Collected Saskatoon berry and questions.

Tycoss

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I figured I should start an actual thread on a Saskatoon I collected two years ago. It was given an emergency repot last spring, as my wife wanted the plant box for veggies. It seems to be doing alright again.
This is the most rugged and aged looking Saskatoon I have seen, and I want to preserve the unique deadwood and old bark while refining it over time. I removed the weak or dead twigs last month, along with the less interesting deadwood.
I am interested to see how readily these bud back on old wood. I want to reduce the length of the living branches without having them die back all the way to the trunk. The branch taper is strong, but I need it to be more ramifications and closer to the trunk.2A7161B0-B470-4643-BF2A-609B8002F36F.jpeg
 
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Tycoss

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Here are some images of the deadwood. What do you think, reduce it further lime sulphur etc. I have some ideas, but I’m curious as to what you guys think.
 

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Leo in N E Illinois

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The dark brown deadwood is so close in color to the bark that I think you should lighten the color of the dead wood using lime sulfur. You might start with a 50% strength coat, wash off after 6 or 8 hours so to avoid going to stark white. Or use it full strength, it is a preservative. If it turns too bright, you can always go back over with dilute India ink mixed with lime sulfur and water. You could also use painter's tinting pigments, like burnt umber, raw sienna or red ochre, or yellow ochre. Natural earth tones that blend well with wood.
 

Tycoss

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The dark brown deadwood is so close in color to the bark that I think you should lighten the color of the dead wood using lime sulfur. You might start with a 50% strength coat, wash off after 6 or 8 hours so to avoid going to stark white. Or use it full strength, it is a preservative. If it turns too bright, you can always go back over with dilute India ink mixed with lime sulfur and water. You could also use painter's tinting pigments, like burnt umber, raw sienna or red ochre, or yellow ochre. Natural earth tones that blend well with wood.
Thanks for the response. The deadwood on our saskatoons lasts a long time in the prairies, but will rot a lot faster in a pot. I’ll post some pictures once I treat the wood. Do you feel the deadwood should be reduced further? I think it’s a cool feature, but don’t want it to overwhelm the design.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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I would first brighten up the deadwood with lime sulfur so you can see the difference from the old bark. You can always shorten deadwood, it is difficult to add it back. So I would leave deadwood longer than artistic sense might dictate. Lighten the color, adjust color with pigments or wood stains until you are happy with a contrasting color. Only then as the design of the living branches is near show ready, only then would I shorten the deadwood to fit the design.
 

Tycoss

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I painted the deadwood on this tree with lime sulphur and coffee grounds. I may lighten it further, but I don’t want to loose the character in the wood grain.

I also shortened the branches that were excessively long. The tree responded with new shoots all over the branches, and one branch flowered for some reason. It looks like the species will respond well to hedge pruning techniques, so I will start applying these next year in order to get ramification and taper in the branches. Here are some pics of recent changes:
 

Tycoss

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What are you gonna do with those lichens?
My understanding is that while moss or algae can degrade bark, lichens are relatively benign. Most of the trees caught collected from the prairies have some. I think it gives a sense of age and place. I expect I’ll keep it.
 

Bonsai_Bentley

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My understanding is that while moss or algae can degrade bark, lichens are relatively benign. Most of the trees caught collected from the prairies have some. I think it gives a sense of age and place. I expect I’ll keep it.
Ah, okay. I was told that I should remove them, so I was curious. It does give the tree a nice bit of patina. I've already removed all of mine though. :(
 

Tycoss

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Wow, nice reveal, finally to see the twisted grain of the deadwood. This is a very rare specimen of Saskatoon, Amelanchier for the scientific name.

Nice, I love this tree
Yes, it’s got a lot of character. This year it has shown by far the most vigour. I’m excited to see its progress in the future.
 

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