Developing A Multi-trunk or Clump-Form Bonsai

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roots are cleaned

The roots are cleaned so the the root structure can be studied clearly and arranged.

old rootsystem

With so many surface roots, the old rootsystem can be cut away now; with this removed, the surface roots will be encouraged to thicken even faster. Stubs from the bases of the trunks are left underneath the boards so that the trees are kept in place. Though the roots of each tree now mesh together, their positions are still a little fragile and the trees could come apart if accidentally knocked.

Eventually, the trees' roots will truly fuse together and become 'one' inseparable tree.

the tree(s) are planted back into a large pot

Now that the trunks have thicken sufficiently over the past 4 years, the tree(s) are planted back into a large pot where the work of refinement will begin.

the tree(s) are planted back into a large pot

Using a Wire Tourniquet Versus Using a Drilled Board or Tile

Both the method of a wire tourniquet and a drilled board or tile produce excellent nebari with very little risk to the health or growth rate of the tree.

So which method is better? The method described in this article using a drilled board produces plenty of new lateral roots that are then forced to grow sideways on a level plain and is the preferable method. I have also found that this method produces even better swelling at the base of the trunk than when just using a tourniquet. However, it is only possible to apply this technique to very young trees with very pliable shoots that can be threaded through the board.

While a wire tourniquet (as described here) does not produce quite as good results, it can be applied to any size tree without the need to be able to bend or remove the branches (in order that the tree be threaded through the board) and this is the main advantage of using a wire tourniquet.

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