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. When there is a will there's a way ! An easy example reflected below illustrates how to fix a snapped branch. Chances to recoup the branch are pretty high and I am not worried that in few months the tree will be back growing in full swing as it did from the very beginning.
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 bonsai glue (any brand) is put onto the surface of the wood. As the callus forms, the paste drops off gradually without leaving marks. I have used this cut seal on my bonsai for a number of years and can not say enough about it. It is easy to apply and covers nicely and blends in with the bonsai so as not to make it stand out. Highly recommend getting this to add to your bonsai supplies.
This technique can be used on all tree species; coniferous, deciduous or broad leaf tree during active growth or during dormancy. This is about it, that's all what it takes to repair a broken branch. I would appreciate your feedback and share your gluing experience with many bonsai enthusiasts around the world.