Hackberry..uh,sugar berry….Celtis species update

Here’s a quick update on the development of my hollow trunked shohin hackberry.
This is the original post.
It has been trimmed in the interim (promise) but I have let it grow since the end of summer.
I am a great believer in allowing a tree to grow and recover from the work done on them.
Here’s how we left it last

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Here it is today

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You’re thinking “He hasn’t even worked on it” aren’t you?
I have, actually. Several times.
A deciduous tree like this requires growing out, cutting back, wiring, un-wiring etc,etc.
I have it on good authority from one of the apprentices in Japan (I will not say who) that the reason Japanese bonsai masters concentrate so much on junipers and pine is because a deciduous tree is too much work, with not enough return on investment.

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They grow fast but take a lot of work to develop.

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Basically, I’ve let all those shoots grow to speed the healing of that chop ( You wonder why I want to heal the cut when there is a huge wound on the trunk? The trunk looks natural, the chop looks like I did it which I didn’t, I just cleaned it up. I think.)

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I’m very happy with the growth, especially in the back of the tree. Lots to use.

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Time to cut it all off.

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Snippety dippety do

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The technique is the same as I’ve been demonstrating all along in my blog. Cut for direction, taper. Reduce and simplify points of shoot growth; one or two from a single point etc.

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So now I have a choice of apexes (apices? Never mind. Tops)

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I’ve allowed this one to grow. The choice is to start over or go with the wire scarred one (which has secondary branching and movement)
Easy choice

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I go with the original. It won’t affect the look of that branch too much; the wire scars will grow out in time. I’ll show you a trick later to mitigate the scarring.

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Now, this back branch needs addressing. I can either trim it, wire it or remove it.
I’ll cut it to that bud.
And let it grow.

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In half a year, the chop has grown about half an inch (half of that half year the tree was dormant too)

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All pruned.

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To give you some idea what has grown that was needed

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The turquoise lines show you where I pruned and the vermillion lines show the new shoots.
Now some wire.

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If you wrap wire in the opposite direction of the wire scars, allow new scars to form, it will make the texture very rough and aged. And hide the scar.

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The next main branching I need is at the red lines. Then just some secondary structure and tertiary branches to fill it in.

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And that’s it.
Look for the next update at the end of spring or early summer.

About adamaskwhy

Visual artist specializing in bonsai, mostly.
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