When is it safe for junipers and pines to make large bends with wedge cuts?
I time the difficult bends for juniper just prior to the active growth season, not usually wedge cuts, I prefer channel cuts with wire reinforcements, or raffia wrap and wire support. For pines I prefer a time when the sap is not flowing to u have but there is several weeks of active growth left, or the growing season is beginning!
By “channel cuts”, do you mean removing a portion of the heartwood along the length of the limb/trunk in the area where you wish to make the bend? Why do you prefer this method?
Have you tried it on deciduous trees?
I have two “problem trees” with straight trunks. One is a very old boxwood the other is a cork bark oak. I understand the risks of creating scars, especially on the oak, but don’t know another method on thick limbs/trunks that would even give even a subtle amount of motion.
It is not that i prefer this particular method but rather that it lends itself to certain species and situations. In particular i use it on Junipers, cypress and have had succes with it on cedar as well for example. One advantage is that properly done the final result is almost undetectable after healing.
The process is fairly detailed and time consuming to do it properly but can be very effective. If you decide to try it, i would advise getting an experienced person to guide you through all the steps on the first attempt. The size of the channel, wire inserts and anchoring is tricky if you have no previous experience.
I personally have not used it on deciduous and would not reccomend it for that purpose. That is not to say some may feel differently.
Thanks Frank, I’ll look forward to hearing from others. Everyone has a different experience and certain techniques they find work best for them. I hope other readers offer suggestions.
I have made lots of wedge cuts on many types of trees with about a 95% success rate. My largest one was on a very large chinese elm with a 4" diameter trunk where I did the wedge cut. The 5% unsuccessful tries were mainly on boxwoods because they are so brittle. But I have been successful on several of them also.