Cleaning up a shimpaku shohin

This started out as an air-layer of another shimpaku, made in 2014.  Here it is in summer 2015:
It was pruned back and wired in 2016, and allowed to grow.

Spring 2017, before:


Pruned and wired:

Slip-potted into a nice Shinobu pot:

And mossed up for the show:


Shimpaku Styling 3

This one has been in my garden since 12/11. It’s had a little work done:
2013: First pruning, and a virt, then some Jin & Shari work.
I took it to a workshop with Bjorn I 2014, and we discussed a vision and took a few steps toward the vision.

First, I expanded the Shari on the right trunk. I wanted to make a twist, but it would have girdled the lower right branch, so I had to take it down the center. This makes the left live vein very important to the movement:


Problem is, the two left branches the live vein supports aren’t important to the design. If I took them out, the left live vein would eventually die and I’d be left with a very dead left side. For now, I’m keeping the left two branches, and ultimately will need to force or graft some low growth on one of those 2 left branches, which will be hidden and not part of the design, but will keep the left vein alive.

Next, we hollowed out the upper right trunk and bent it down to compact the design.

Using a copper wire on the inside of the hollow to keep it from collapsing on itself:


We wrapped it with raffia, along with the lower right branch; which kind of emerges from the front of the trunk. I wanted to move it down and out to the right side:


We used #4 copper, but to serve more as anchor points for guy wire:



The big bent apex isn’t very convincing, but also isn’t part of the design. It will be shortened and a new apex will be developed from one of the shoots at the top of the bend. Note the upright branch section that is being kept alive to keep the left vein healthy.

After a few months, the tree was moving right along. Then in early 2015, it ran into a big problem.

The cycle continues: Hawthorn part 2

In February 2016, the buds were swelling and it was time to try a graft to add a branch in a space that really needed to fill in.


Hawthorns have thin bark and callus rather slowly, so I don’t know how it’s going to take. However, the area will have plenty of access to sunshine and branches can grow fast in the spring, so we’ll see. A thread-graft was the safest choice, and I’d identified a candidate.

Drilled a hole; going in through the out door:

Fish the scion through carefully, trying to preserve some buds on the way through:

A twig from the same tree used as a wedge, and a little wire to hold things in place:


And a good seal of cut putty is placed around both ends of the graft:


Next up, some spring pruning. I went pretty aggressive in the winter of 2014, and I noticed that while the tree didn’t back-bud too strongly, it did grow well; meaning the bare areas didn’t fill in. I need to keep riding back on the heavier branches, but I also need to take it a bit more slowly. A little at a time:





After some pruning and wiring just a few branches, it is ready to grow for the year:


And grow, it did. Late March:

By mid-April, I pruned back the areas that were already thick enough; the top, upper right side, lower left. I didn’t touch any shoots that were wired, or grafted.

Mid May, I did a bit more pruning, and moved back high branch down and to the right.


The grafted shoot, and guy-wired upper left branch were not touched. It’s growing nicely, and I should be able to prune it back fairly soon:


The density is improving nicely. By late June, the upper left area was thickening, and I was ready to slow its roll…

In a span of 2 years, I was able to replace the first left branch with a smaller branch, with more movement and taper.

Branch 2 was a back branch, and it will fill in over time. With that, the apex won’t look quite so isolated up top.

Branch 3 was more problematic. I didn’t have a replacement to develop, and didn’t get one, so I had to graft one.