Brass...and Tanuki

RyanFrye

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No the title of this thread is not the latest Anime movie. I'm going to attempt a Tanuki this spring with the wood from my failed attempt to airlayer my twisted juniper ( You can see that thread, much to my chagrin, here: http://bonsainut.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1629&highlight=airlayer+juniper)

I'm using a Shimpaku 'Fudu" whip. It's like a standard shimp only it is a steel blue color. I read that one should use SOLID brass screws and not the brass plated stuff. But I can't seem to find the solid brass screws. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on this?
 
T

Tgreen

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I've read about using brass also, but have always wondered about the why of it. Would stainless steel work as well?

T
 

garywood

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Hey Guys, I think the reason is after the brass oxidizes it is almost the same color as the juniper. Another bit of tanuki on tanuki :)

Wood
 

Tachigi

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Rick hit the screw on the head for fastener acquisition.

Though I personally feel that fretting about what metal to use WRT fasteners is a bit a waste of time. If the fastener is slightly counter sunk the tree when it heals will callous over the fastener and it will become invisible.

I have a challenge for all you Tanuki growers though...try doing one with no fasteners and or glues. This is the best way IMO to get a great looking Tanuki it looks far more natural. It also really challenges you and your horticultural skills.
 

Rick Moquin

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I have a challenge for all you Tanuki growers though...try doing one with no fasteners and or glues. This is the best way IMO to get a great looking Tanuki it looks far more natural. It also really challenges you and your horticultural skills.
... only if you don't have The Art of Bonsai Design by Colin Lewis ;)
 

Mike Page

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Ryan, my experience shows that stainless steel screws are best. They have both strength and durability. Brass breaks more easily, and the screwhead is more easily damaged by the screwdriver. You may want to use a drill bit thats slightly smaller than the land section of the screwthread to drill a pilot hole in the trunk and deadwood. This will make driving in the screw more easy, but won't comprimise the screw's holding power.
Use a flathead screw that can be countersunk just below the surface. To disguise it, use a small piece of bark from the tree stuck on with some cut seal.

I've used this process successfully.

Mike
 

RyanFrye

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Thanks everyone. I've heard you should avoid certain metals because they are toxic to confers. Is their any truth to this?
 

Mike Page

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Thanks everyone. I've heard you should avoid certain metals because they are toxic to confers. Is their any truth to this?
Ryan, there have always been stories about certain metals being toxic to trees, especially the one about killing a tree by driving a copper nail into it. This seems silly,because I have seen plenty of bonsai that have had the copper wilre left on until the branch grew around it. Didn't kill the branch.
If there is any toxicity, stainless steel would have to be the least. Surgical instruments and implants are made of stainless steel, for instance. Plus, as I said in my previous post, it's the strongest.

Mike
 

Rick Moquin

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Just a caveat to what Mike has said. All stainless steel is not created equal, and surgical steel by definition is stainless in it's purest form. Contrary to popular belief stainless will rust in the absence of oxygen. Brass on the other hand does not corrode whether in the presence of/or lack of oxygen. Perhaps that is why many references refer to brass for Tanukis vs anything else.

The problem with using any type of fastening device is the ability of the tree to close it's wound after the screw is removed. This is a question that was raised some time ago from Tom (Tachigi) re: Junipers. I gather from his concerns is that Junis will not repair themselves (fill the wound) after removal which could lead to rot, but will indeed bury the screw )over time) not unlike any other foreign object that a tree overcomes.
 

greerhw

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Thanks everyone. I've heard you should avoid certain metals because they are toxic to confers. Is their any truth to this?
Nah, I use whatever I can find in my screw can that's the right size, preferably black if it's going to show.

keep it green,
Harry
 

RyanFrye

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Cool. So I'll go with steel screws.


It seems a couple of you at least have quite a bit of experience with making tanuki trees. Here's my plan, let me know if I'm going in the right (or wrong) direction....

In spring (Feb. or March for me) I'm going to almost cut the shimpaku whip in half and mold the half with roots to the wood by screwing it in at the appropriate places. Is it necessary to seal it with grafting wax after that? Am I on the right track?
 
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greerhw

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Depending on the size of the whip, you can also use small finishing nails, a lot smaller heads.

keep it green,
Harry
 

grizzlywon

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I have not tried this yet, but have seen it done in person by a master and in some books.

The less destructive method.
Cut a c shaped groove in the deadwood just big enough for the whip to fit in. A "C" shape more like the one on your key board than the screen here. The cavity needs to have claws to hold the whip once it swells some.
Put the whip in the cavity and use some small pieces of foam or rubber and wrap these with wire to keep the whip in place in as many areas as needed. The foam prevents the wire from biting into the bark of the whip and it helps push the whip to the back of the cavity. As the whip grows and swells it fills up the space and then it is locked into the dead wood permanently. And you won't have any ugly holes to heal up later and as it grows the vein will just get wider and wider.


Putting a mess of nails all the way up a tiny little whip will only hurt it and slow its growth or even kill it. Cutting it in half will also cause the whip to slow in its growth and the whole point here is the faster the whip grows, the faster it will fuse and grow out to create the new tree. Be nice to that whip, is is the future of your tree.


Just my two cents.
 
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RyanFrye

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I have not tried this yet, but have seen it done in person by a master and in some books.

The less destructive method.
Cut a c shaped groove in the deadwood just big enough for the whip to fit in. A "C" shape more like the one on your key board than the screen here. The cavity needs to have claws to hold the whip once it swells some.
Put the whip in the cavity and use some small pieces of foam or rubber and wrap these with wire to keep the whip in place in as many areas as needed. The foam prevents the wire from biting into the bark of the whip and it helps push the whip to the back of the cavity. As the whip grows and swells it fills up the space and then it is locked into the dead wood permanently. And you won't have any ugly holes to heal up later and as it grows the vein will just get wider and wider.


Putting a mess of nails all the way up a tiny little whip will only hurt it and slow its growth or even kill it. Cutting it in half will also cause the whip to slow in its growth and the whole point here is the faster the whip grows, the faster it will fuse and grow out to create the new tree. Be nice to that whip, is is the future of your tree.


Just my two cents.
This is great advice. Thank you!:D
 

Rick Moquin

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I have not tried this yet, but have seen it done in person by a master and in some books.

The less destructive method.
Cut a c shaped groove in the deadwood just big enough for the whip to fit in. A "C" shape more like the one on your key board than the screen here. The cavity needs to have claws to hold the whip once it swells some.
Put the whip in the cavity and use some small pieces of foam or rubber and wrap these with wire to keep the whip in place in as many areas as needed. The foam prevents the wire from biting into the bark of the whip and it helps push the whip to the back of the cavity. As the whip grows and swells it fills up the space and then it is locked into the dead wood permanently. And you won't have any ugly holes to heal up later and as it grows the vein will just get wider and wider.


Putting a mess of nails all the way up a tiny little whip will only hurt it and slow its growth or even kill it. Cutting it in half will also cause the whip to slow in its growth and the whole point here is the faster the whip grows, the faster it will fuse and grow out to create the new tree. Be nice to that whip, is is the future of your tree.


Just my two cents.
Yup! that is exactly what I was referring to earlier. The only thing I would like to add to the excellent recommendation is: the use of stiff neoprene vice foam; and back the neoprene with small dowels to apply the pressure uniformly across the tying point (read greater) instead of being lost in the foam.
 

Tachigi

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I have not tried this yet, but have seen it done in person by a master and in some books.

The less destructive method.
Cut a c shaped groove in the deadwood just big enough for the whip to fit in. A "C" shape more like the one on your key board than the screen here. The cavity needs to have claws to hold the whip once it swells some.
Put the whip in the cavity and use some small pieces of foam or rubber and wrap these with wire to keep the whip in place in as many areas as needed. The foam prevents the wire from biting into the bark of the whip and it helps push the whip to the back of the cavity. As the whip grows and swells it fills up the space and then it is locked into the dead wood permanently. And you won't have any ugly holes to heal up later and as it grows the vein will just get wider and wider.


Putting a mess of nails all the way up a tiny little whip will only hurt it and slow its growth or even kill it. Cutting it in half will also cause the whip to slow in its growth and the whole point here is the faster the whip grows, the faster it will fuse and grow out to create the new tree. Be nice to that whip, is is the future of your tree.


Just my two cents.
Griz...one problem! When you put the whip in the groove as you explained it will split the deadwood wide open as it grows. You need to strip bark off the buried section of the groove with the cut flush with the edge of the deadwood allowing the callous to form along the groove's exterior edge, hence the reason its called a graft This allows the tissue to grow out along the exterior of the deadwood binding it to the deadwood as it grows, if proper pressure is applied to the tissue through material like taffeta, grafting tape...or even pantyhose will work.
 

ghues

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Hey Ryan,
Why not make a Tanuki/Phoenix graft thread like Al's Maple one so that we can all share our experiences with different materials/techniques.
G
 

RyanFrye

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Hey Ryan,
Why not make a Tanuki/Phoenix graft thread like Al's Maple one so that we can all share our experiences with different materials/techniques.
G
I think that's a great Idea!
Would you be willing to participate?
 
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