Ondae I’ll make a decision, pt 1

This is a corkbark Japanese black pine, cultivar is Ondae. I bought it 5-6 years ago because the cultivar is known to bark up quickly. However, since I bought it, I’ve struggled with the zigzag pattern of the trunk, and the two-dimensional feel it had. Did I mention that the bark is soft and the wood is too? Working on the apex one summer, I twisted it clean off. Oops…that move set me back a few years. I tried grafting into the 2nd section of trunk to break up that straight line. It did not take. I performed an approach graft that spring too, which also didn’t take. I’ve really spent the last 4 years disliking this tree in general.
Before twisting off the apex:

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Later that year:

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Last year, I started looking at other options…

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Finally, I’d had enough. In January I decided if I removed the faults, the tree should improve. I decided to choose a new front, create a new trunk line, and eliminate the old, straight, boring, problematic section.

Since I know the bark isn’t persistent, and the wood is soft, the first step was to carefully remove the bark from the branch to be bent, wrap it in Parafilm, then raffia to protect it.

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Just to be safe, I left the bottom left branch until I know the wired section survives. That way, if the new section of trunk doesn’t make it for some reason, I’ll still have a backup plan.

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By late April, the candles were big enough to proceed with some confidence…more next week.

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