Alnus Serrata , Alder trees

Shogun610

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This is part of my native tree challenge, but asking advice on attaining my future goals? Got these gems at my favorite local (non bonsai) native nursery here in PA. Alder no. 1 back bud like crazy after the major pruning of all pre existing branches in winter time. The tree is covered with paste to heal wounds which is healing. The top however not too sure about , and since the wood is soft I was going to plan on hollowing out eventually. First picture is tree now, next is a quick sketch of where I’d like it to go. Third is Alder no. 2 it’s a big ol clump and is back budding nicely , should I prune back to the back buds? I’m afraid if I do that the deadwood where the original leader(which died off) won’t heal. Advice ?
 

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Shogun610

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bumping this cause I’d really like actual advice
 

BobbyLane

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looks like you have a plan laid out with the virt, youve gone for the larch look. the large blobs of paste look rather unsightly, deadwood and hollows is always my preferance. if i wanted them to heal over i would put them in the ground and let them grow out.

also wiring branches downwards like that although its your tastes aesthetically, its not best for a tree in the developmental phase, the branches take longer to thicken because theyre pointing down from the light. in nature they would be growing up n out.
 

Shogun610

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looks like you have a plan laid out with the virt, youve gone for the larch look. the large blobs of paste look rather unsightly, deadwood and hollows is always my preferance. if i wanted them to heal over i would put them in the ground and let them grow out.
Sounds like a good idea , would an Anderson flat or grow box also work to heal the wounds effectively? I don’t want to lose control of their massive root balls. For the clump one, would it better to chop off all the taller branches or let it heal first
 

August44

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There are some native trees that work well and some that are not worth the trouble.
 

BobbyLane

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Sounds like a good idea , would an Anderson flat or grow box also work to heal the wounds effectively? I don’t want to lose control of their massive root balls. For the clump one, would it better to chop off all the taller branches or let it heal first
ive not much experience of healing wounds in large pots, only the ground. your wounds look pretty harsh and extensive.

re the clump, anything i dont want i chop off and regrow.
 

Shogun610

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ive not much experience of healing wounds in large pots, only the ground. your wounds look pretty harsh and extensive.

re the clump, anything i dont want i chop off and regrow.
That’s why I wanted to hollow the tall one out, I used a lot of cut paste too and recheck progress. Do you have any other methods for healing wounds quicker like cutting around it reopening callous etc? Maybe I’ll try the Anderson flat or back into ground just don’t want to lose control of the tall one.
 
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BobbyLane

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That’s why I wanted to hollow the tall one out, I used a lot of cut paste too and recheck progress. Do you have any other methods for healing wounds quicker like cutting around it reopening callous etc? Maybe I’ll try the Anderson flat or back into ground just don’t want to lose control of the tall one.
quicker like in what time frame? you can close large wounds in the ground in 3-4 years, small wounds in 2-3.
you can grow thick branches and subtrunks, then cut them back for taper. then the tree looks better. its fine to let it get away a bit.
it looks like you had subtrunks here and have cut everything off to make it into a bonsai, its not your fault its what youve been told and what you see daily.
 
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Shogun610

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looks like you have a plan laid out with the virt, youve gone for the larch look. the large blobs of paste look rather unsightly, deadwood and hollows is always my preferance. if i wanted them to heal over i would put them in the ground and let them grow out.

also wiring branches downwards like that although its your tastes aesthetically, its not best for a tree in the developmental phase, the branches take longer to thicken because theyre pointing down from the light. in nature they would be growing up n out.
Plan was to form the position now since they’re all new green branches. This is a picture of it before I totally restructured, it was too far out and had bad inverse taper
 

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BobbyLane

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Plan was to form the position now since they’re all new green branches. This is a picture of it before I totally restructured, it was too far out and had bad inverse taper
but why does the paste look raised up like that? did you use knob cutters to cut flush
 

Shogun610

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but why does the paste look raised up like that? did you use knob cutters to cut flush
I don’t have large ones only small so I need to get bigger knob cutters and perhaps recut that area in fall. I also have a Master Carver bits that go with my Foredom
 
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BobbyLane

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I don’t have large ones only small so I need to get bigger knob cutters and perhaps recut that area in fall
ah ok, but just so you know, you dont have to wait until fall to do structural work on deciduous trees, you can happily nibble away in the growing season. or anytime you like.
 

Colorado

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I have only been working with Alder for 1 year, so I don’t really have any horticulture advice to offer.

But I agree with you that Alder seems promising as a bonsai subject. Vigorous growth and backbudding. I was pretty ruthless on the roots from nursery container to wooden grow box and it didn’t skip a beat. I like the leaves and bark.

I’m working with Thinleaf Alder, aka Mountain Alder. Alnus tenuifolia.

I like your sketch!
 

Shogun610

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I have only been working with Alder for 1 year, so I don’t really have any horticulture advice to offer.
But I agree with you that Alder seems promising as a bonsai subject. Vigorous growth and backbudding. I was pretty ruthless on the roots from nursery container to wooden grow box and it didn’t skip a beat. I like the leaves and bark.

I’m working with Thinleaf Alder, aka Mountain Alder. Alnus tenuifolia.

I like your sketch!
Nice glad I’m not the only one , yeah plan is to make a grow box or flat, just so I can control the roots yet allow to grow. But agreed I completely butchered the first tree but it resprouted new branches. Now time to clean up and allow for maximum healing. The second one I’ve decided I’m chopping down even more to newer buds on the clump. I’m not too worried, these trees are monsters with their energy stored in the roots. And thanks, I was sketching on my work notebook
 

Shogun610

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Should I cover entire wood or just the border ?
 

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BobbyLane

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depends on your goals, if its gonna be a feature you leave it and hollow later, if you want to heal it you cover entire chop right;)
i think its a simple answer.
 
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