Pruning and removing branches

Ideally the trunk and branches of a bonsai should have no major pruning scars, however this is impractical if you are creating a bonsai from nursery stock, or removing a branch to re-style a tree.

Branch pruning

Wen cutters bite into the tree, removing a dimple of wood. This will heal over better, A flush cut with a saw will produce an unsightly mound as the bark grows over it.

Sap flowing up and down the tree in the upper example of the illustration to the right, will find it difficult to get into the 'dead' area above the cut. A cut like this will take longer to heal than the lower example, where the cut allows a smoother flow of sap. .

Any major cut, or wound to the tree should be sealed and there are several ways to do this, paint, grafting wax are two,however true 'Cut wound paste) is best as it contains the right ingredients to help the wound heal. Now we're in the internet era it's available (of course) on EBay.

A partially heald cut. There is a small reminant of the Paste visible.



. The quickest way to get a wound to heal is to allow the tree unrestricted growth. this may however have an adverse effect on the shape of the tree, causing the structure to become coarse. The best way to overcome this is to grow what is termed a 'sacrificial leader'.

Allowing a shoot at, or near the top of the tree to grow on for a few years, will not only increase the sap flow, healing the cut, but also has the added benifit of thickening the trunk.

When the sacrificial leader has done its work it is cut off, or air layered if desired

Allen. C. Roffey 23:42 21/12/2002