Building Frokensteen.   2 comments

Today was sunny and bright in Fresno California, 55 degrees and just a trace of wind. Still had to work in a sweat shirt, but it was a welcome relief from the constant drizzle of the past few weeks. I started by using the three tridents in the original post when I was bored and took them from the pots. This first tree would proove unsuitable for the project as it did not cooperate with the other two trees. I was able to find a suitable replacement that had exactly what I needed both for flare and branches as well as size and shape. Notice how each tree was weak with roots on exactly the side I needed the tree to not have roots. Funny how that works.

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These trees had been cut back hard last season and the bottom scar had callused up and they had grown many new roots.  DSC_00080005  DSC_00090006

All the roots would have to be taken off this side to make the thing work. There were just too many roots there keeping the two trunks from mating up properly  DSC_00100007

Once the roots were out of the way I could get it to lay together like spooning with your wife in bed.  DSC_00110008

The third tree was prepared and placed into position. Notice how the third tree had the perfect shape to lend an additional flare to the bottom of the trunk and continue a nice line on down to the soil. I enlisted the help of my wife to get a couple wraps of electrical tape around the trunks to hold them into position while I prepared them for grafting. Electrical tape has a huge amount of stretch to it making it ideal for this sort of work. You can really pull it tight and get a good amount of pressure on the wood.DSC_00120009  DSC_00130010  DSC_00140011

With a good union down the three grafting areas, I was able to use a very thin Japanese pull saw down each union and cut away a small razor thin portion of wood between the three trees.  DSC_00150012

Once I had all the areas scarred for grafting I applied the green goo to seal it up and. Then I applied a heavy duty wrap of electrical tape above and below the first wrap. I applied the wrap 6 wraps thick, stretching  in between each wrap for maximum pressure. I cut away the first wrap exposing the areas not scarred yet. Used the saw again to cut away a mating surface and wrapped the whole thing up with an additional 6 wraps of tape in that area.  DSC_00170014

I drilled four more holes in a large 14 inch clay pot. This would be so that I could tie the tree in solid.  DSC_00180015

In this photo the tree now has a two inch trunk. The small wire in the top of the picture is the place where I cut the tape after wrapping the entire tree in more tape as tight as I could pull it without breaking. The wire holds the end of the tape firm so it will not start unwrapping due to water.


All taped up and the tree is about eleven inches tall.  DSC_00200017

Preparing to plant it in the pot and tieing in the roots.  DSC_00210018

Today was my pirate mood…..  DSC_00220019

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A blurry look at the nebari  DSC_00260023  DSC_00270024I had a few places where the trunk had been chopped and never finished. I used the die grinder to clean up these places and applied the green goo.

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This is the area after grinding and smoothing.  DSC_00310028

One of the other tree too had a bad place that I dressed and sealed. the reason I do this is to grind back down to green cambium all the way around and then smooth it and seal it. Since it will not dry out and dessicate, it will allow the tree the time needed to callus and start healing. The roll of callus under the seal will start to show in as little as 3 weeks once the growing season starts. It will just heal quickly under the goo and will fall off in about three years.  DSC_00330030  DSC_00340031

The pot was finished up with soil and poked with a chopstick to make sure I had no pockets.

All the sides. Nothing to do now but drink beer and wait for spring.



Posted January 27, 2013 by California Bonsai Art in Trident Techniques

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2 responses to “Building Frokensteen.

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  1. oink oink oink.
    arrrgh matey!

  2. What bit do you use in your die grinder to get that nice smooth surface? I have the same problem with some old chops of mine that need cleaned up like this.

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