Freeze damaged Brazilian Raintree Restoration

So, I had a BRT that I had mostly been using as airlayering stock. However, I was about at the point where I was going to begin designing it as a proper bonsai, when the deep freeze hit Texas last February. I lost all of my ficuses and thought I had lost all my BRT’s too, but by April I saw tiny little buds breaking at the soil line. Since then it has been putting out suckers like crazy, and I had to make a decision about what to do: (1) cuttings, (2) new air layers or (3) something else. I wound up choosing something else, which being interpreted means today I wrapped the suckers tightly with raffia in hopes that the little branchlets will fuse into substantial branches. or maybe trunks. If they do, the results will probably be pretty neat. But the potential problems I see are (1) inverse taper at the base where the branchlets connect to the old main trunk (2) the branchlets don’t fuse or (3) the branchlets die back a frequent occurrence when pruning BRTs normally. Any other observations about possible outcomes or next steps? Here’s some pics:

Frozen BRT

Frozen Stump with new buds

New suckers emerging from three bud locations at soil line

Soaking the raffia

Gathering the suckers into groups

Lower leaves, petioles and thorns removed, Suckers wrapped tightly

Two groups were all I could gather

Finished for now


Neat idea. I have been playing with small groups of trident maples to build a lower trunk for a multi-branched tree. I just wired the branches in the last couple of days.