"Upon finding that I work as a professional bonsai artist, many people will remark that they once had a bonsai, but it died and with some regret, they gave up".
Based on the Bonsai Basics section of the hugely successful Bonsai4me.com website and an e-book of the same name, 'Bonsai Basics: The Foundations of Bonsai', written and developed over the past 15 years is out now!
All copies are signed by the author.
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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.
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.
A spot of superglue (any brand) is put onto the surface of the wood......
................ and the branch is glued back together. It really is as simple as that!