The Trunk

The trunk is what makes the bonsai, it gives it both its grace and power. When choosing a bonsai or material for conversion always get the best trunk you can, one with good taper and branches leaving the trunk all around the tree.

The Roots, as they leave the trunk should be exposed. This gives the impression of a powerful tree anchored into the ground, rather than a stick poked into the ground. This root flare is called 'Nebari' and as with the branches the roots should radiate away from the trunk like the spokes of a wheel.

 

Developing the trunk

The best place to develop a trunk is in the ground, and the best method is the 'Clip and Grow' technique.

This involves allowing the tree to grow unhindered for a couple of years, the tree is then lifted from the ground the roots are pruned to keep them close to the tree. You should then cut off the top of the tree at a point above a bud, sealing the cut with either Cut wound paste if available, or paint.

Conifers differ in so far as the top should be removed above a small branch, as removing all the foliage will kill the tree. The branch should be wired upward and allowed to grow on, removing the wire before it bites into the expanding tree.

The tree is then replanted and watered with a fungicide.

This process is repeated several times (It's well worth the wait), and you will end up with a really good trunk. Then you can develop the branches.

You can reduce the height of an overtall tree, and at the same time increase it's taper by removing the top of the tree above a suitable branch and wiring the branch upward to produce a new head for the tree. You then have the choice of either removing the unwanted top or jinning it.

Trees with two leaders look unnatural. If you have such a tree you should consider turning the taller of the two into a jin

Allen. C. Roffey 15:40 14/12/2002