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.

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Close-up:

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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.

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Drilled a hole; going in through the out door:

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

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

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

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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:

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

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And grow, it did. Late March:

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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.

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

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After:

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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:

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

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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.

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JBP, ‘arakawa’ from Telperion Farms

Bought this from Chris Kirk at Telperion Farms in December 2014. They’re great growers out in Oregon. If you don’t see what you’re looking for on their website definitely give them a call or email. They have lots of stock! Here is the tree as received:

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I let it grow all year in 2015 without pruning. Just wanted to get to know the tree, walk around it for a while, and determine what side would present the best front. So here it is in March, 2016:
Front

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Right

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Back

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Left

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Trees grown for bonsai have good bases, movement, taper, considered trunk sections, branches at the outsides of curves, and several options for a front.

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See all the small shoots popping at the big branches? Those will be used to make the final branches over the next few years. Smaller branches offer flexibility, ramification close to the trunk, add a refined feeling, and thin branches make the trunk seem fatter.

It was finally time to reduce the tree to primary branches, spread them out, and balance the strength. I haven’t repotted it, so the tree should be plenty vigorous, and respond well to this pruning.

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The remaining branches were spread out and lowered, in preparation for a great growing season.
Two good options for front:

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Mid-April, and it’s budding strongly; you can get away with drastic work when you let the tree get strong, and work in the correct season:

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Mid-June and it’s starting to take shape a little bit…

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Late-June, before candle-cutting:

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And in late-September. In the winter, it can be wired again, and thinned out.

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Corkbark Black Pine Fall Work

In the fall of 2014, I did some aggressive styling on this Corkbark Black Pine, ‘Kyokko Yatsabusa’.  It tolerated the work, but I did lose a few branches, and the 2015 growing season was a bit disappointing.   I repotted it in 2016, which meant the 2016 growing season wasn’t going to be too strong either.

This fall, I decided to take a very conservative approach, by removing old needles, downward-facing needles, and a minimal amount of wiring to move branches roughly into position, rather than detail wore out every shoot.  

Here is where it started and ended fall work:


I will continue to not expect much from it, and allow it to slowly fill in over time.