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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Work on a large Hackberry

First of all I'd like to wish everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year filled with happy, healthy little trees.
Todays post is about the initial work on a large hackberry (Celtis sinensis) for a client.
This is a large tree that needs lots of work to become a bonsai.
Here it is before any work.

You can see that there is no refinement, long branches with no ramification and too many trunks.
The first step is to reduce the number of trunks and cut back all the branches in preparation to building a new more refined branch structure.
Here it is after the extra trunks are removed.

The next step is to start the work of reducing and disguising the large cuts left from the trunk removals. Here I've started to reduce the cuts and carve them so that they will either eventually heal over or be turned into a feature of the design by creating hollow trunks.
This is after the initial carving work. Back of tree.

Tentative front

 Now comes the fun part- repotting this monster. It is so heavy that we needed to use an engine hoist to lift it out of the pot and to work on the roots.

Here is the new pot sitting on the old pot. It's quite a bit smaller and a lot lighter.
The rootball before reduction.
And after the root work.
As you can see it has been reduced quite a bit. This tree had a very good compact root system with almost no heavy roots.
And here it is in it's new pot. This is the end of the work for now. This year will be all about  starting to develop a nicely ramified branch structure and refining the carving and large cuts.
Back of tree.
And the new front.

I hope that everyone enjoyed todays post. As always I welcome any comments.

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