i think having saplings in the middle will give a hollow on larger bundles, regardless. Because you are surrounding the middle saplings with fused trees, they have nowhere to expand into and so their live tissue cannot expand with the increasing nutrient demands of the branches above it. This might cause the inner saplings to die or, alternately, the pressure of them growing may split the entire bundle as the fusion tissue is not hardwood for some time.
The reason i have a sapling in the middle of my bundle is because it is very small. I did not want to have a scaffold that was so small. Also, I was hoping that the surrounding trees would feed the inner one once fused, supporting the upper branches of the center sapling. Normally, nutrients are carried up the tree in a straight line relative to the movement of the trunk. This can be easily seen on old junipers where there is a lot of deadwood and a live vein. this is also why if you cut the bark off below a branch, it will likely die. There is not a whole lot of lateral movement of nutrients through the tree. There is some, but it is not much (depending on the species of course). I was hoping that because wound tissue (like that found in the fusion joints) is less organized (think of the grain as going in spirals and random directions rather than the normal straight grain of the wood we are used to) that there would be more lateral movement of nutrients that would support the branches of the inner tree.
Of course, none of this matters when you start with saplings that are probably dead to begin with...
science as a verb wrote: Normally, nutrients are carried up the tree in a straight line relative to the movement of the trunk. This can be easily seen on old junipers where there is a lot of deadwood and a live vein. this is also why if you cut the bark off below a branch, it will likely die. There is not a whole lot of lateral movement of nutrients through the tree. There is some, but it is not much (depending on the species of course).
Just a little note on this. Sapflow from root to foliage is through the sapwood, which is underneath the bark & cambium layer. So not through the bark. Flow of sugars from leaves to roots occurs through the bark. The reasone for branches dying (Notably in junipers) is that the root that provides the branch with nutrients is not given back sugars from the branch. The roots gets weaker and eventually dies off.
I read an article (couldn't find it on a quick search) but, will try to find it & post link.
It described the die-back of center saplings used in this technique, as you'd mentioned previously
Update us on your progress please. I'd like too see the progression.
Good luck! Spring is here w/ all it's glory!
My forum name is rather cumbersome, it seems. Aaron is fine.
I fear that they are very dead and have been from the start. I haven't lost so much hope that I have stopped watering them when the soil begins to be dry, but I have lost enough to recognize that I might be just watering sticks for my own misguided hope that they aren't dead.
If you find the article, please let me know. Otherwise, i will try again next year and post it here or nearby in these forums.
Did you read "Bonsai Trunk Fusion" by Greg Wientzel?
Here under Advanced techniques;
In Naka's "Techniques II" he describes a honeysuckle " vines wrapped around interesting branches, after several years branch inside rots away & vines fuse together"
Up your alley!
Great pro's & cons list. Pro's being speed, control of height, taper, movement, no trunk chops.
one caveat- I thought a good note: get extra & set a few of the seedlings aside in case some die.
History, photos & how-to.
The 1st I referred to was a Fuku Bonsái article I think. Based in Hawaii, working w/ tropicals they do some WILD fusion/grafting! Should inspire you!
Hope it helps!!!!
There's a competition? I see. Thats a very cool idea b/c everyone is learning together. & hopefully the winner shares what made him/her so successful. NEAT!!
Remember I'm the "newbie!!! Lol
Saw a thread about an old contest- bonsai-photography-in-Wild.
When such is arranged, is it placed here on the forum? Or is this contest w/in your club?
Hope you have time to catch up!!!xoxo