I’ve written on a number of occasions, and you’ve doubtless read here and elsewhere, that when decandling black or red pine bonsai it is important to make a square cut (see “Decandling black pine – making the cut”).
Until recently, however, I’d seen little evidence that the long end of a slanted cut inhibits new shoots more than the short end. A test was in order. This past spring I made lots of slanted cuts to see what actually happens.
Sample angle of slanted cuts
Although the results were mixed, more slanted cuts yielded the expected results than not.
New shoot growing on cue at short end of cut
Not strong enough to produce a new shoot, decandling here produced a new bud that will open next spring
Of course, there were plenty of exceptions, including some new shoots that popped up in unexpected places.
What’s this? Summer growth emerging to the side of the cut
It appears that at best, making a slanted cut yields stronger buds at the short end of the cut, and at worst, the results are totally unpredictable. The simple moral of the story appears to be that we’re better off making square cuts.
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