Wedge cut on a smooth bark tree

So I just watched Ryan’s lesson on bending trunks and the thought just popped into my head – I’ve never seen anyone bend a smooth bark tree using a wedge cut.

It feels like this is quite possible and the tree can probably succeed at healing that cut sign but perhaps the wound location will end up forever too obvious for it to increase the quality of a subject tree and thus not worth doing.

What’s the consensus on this?


Hi @armanm
What are you thinking of cutting?
In the UK deciduous trees like hazel, hawthorn, field maple and elm are “laid” to make hedges. The trunks are cut with a bill hook on a downward swing leaving only about 10-20% of the trunk intact. The tree is then pushed over and pinned in a horizontal position to make the hedge.
If these trees can take this level of abuse, I’m sure they will survive a wedge cut. The question is, what will the final product look like?

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Here is some hedge laying.

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@AndyK thanks for the link. I had never heard of hedge laying – what an interesting thing to do.

It looks to me like hedgelaying is a practice for the purpose of controlling livestock and/or wind protection – however my question is more from the perspective of bonsai practice.

As far as I know pines are the only trees you can successfully wedge cut. This is because of the way pines move resources through their vascular tissue, they can move resources laterally, other trees do not so wedge cuts will cut off all resources to any branches above the cut that had been moving resources through the area you cut out.