Thursday 2 February 2017

Post 232 Sacrificial branches

Every experience with sacrificial branches that Ive had has convinced me of their effectiveness. There are just a couple of tricks with them.
  • First up is patience to allow them to get big enough to work.
  • Then not leave them on too long to leave a chop like transition.
  • Position them so that when removed the scar adds to rather than detracts from the composition.
  • Place the sacrifice for best effect, not too low and not too high. Or on a branch not at the end and not too close to the trunk.
  • And most importantly as they get bigger to balance the energy draw of the sacrifice branch and the tree so that the tree continues to be sustained and grows for development. The sacrifice branch will need occasional hard pruning to prevent it taking over.
Here are some examples I've got working at the moment; all on Natalensis ficus.

The plan for these first two is to produce small trees (currently about 120mm) with heavy trunks in a short time. These two are two years old.

This one is 4 years old and features in Bonsai Foundations. As you can see the sacrifice branch has been regularly pruned, usually to coincide with pruning of the tree itself.

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