Repairing Snapped Bonsai Branches

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A favourite bonsai is blown off a bench during strong winds and several important branches get broken. Or, when wiring a tree, a branch is bent a little too far and the branch snaps.

Judging by the number of questions raised on the bonsai forums over the years, these are events that have happened to all of us at least once. Very often an enthusiast has tried to repair the branch themselves and though the cambium layer repairs itself, the wound keeps reopening and is a weak point in the branch.

So how do you successfully repair a snapped branch? Or does it just need to be removed and regrown? Though I have seen many repairs and remedies offered by fellow enthusiasts (ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime) the best way of repairing a snapped branch is extraordinarily simple.

Repairing Snapped Bonsai Branches

I've snapped this thin Privet branch and it shows a pretty typical scenario. As a two-year old shoot, the wood is quite brittle so it has snapped on one side while being bent into position.

If the branch is completely separated into two pieces, it cannot be repaired and should be pruned away and the wound cleaned up. However, if one side of the cambium layer (branch) is still attached naturally, it can literally be glued back together.

Repairing Snapped Bonsai Branches

A spot of superglue (any brand) is put onto the surface of the wood......

Repairing Snapped Bonsai Branches

................ and the branch is glued back together. It really is as simple as that!

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