Here are some of the details that you’ll need to have in mind when you set out building trunks that have good movement, taper and proportions.
Notice the new shoot that’s going to be my choice for continuing the trunk line. It just so happens that it emerges in a perfect location relative to the leader that I was able to chop the trunk to (you’ll often find yourself just chopping to a stump; in this case I was able to chop to a reasonably thick low branch that worked nicely).
Why is that small shoot in just the right spot? I’ve found that when building taper, chopping a trunk (or branch) usually works best if you don’t exceed two or three basal diameters from the previous transition point. Visually, this is ideal. So when I make this next cut, I’m maintaining a good sense of proportion. (To further illustrate this principle, if you measure the base of this tree at the soil and then measure three of those lengths from the soil, voila, you’ll be at the trunk chop I made when I lifted the tree.)