Best technique to close a scar or big cut


(Michael) #1

Hi Everyone,
Have couples of JBP with sacrifice branches which will need to be removed soon…
Just wondering what r the best techniques to use for “closing” and seal the scars after the branches r removed?
I’m scared of making close cut to the trunk cos it might affect some buds and weak little branches close to the sacrifice branch atm as i would like to keep them for future design.
Should i cut far and let a segment of the old branch to let it dry “safely” and adjust the cut closer and closer progressively?
Or should i make a sharp clean cut as close as possible to let the fresh bark to heal it asap?


(Justin) #2

i would leave a stub so that part can dry out, but i would also put cut past on the cut so that the tree doesnt bleed a lot. wait a year then take some off again, and then go from there


(Jonas Dupuich) #3

Ideally, you’d cut back to a branch that is about 1/3 the size of the branch that was removed and then let that branch run to help heal the wound. If you’re worried about young branches or buds near the base of the branch, I’d either wait to cut or cut a ways away from the intersection.


(Michael) #4

ok so far we choose the ‘conservative’ way then.
In the case of JBP, what about if i want to remove a whole branch without any ‘running’ branch close to it but just the trunk only?
Should i cut as close as possible to the trunk straight away or ‘reduce’ the branch progressively ?


(Jonas Dupuich) #5

If there are no nearby branches to help with healing, now’s a good time to cut. I’d gauge out the area with a chisel and seal with cut paste.

For larger cuts, maybe over 1.5"-2", I’ll sometimes leave a “peg” in the center of the cut. I don’t know that this makes a big difference or not.


(Michael) #6

What do you mean by ‘now’s a good time to cut’?
What is the best type or brand of sealer to use for jpb?
Is beginning of spring - end of winter best time to do it?
What is the purpose of the aluminium foil to cover scar on maples for instance?


(Jonas Dupuich) #7

Now is good because the tree is growing. End of winter is best because the whole growing season lies ahead.

I haven’t scientifically tested the different pastes (this is on my list) - any putty, paste, glue, sealer should be fine.

I asked a proponent of the foil method in Japan what’s behind it and the idea was to keep the area well sealed and cool. He used some substance that might have washed away without it and the foil both kept the area somewhat sealed and cool as it reflects some heat away from the wound.


(Michael) #8

umm… are these ‘substances’ kept secret? Looks like they use this technique only on maple?
what will be best time during the day to perform big cut on pines to avoid as max the sap ‘bleeding’? Will night be better than sunlight time?


(Jonas Dupuich) #9

The substance we talked about was a grafting paste called Tsugirou - the variety was black pine. Here’s the tree we were talking about (see last photo in article):
https://bonsaitonight.com/2014/03/21/creating-the-trunk-charting-future-growth/

I have no idea if there’s an optimal time of day for cutting or if it makes much of a difference either way.


(Michael) #10

Thx for the link Jonas,
In the past, i thought that the aluminium foil was used to increase temperature (by sunlight) to accelerate the production of the scar tissue…?
Regarding the preparation of the tree before big cut, should we ‘pump’ it up to get it ready for the procedure or let it ‘sleep’ a bit to avoid heavy ‘bleeding’?


(Jonas Dupuich) #11

Hadn’t thought about preparing trees for cuts. Getting the timing right by cutting at the start of the season or when the new growth has hardened off (now-ish, depending on location) means that we’re cutting when the tree is most likely to respond well. If the tree isn’t healthy I don’t recommend cutting.

As for the effect of foil on temperature, I can’t say more than I’ve heard about it as I haven’t tested the approach to learn what exactly the effect is.


(clive bennett) #12

Leave a stub thern after it has dried in a years time peel of the bark and leave it as dead wood


(Les Lonsdale) #13

This may or may not involve conifers, but I have read somewhere (but haven’t tried it yet) that when cutting off a very large branch which will take a long time to heal, it is best to just cut about 1/2 way through (from bottom up), then give it a year or more to heal before cutting off the rest of the branch. Supposedly by leaving the branch on it will leave more actively growing tissue to help heal the wound much faster.

Anybody heard of this or tried this??


(Jonas Dupuich) #14

Ebihara has done this a lot (starting from the top down) with maples:

https://bonsaitonight.com/2012/10/16/ebiharas-maples/

I’ve done this with deciduous varieties but haven’t tried it with pines.