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 – 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 with a sharp saw
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
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.
Healing a large wound on a Japanese maple