Itoigawa cleanup

Well, I’d been putting off this chore far too long.  After repotting it into a slightly undersized container, I wanted it to regain some strength before unwiring and pruning it back, but it was a balancing act between pushing it too far and just right.  June 11 was the day, carefully unwired the buried wires, and pruned it back.


Wires digging in are carefully removed with wire cutters and thumbnails to minimize the bark pulling away from the wood:

And finally, after this much is removed:

It should be set for the rest of the growing season, and ready to be wired in the winter:


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.