My Ponderosa

Here is one I collected in 2010. It has been allowed to grow freely, although a bit neglected in a shady corner for the last couple years.


The trunk has great bark, and some good movement, although the photos flatten the movement somewhat. The main goal was to compact the design; highlighting the existing movement, just taking up less space.

We started by identifying the areas we could compress, and identifying the areas that may split. Although pondy is very flexible, it will split at the crotches of branches. Raffia, along with properly placed hands and wire ensures branches can be moved nearly anywhere they need to be placed.

After raffia, #4 copper wire was applied, more to serve as tie-off points for guy-wires than to make and hold the bends.

The bending begins to pull the foliage closer to the trunk, using several guy-wires to ensure the bending doesn’t happen on one plane only:

The primary branch is in place, next we move on to the next branch up; here, Ron applying another course of raffia:

The bending continues, placing foliage so each tip is pointing up, and each shoot has access to sunlight. Since the tree didn’t have much foliage to begin with, we tried to use as much as we could. In the end, we removed about 25% of the foliage:

In all, the tree was reduced by about half, in length, and by more than half in height. Not bad at all!



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