How to Trunk Chop a Bonsai Tree

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Bonsai Trunk Chop

The trunk of a bonsai tree is one of the most important parts of your miniature plant design. A beautiful chest is not only incredibly visually appealing; Also, a strong trunk is essential to the well-being of a bonsai tree.

However, developing large and interesting logs is not an easy task, although there are several techniques that can be applied, one of which is the practice of cutting logs.

Learning how to cut bonsai the right way is critical, as approaching this process without preparation and knowledge can do more harm than good.

Why Trunk Chopping has Sometimes Deemed a “Dirty” Word?

In the bonsai world, there are bonsai masters who refer to cutting the log as a “dirty” word, but why?

Above all, there is nothing wrong with cutting the log.

But at some bonsai shows and exhibits, it's common for you to come across a tree that has had its trunk cut down at some point without fully recovering from its injuries.

The scars cut into the trunk are only visible if you look at the back of the bonsai shown. For some bonsai enthusiasts, large, unhealed scars may not be a big deal. However, for seasoned bonsai connoisseurs, this is an undesirable effect that can ruin the entire design of the little masterpiece on display.

Trunk Chopping your Bonsai

While not the easiest part of training your bonsai tree, trimming the trunk is an essential tool for building a solid and admirable trunk that further complements the authentic look of the miniature tree.

To achieve that thin cone and achieve the desired asymmetrical effect between thinner branches and a large, strong trunk, trimming the trunk is a great option.

The Moyogi Tapering Style

With the classic Japanese Moyogi tapered style, one of the most important things to consider is the trunk emerging from the ground, as it is critical to achieving the desired look. Because of this, the trunk must show signs of movement before being cut.

As a general rule, the log cut should be done in a straight line. Direct cultivation is recommended as new buds do not normally develop to a high point.

This means that the buds can also look lower, so if you don't cut the stem straight, you may need to cut it again. The reason it is best to avoid having to re-cut the trunk is that it will inevitably leave a large scar and slow down the development of a bonsai tree.

The Spreading Oak Tapering Style

To start with, the cut should be cut straight across the torso, just like with the Moyogi tapered style.

The best time of year to cut the trunk is in mid-fall when the primaries grow year-round, so you can choose the three best buds that will later lead to the growth of the tree.

Once cut in the fall, you should wait until spring before cutting the branch once you notice four pairs of leaves after the buds burst. The goal is to leave the branch with only one pair intact, rather than four.

To achieve the extended oak look, you should start adding wire after a few weeks of growth.

Your goal is to be patient, as this particular style can take about four years to fully perform. The secondaries must be done in the same way as the primaries. Finally, the tertiary will be built on the canopy.

Important Things to Remember before Chopping the Trunk of your Bonsai

Trunk cutting should only be applied to healthy, vigorous, and well-developed tree species. If your bonsai tree shows any signs of slow development, avoid cutting the trunk or you can simply kill your miniature tree before it grows to its full potential.

Tree species belonging to the Acer genus generally respond very well to trunking. The same goes for most hardwood deciduous trees. This type of tree can recover from injuries relatively quickly and with high survival rates.

When you think about the desired trunk shape you want to achieve, it can be a great idea to spend some time in nature. There is a solid reason why bonsai trees collected from nature are considered rare, extraordinary, and quite expensive treasures: living nature is an incomparable artist who can always surprise you with unusual shapes and patterns.

Final Thoughts

A bonsai tree always "talks" to its owner. It only takes time to understand its subtle and delicate language to read the signals and signals it sends out right away.

If this is your first time trying to figure out how to cut down a bonsai tree, remember that planning, contemplation, and patience are crucial. Take your time, but let the tree guide you to reach your full potential and beauty, the sweetest and most challenging part of being not only a bonsai gardener but also an artist.

Enjoy This Video Tutorial About Bonsai

Source: Blue Sky Bonsai

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