thread through young seedlings. in the ground for a few years again.
nothing new about this method, "just do it". experience tridents are great material to work with.
good luck

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Re: combining trunks

Post  attila on Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:08 am

www.servimg.com/image_preview.php?i=4&u=17310347][/url]

i collected this chinese elm as you see on the pictures they already started to fuse. a few more years and will be fine even they are 3 inches or more in diameter


these tridents i collected today and will be used for fusion i will allow them for a year to get some roots and next spring will start to match them.

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Re: combining trunks

Post  bucknbonsai on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:20 pm

What is the point in burying them? would that put the original roots to deep and cut off their oxygen supply? would planting it at normal depth then wrapping with spagnum moss give the same effect if moisture on the trunk is something your looking for?

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Re: combining trunks

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:43 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:What is the point in burying them? would that put the original roots to deep and cut off their oxygen supply? would planting it at normal depth then wrapping with spagnum moss give the same effect if moisture on the trunk is something your looking for?

Are you talking about achieving something like this, but over an existing tree rather than a metal frame? I've heard of it done and I've personally seen this type of work over a metal frame.

http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t33-fused-trunk-trident-acer-buergerianum

Have a great week!!!
Sam

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Re: combining trunks

Post  bucknbonsai on Tue Feb 28, 2012 1:53 pm

sam, thank you for reminding me of that link, I just wrote to him again asking for more updates. I am doing the wire frame method already. i was just curious about adding trunks together to an existing trunk that had faults I wanted to cover up, unless Im really good at carving a groove into the mother trunk to receive the smaller but knoby trees into it, I may be better off just fusing in flexible even younger material the the big trunk. I have a surplus of all sizes of tridents so Im looking for a way to experiment/consolidate/limit number of pots. I would just make a forest yet I feel like I have to many of those already.

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Re: combining trunks

Post  Sam Ogranaja on Tue Feb 28, 2012 2:34 pm

No problem. Keep us in the loop though with whatever you choose. I'm curious about these techniques and their success. I've heard of using small seedlings to fuse to an existing trunk, I've just never personally witnessed it.

I do have another question though, and this may need to be on a different thread. I think you said you have some tridents planted in the ground. I'm looking to plant a few in the ground, do you have any advice? Do you plant on tiles or anything like that? I have a couple of other questions, maybe I can PM you those if that's OK with you.

Have a great week!!
Sam

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