Having a thick trunk may seem like a trivial task when it comes to bonsai. But it can make all the difference between success and failure. Developing a thick trunk will produce a bonsai tree that lasts longer and grows healthier.
What’s more, growing a thick trunk will encourage better root development. Overall, the thicker the trunk, the healthier the bonsai tree will be. Growing a new bonsai does take time and effort. However, the end result will be a tree that will last for years to come.
How to Thicken a Bonsai Tree Trunk: Different Techniques to Consider
There are several techniques to consider when it comes to growing a thicker trunk on your bonsai tree, so here is a list of the most effective techniques to try:
Tip #1: Split the Trunk
One of the best ways to grow a thick trunk is to split the trunk into two or more parts during the start of its growing stage. This will create multiple trunks, which in turn, will provide the tree with added stability.
This technique works by taking a healthy trunk, cutting it down and creating two new trunks from each side. This will force the branches to grow in different trunk directions, and this will create a thicker trunk.
Tip #2: Use a Wire Tourniquet to Induce Swelling
Another technique to develop a thicker trunk is by using a wire tourniquet to induce swelling. This is done by wrapping the trunk in a wire tourniquet and letting it stay for a few months.
This technique will cause the bark cells near the tree’s circumference to harden and increase the amount of wood tissue. This will make the trunk thick and sturdy, but be sure to use this technique sparingly as it can also permanently scar your bonsai.
Tip #3: Opt for the Sacrifice Branch Technique
The sacrifice branch technique is the act of growing one branch to its full potential, and then cutting it off and using the wood to allow another branch to grow more vigorously. Do this by choosing a branch that you want to keep, then tie it to a completely different branch that you plan to cut off.
This will force the branch you want to keep to grow into the desired direction and make it stronger, resulting in thicker and stronger trunks.
After a while, you will notice that one branch become abnormally thick and strong. You can then decide to cut off the other branch and force the thick branch to grow even more. The thicker the branch, the healthier your bonsai will be.
Tip #4: Create Intentional Scars
Scars can be used to grow thicker trunks as well. It involves using a knife to cut a few deep lines into the tree’s trunk until you reach the sap layer. This will activate the tree’s natural defense mechanism, which is to focus on healing the wounds and growing thick bark, which will result in a thick trunk.
The Bottom Line: Encouraging Your Bonsai to Grow Thicker Trunks
Bonsai trees are living things and like humans, they all have different needs, which mean unique techniques work better with specific kinds of bonsai trees. With knowledge and the proper techniques, you can grow a thick trunk in no time!
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