Bonsai Trunk Chop – Bonsai Northwest

Bonsai Trunk Chop – Bonsai Northwest

I show you how to develop interesting and natural looking trunk movement on your bonsai tree. Demo with a Portuguese oak (Quercus Fajigo).

In this video you’re going to see some trunk chopping some sawing some sanding and plenty of snow enjoy the video [Music] as you can see it’s snowed pretty heavily in fact the most heavily i’ve ever seen it here in spain and uh it’s kind of fun i like it [Music] [Music] this portuguese oak it’s a very lovely tree um what you can see is that it’s it was obviously field grown it was obviously collected from nature somewhere and the lower part of the trunk let’s just zoom out here a bit so you can see that the lower part of the trunk was probably buried under the soil level and it’s kind of some ugly roots growing in not very nice places so i’m going to take a good look at this and decide where would be the front of the bonsai and i’m kind of thinking because there is a bit of movement in it probably from here would be the front and that way we get a bit of movement in the front view and we actually hide this ugly route from behind there’s a rear branch as well it’s always good on a bonsai to have a rear branch to give it depth from behind when you’re looking at the front view also the way i’ve got it planted at the moment you’ve got a bit of trunk flair going down towards the roots the root base the other thing here is that we have an ugly trunk chop that was done several years ago and it’s just been left there so what i want to do now is actually carve that tide it up and give the impression of more taper in this upper part of the trunk [Music] so there are a few techniques that we can use to make the trunk look more interesting without having to use wires you’ll need more time and patience to do it this way but it’ll be worth it this is the point at which you’d wire your young shoe if you wanted to achieve a typical s-shape but instead we’re going to let it grow on for two or three years to fatten up after you see the bark texture starting to form on the trunk it’s time to go to the next stage and that is what i call discovering the hidden trunk at your next repotting which would normally be in spring you may be able to uncover a very pleasant surprise a lot of buried trunks have already some good movement in them and a lower root plane now keep in mind every tree is completely different but hey you might get pleasantly surprised so use this opportunity to prune off those unwanted higher up roots and repot the tree with the new root plane as the base and i recommend planting it in a bigger deeper pot or even plant it in the ground to achieve the fastest growth now next winter or the winter after it’s time for the first trunk chop you want to do it a little way above what you judge to be the new leader and leave that stub there for a year to protect your new leader and it seems that protecting the new leader is the agenda of the day so you can’t say i’m not topical on this channel moving swiftly on the following winter is a good time to carve that stub down to a better shape and you do this to make the transition look a lot more natural and to help the trunk taper which in the long term will make your tree look more natural and mature now let’s go forward again by two or three years your new leader has grown in a good direction and thickened up nicely so it’s time for another trunk chop at the appropriate place now every year you want to be pruning back those lower branches maybe even twice a year in summer and winter because you don’t want them to get as fat as the trunk itself and these are not sacrifice branches we’re talking about let’s go forward by another two or three years and we get to another winter trunk chop same process again choose your new leader chop above it with sufficient space for die back and keep on pruning those branches every year and you can do as many iterations of that process as you really need to now by this stage you can see it’s probably already looking like a pretty reasonable tree so let’s grow it forward into the future a few more years and it becomes time to start refining the tree and pruning for finer ramification there’s one important addition here in bonsai nurseries you can buy pre-bonsai material that is already somewhere along this path and they’re usually excellent value for money so you don’t always have to start from the tiny shoot i hope you enjoyed this little animation don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and see more like this and now i’m going to show you putting the theory into practice to get my saw into the top of the trunk or that stub part there we need to get this branch out the way and if this is the front view we don’t really need that one in the way anyway so i’m actually going to cut this one back to about here leaving a little stub and leaving open passage to where i need to saw to tidy up the whole top so let’s mark a line we cut down a little bit on this side sort of down maybe to here on the rear side we’re actually cutting down a lot more to see if we can get a bit more taper going there further than that even let’s just make a start see how we go [Music] not surprisingly it’s quite tough going [Music] so [Music] now it’s the middle of january the snow is still on the ground but it’s a pretty nice warm temperature out about 15 degrees and where we left it off was cutting this trunk to get a bit of taper and to hide most of the wound to the back so let’s carry on with that get my mask on very accustomed to wearing masks over the last year [Music] you can see that better like this pretty good [Music] oh at last that has caused such a load of work for such a small amount of wood let’s have a look at how that looks now so we can already see some taper is happening there that’s nice the main part of the wound will be at the back of the tree and then there’ll be some taper this side so i’m going to get the carving tools and carve out this now have this dremel um which is a rotational sanding device so i can really get right into the wood there and obviously it creates a lot of dust so i’m going to put this on again [Music] [Music] [Music] so [Music] [Applause] [Applause] [Music] take this off now also what you can see here is i have the lower trunk that was probably originally buried then the nice bit of good barky trunk at bark i really love the bark and then the new shoot here is way too tall i mean really this should be chopped about here but the thing is i want to get a few more of these branches coming out there you can see there’s some buds there so what we’ll do is we’ll grow this on for this one year and then next winter i’ll probably chop it about here we’ll get another one growing that way we’ll carry on this lovely movement maybe this way just around the edges i’m going to put some sealant so here’s my wood sealant it’s a typical bonsai brand i’m not going to recommend one now the really important thing about this sealant is just to get it around the edges of the wound don’t have to put it right into the middle we’ll just protect it from any water coming in over the next three or so months until it starts getting hot here [Applause] okay so having finished my winter work on this one we’ll just put it back on the shelf or on the bench for another year check it out next year now this one here i did the same thing last year so let’s inspect how that looks now so you can see i did this a similar thing a diagonal trunk chop and then carved it away they heal over no problem at all i think it’s going to be another year before i can really do anything more with that but that’s it’s going to make quite a nice little showing [Music] and what we’ve done here is that the the gradient of the chop that i’ve carved actually follows the line it’s a new leader i’ll actually probably make this the new lead here and maybe chop that one off [Music] bye [Music] [Music] wow [Music]

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