THE STORY OF THE “SWAN” II

 

* You can find the first part of this story HERE .

 

27 July 2008.

 

Above: The last major styling work that was don on this old Pine dates back to it’s first styling in 2004! During all this time the tree was pampered and worked on to encourage back budding as close as possible to the trunk line. Well, as you can see, I got more than enough new foliage and buds to give the tree it second major styling in late fall this year! But there were some major decisions to be made right now as well!

During the first styling 2 back branches were used to build up the lower left frond section. Beside that it is always useful to have some spare branches in reserve, they also allowed me, in advance, to see more or less what my planed design could look like in the future. It is much easier to plan a head when the outlines of your idea  are right in front of you, instead of only in your head!But now, because of all this incredible growth, I have so much more better placed branches and foliage to replace those two back branches with, that they have become useless. In the above picture you can clearly see just how much that beautiful deadwood is hidden from view by it!

Above: Left side view of the tree. Here you can clearly see, just how much precious deadwood is blocked by these two branches.

Above: Just by lifting up this heavy frond branch you can tell that removing it will make a big improvement. You can see the other branch that has to go, on the left side of my hand.

Above left: Here you can see that second branch better. It is blocking out all the empty back space, that you need to see from the front side.

Above: Here I am lifting up both those branches that have to be removed, you can immediately  see the big difference that this makes!

Above: The white arrow points at the thickest of the two branches that needs to be removed to reveal the beautiful deadwood that is now hidden underneath it. The red arrow points at the second branch that needs to be removed. Both these branches were used to form the lower left section in the old (first) design.

Above: Carefully judging were to cut.

Above: And when I was sure, heavy cutters were used to cut off the branch in one clean cut.

Above: After the first one is removed!

Above: Here you can clearly see how much difference the removing of this obstructive branch makes.

Above: Although removing that branch has all ready opened up the whole base of the tree, it is obvious that the second branch still blocks out a big part of it. That’s why it needs to go to!

Above: Back side of the tree.  The red arrow point at the second branch that needs to be removed to create empty space and reveal the beautiful deadwood that is now completely covered by it!

Above right picture: The yellow dots show just how long this branch really is. Because of the constant cutting back into new growth and the pinching back that I did during the seasons after it’s first styling, the 3 smaller branches (B,C,D) just above the red line, have grown enough to now be used as the new branch tips of the future first branch.

Above picture: Close up of those 3 important small branches.

Above picture: The branch is cut leaving a small stump, so that there is enough room left for it to dry back naturally, with out harming these all important small branches.

Above: The wounds are sealed with cut paste to prevent heavy bleeding.

Above: Shows one of the branches that was removed. This is the former top branch

Above: You can see clearly here, that when we now stand in front of the tree, there is almost a clear pathway under need the foliage, for the eye to wonder off into the distance.

Above: Looking much better already.

  Above: With the help of 2 wooden blocks some branches were lifted, so that light and air could easier reach the inner buds and smaller branches that I will need in the future for the second styling.

Above: These blocks created new height in the foliage and a new image!

Below: So that triggered me, to make a quick drawing of a slightly higher design. But after I had finished the drawing I realize that the foliage would be a bit  to high in this new idea and that the tree image should be more compact. So this drawing actually helped me to decide to stick to the original plan I made when I started to style this tree. That’s exactly why I always make drawings of my work, it helps you to visualize your idea better!

For now the tree is left alone to grow freely, until early Winter when I will start the second styling. I can hardly wait for that time to arrive!

Cheers,

Hans van Meer.

 

* You can find part III of this story HERE.

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