Trunk splitting to bend a pine tree

Has anyone got experience with trunk splitting in order to facilitate bending of a pine? What’s the best timing to do so? I have a loblolly pine to shape. The trunk is about an inch thick. Any input appreciated.

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With pines you would perform a wedge cut.
Here is one video from the library.
Search “wedge cut” in the library, there are 5 other videos.

Can you show a picture of the tree and container? A one inch pine should be flexible if not full of dead wood. The tree must be very secure in the container.
The tree must be very healthy and thriving.
Ryan shows trunk splitting on a nursery pot spruce using heavy wire spline and raffia. on stream from December 2020. I have had good luck with wire splines supporting pretty severe bends. Raffia can ruin bark on an aged pine, so be aware that bark may be lost if you use this technique. Old bark is valuable on pines. If this is nursery stock then a good technique to learn. If an old yamadori the technique could greatly devalue the tree.

After a time in container, the pine is in the ground, stable and vigorous. The tree has started to develop a thicker bark at the base but not on its trunk yet, so I have at least a year I don’t have to worry about damaging its bark. I guess I wasn’t clear enough - I want to split and shape only a middle section of the trunk with no splitting up to the tree top (after shaping and thickening, the plan is to sacrifice the apex and turn the lower trunk into dead wood while growing a “new” tree from shoots rushing from the tree base). Would you share what tree(s) you did the splitting on and what time of year you did it?

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I don’t believe splitting a trunk on a pine is the proper technique. That is a technique utilized for junipers. With a wedge cut you can put the bend exactly where you want.
It’s sounds like your pine is fairly young and with proper structural wiring technique you can definitely achieve the bend you are looking for.
A wedge cut is the proper technique for pines because of the the way their vascular system works.
I don’t recall Ryan splitting the trunks of pines.

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As others have said… splitting trunk is usually reserved for junipers, elongating species and deciduous trees. The tree I made major bends and divisions from deadwood is a chinese juniper. The work was done near the end of September. I live in zone 5 so autumn time when junipers put on growth. I purchased a trunk splitter to give clean division and used heavy copper wire for splines, secured with dry rafia, then wrapped tightly with wet rafia, then wired with heavy copper and set into place with guy wires if necessary.

the rafia prevents the split from continuing further than you desire, and give compression for the severe bend.

I did three major splits and they have healed nicely and kept their shape. Take photos, and record your successes and failures. I have not had good success with pines, so listen to others that do!!

@MtBakerBonsai and @Bonsai_bob, thank you both for your inputs. Certainly, I’d prefer not to loose the pine by doing something not proper to it however, perhaps you both would agree, not much is found without trying. What am I going to do? Not sure yet. I guess to try getting more info and finding a training pine material to try it on first would help too.

I wouldn’t try because of how the vascular system in pines works.
You will have a higher success rate with a wedge cut.
Like I said before if it a young tree you can put some extreme bends that will look real nice once the tree matures.