Stephen Chalmers 94035871 at
Thu Sep 5 04:31:59 EST 1996

Some time ago, in a galaxy surprisingly close to this
one,tgray at (TGray) wrote:

>"how, in that context, do you explain 
>the viability of bonsai-ed trees?"

>There are many differences between bonsai and topping, primarily in the
>size of the cuts and the amount of foliage that is removed at the time of
>pruning. The effect is similar - a reduction in size and growth rate - but
>topping has side effects which bonsai does not.  In topping, the long-term
>health of the tree is compromised, whereas in bonsai it is not.

>I have seen some very viable full-sized "bonsai" trees, notably Cedrus
>deodara and Pinus radiata, which have excellent viability (of course, root
>pruning was not possible). In topping, much larger cuts are made than in
>bonsai, and without respect to the arrangement of the parts of the tree,
>particularly the parts responsible for compartmentalizing the cuts. A
>well-placed bonsai cut is a small one that has a much higher probability
>of compartmentalizing properly. True, bonsai pruning depletes the tree's
>energy stores, but much less energy is needed to recover from a bonsai
>pruning than from topping, and there is a much higher success rate as a

IMHO if you are going to lop a tree that severely, you don't really
want it in the first place. There are some exceptions, but the
circumstances need to be special (e.g safety, historical significance,
legal reasons)

Stephen Chalmers        |"Bother!" said Pooh as he realised
Lavington NSW           |that his leg cutter had failed to
Australia                    |lure the cunning Piglet into a
chuckc at         |false stroke.
94035871 at

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