Bonsai tree: Big cut – crape myrtle

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bonsai tree: Big cut – crape myrtle

Source: Bonsai Tonight
Big cut – crape myrtle

Greg recently brought a crape myrtle to a Bay Island Bonsai workshop. The tree has a large trunk and good roots. It also has a big first branch. Boon recommended removing it.

Crape myrtle - front

Crape myrtle – front

Right side

Crape myrtle – left side

Left side

Crape myrtle – right side

Because the branch was so large, Boon recommended making the cut in stages. Greg could cut most of the way through today, and complete the cut next year.


Proposed cut – left side


Proposed cut – right side

Removing the branch in stages speeds the time it takes for the wound to heal over. It’s also less stressful for the tree.

Making the cut

Making the cut with a sharp saw

The cut

Cut complete

After making the cut, Greg cleaned the edges of the cut with a grafting knife. Even sharp saws tend to leave rough edges. Cleaning the cut with a grafting knife will help the wound to heal quickly.

Cleaning the cut

Cleaning the cut

After cleaning the cut, Greg covered the wound with cut paste. In one or two years, the cut will have healed significantly and the rest of the branch can be removed.

I first learned about this technique in Japan at Ebihara’s garden. Here is a photo of a Japanese maple undergoing a similar treatment.

Removing large branch

Healing a large wound on a Japanese maple


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