This was grafted by Brent at Evergreen Gardenworks in 2004. Here is how (not) quickly Zuisho grows:
2006 as a 2nd season graft in a 1-gal can:
2007; 3rd year:
2008; 4th year, potted up to a 10″ terra cotta:
2009; 5th year, straightened the trunk:
2011; slip-potted into a larger terra cotta pot:
2012; still growing…nothing has been pruned away yet:
2013; moved to the ground:
2014; first year for pine cones…which were removed:
Pot IQ quiz…can you name the maker of this burnished Tokoname pot?
Potted up in March, ’15:
Fall is a good time to wire, and since the tree responded well to the repotting by growing strong this year, it is safe to proceed.
First, the only branches moving to the right crossed from the left, and emerged from an awkward spot at the inside of a curve. They’d always be a problem, so they were removed. This, along with old needles represented the only foliage removed. The goal was to use as much of the foliage as possible, while setting up the design to have “room to grow” into itself over the next few years.
Heavy branches were wrapped with raffia and moved with Guy wires to prevent breaking. Moving them down and spreading them out allows light into the tree, and provides space for developing foliage pads over the next few years.
And sorting what little there was for an apex:
Night shot shows what tweaks need to be made:
The design will allow the upcoming years’ growth plenty of room to fill in, and frame in the trunk from the right and top.
Thanks for reading! Next week, we’ll continue with more from Bill Valavanis’ International Arboretum, and then we’ll jump into some more JBP seasonal work.
As discussed last week, part of the problem with this white pine is the rotted trunk. It must be addressed by cleaning out the rotted wood, drying it out, and applying a preservative. Here is the rotted section before:
Digging in with dental picks, gouges, and pliers, the rotting wood is removed, back to hard wood, as much as possible:
An inconspicuous hole is drilled upward into the hollow to ensure water can drain, rather than pool inside the sabamiki:
Without any real artistic skill, the sabamiki shows beautiful character. It is allowed to dry, then the preserving begins, with lime sulfur, tinted with several concentrations of black ink.
Each species displays unique deadwood traits. JWP tend to have hollows develop, leaving behind a lattice-like scaffolding of former branches. Below is a good example of this tendency. The JWP in this article also shows this lattice-like scaffolding deep inside the trunk. The wood was simply harder than the rotten wood around it, and has persisted. It’s good to study deadwood of different species to gain a good perspective of how it should look.
Next week, we’ll finish up this year’s work with some pruning and wiring.