My JBP has "hips" on the lower trunk

The base was covered with soil when I bought the tree. there were branches lower on the trunk and were cut off not well. I got a pregnant looking trunk on my wonderful JBP Help!!!What to do to repair the hips effect?Continuing the discussion from Next step Black Pine:

Big scars require vigorous growth for them to callus over. If the wounds are still open, letting a branch or two near the apex grow freely for a couple of years can speed up the healing process. I’d also consider reopening the wounds:


Excellent! I searched your archives without success.(?) I felt that this was probably covered already, but I seem to be unable to retrieve sources from Bonsai tonight. I signed up again today so I could sign on. Unable to find sign in spot on the site so that I can converse. Thanks for good definitive info. Robert Carrell.

JBP “hips”. Frank Corrigan suggested grafting a branch low on the trunk to increase circumference below the hips. I read your post on grafting. Should I graft below the hips or at the hips or someplace else?? Thanks. Also your post on repairing bad cuts suggest reopening the wound and lowering the wood beneath the cambium to, perhaps, reduce the unsightly bulge. Is that the purpose? I love your archive posts.

Two techniques come to mind for addressing the “hips.”

  1. You can try an air-layer. I don’t know if it will work, but pine branches can be layered after 1-2 years from mature trees.

  2. You can encourage lots of thickening. If the trunk grows to 2-3" in diameter, it’s possible that the swelling will be less visible. It’ll very likely disappear at 4-5" in diameter.

The first option is a gamble. The second requires a lot of time. Cutting away a portion of the swelling will yield big scars and may not, ultimately, help much.

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Thank u so much 4 your feedback on my JBP with hips.
Have been unable to send email to [email protected] Emails keep coming back as “undelivered”
So, I’m sending this to Jonas and Frank C, who graciously have given me tips on dealing with
my JBP hips issue. I will attempt to open the old wound and lower the ‘wood’ profile so the cambium will not, hopefully, have to grow over a distorted trunk outline. Am working on a technique to lower the bulging trunk. Probably not new, but I haven’t seen this technique b4.

Just had another idea! How thick is the diameter of the bulge?
What if you created a channel vertical on the bulge to remove some inner wood like a v shape. Then used rubber wrap and a circle clamp to compress the bulge and close the gap on the channel, leaving the circle clamp in place to allow the cambium to heal and the area to set in the new form. Kind of like incising the preferred mass and recreating the desired form. I would choose on of the sides where a branch was taken off. If one also created a bit of a bend ( the cut area on the inside of the bend it would partially hide the resulting scar) Similar process as used for difficult bends in thicker branches.

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I think I am going to try Frank’s suggestion on a little gem spruce I just bought that has reverse taper. I didn’t realize it ha the problem until I dug down an inch in the soil to try and find the roots. Either that or trunk splitting.

Historically, trunk splitting has yielded rather poor results. I have yet to see a satisfactory result with that approach. Perhaps others could share their experiences.

I have never tried it but have read several descriptions. Thanks for the advice. Maybe I will try the trunk splitting on inferior material to see what kind of results it yields.

I have had difficulties in getting emails delivered to [email protected]. I will try again. I took your suggestion of a channel and altered it a bit. A vertical slit to the wood on the bulge, down to the dirt line. I disssected the bark/cambium away from the wood and isolated a 3/16" stump, concave cut it out, dissected the wood/cambium interface to the dirt level, placed wood debris from the stump at the bottom of the slit, then cut pasted the defect and raffiaed(word?) the entire site. Picture 1 shows the stump exposed, pic 2 shows post removal of said stump, and pic 3 shows the postoperative site. I placed the patient in the shad to convalesce. I re-read your note about the steel clamps and added doubled rubber bands over the upper part of the wound where the stump had been.

PIC 1 & 2

Couldn’t get pic 3 to load, but here is the bottom of the cut where I stashed
wood debris to thicken the lower trunk( I hope)

Uploading: IMG_0564.JPG…
I would appreciate any feedback on this procedure, specifically how to care for this JBP after this procedure. Could I repot the tree next early spring?
Thanks for any feedback.

Will be interested to see the progress!
If the tree responds well and is healthy i would consider a 1/2 bare root repot in the spring. If not sure then i would wait until the following fall.

Did u get the pictures? I appreciate your input, cause I’m in deep water on this 1. I figure that the JBP is useless unless I can correct the deformity, so I just jumped in. Thanks again 4 your help. Should I put it in full sun now or wait awhile?

I did get the pictures when i returned home last night. Sent you an email. It is ok to put in the sun. Preserve the remaining foliage, no more work and let it recover and gain in health.

EXCELLENT! I am very hopeful about this tree. Talk 2 u later.