Deadwood:Natural vs artificial on the same tree?

Dav4

Drop Branch Murphy
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I have a very nice, old Rocky Mountain Juniper that I started working on this past summer. As you can see from the pics, it has loads of natural deadwood which I plan on treating only with lime sulfur. The branch coming off the base of the trunk must have died recently, as there was bark and dried foliage present. I think it has a nice twisting movement and might compliment the tree, but it won't have the aged, weathered appearance where the bark has been protecting the wood. How would you proceed? I feel my safest option is to remove the bark, minimally carve/shorten the jins and treat with lime sulfur. The other option is to age the wood with fire to open up the grain, but I'm afraid the color will not match the rest of the deadwood on the tree. Any advice will be greatly appreciated,

Dave
 

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Tachigi

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How would you proceed? I feel my safest option is to remove the bark, minimally carve/shorten the jins and treat with lime sulfur. The other option is to age the wood with fire to open up the grain, but I'm afraid the color will not match the rest of the deadwood on the tree.
Hey Dav, Cool piece of material. Is that an Hitoshi piece? The way I would proceed wood be to carve and then use the microtorch to open up the grain. Then I would let it sit at least over winter, if not till this time next year before applying lime sulphur. No worries on rot or bugs as the charred carbon will protect the tree. When you come back on it, 9 times out of ten you will want to tweak your carving from this season.

As for matching color you can approach this one of two ways. You can brush the flame kernel along the wood lightly charing the raised grain. This should give you a close approximate to your work. The other approach is to put one drop of india ink into your lime sulphur and shake well. Apply and see if it isn't close. If not add another drop and so on and so forth till you have an acceptable color match.

I have done both ways and both work well. If I had to choose one method I would stay straight with flame. I believe it adds much more than color, it enhances the the texture of the wood.

Good luck and give us a photo update when you have done the deed :)
 
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Dav4

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As always, thanks for the advice, Tom. I think my plan will be to play around a bit with this one branch, as the tree would still look ok without it. As it is right now, there are areas of weathered deadwood and bark covered wood on this branch. I'll strip the bark and apply the torch, with more burning over the previously bark covered areas. I'll post more photos as they come. Thanks again,

Dave

Oops, nearly forgot...yes, it is a "Hitoshi" piece.
 
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