John Naka's Bar Branch Remedy

october

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Hello all,
I was wondering if anyone has ever used John Naka's technique for correcting bar branches. I tried to create 2 virts of what I am talking about. Basically, you take the one branch and sever the top part where the branch meets the trunk. Make the cut so that the pulled down part is equal to the width of the branch. Then you pull the branch down to the desired postion and wire in place.

If anyone has done this can tell me how it turned out and if you have pics, that would be great.

Thanks

Rob
 

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Mojosan

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I haven't tried this, as I have not read his books. But I don't understand how it could work based on your description. You would only be lowering the branch by maybe half its thickness?
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Yes, several times, but not to correct a bar-branch, and only on pines and junipers. I learned the technique from Kathy Shaner, and it's best to see it done rather than to describe it. The result is very natural. Here are the notes I made after watching her perform the work:

Crack branches to get realistic bends off the trunk instead of the “bowed” look, wedge a piece of bamboo into the break to hold the wound open and maintain the sharper angle. She likes the look of the cambium rolling back over the break, and the exposed wood.

The break must be deep into the trunk to ensure plenty of wood is still attached to the branch AND trunk. She applied a LOT of force and stopped as soon as she heard the crack, checked and ensured it was deep enough into the trunk before she continued. She described the motion as pulling out and away as much as bending down.

She braced the trunk with her left hand, and kept her left thumb under the branch to crack to prevent ripping it too far. If necessary, redirect the crack with a chisel.

Wrap wound well in Parafilm to protect it from moisture/rotting, and bind the wound at the bottom to stop the crack from running any further.

Wire VERY carefully to avoid deepening the cracks.
 

akhater

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Don't mean to hijack the thread but isn't this what is known by "notching" technique or I am confusing two different things ?

thanks
 

Brian Underwood

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I've seen Kathy do this a couple times, and the results are pretty impressive. The cracking creates a natural looking wound on the top of the branch and where it was attached to the trunk, just like if it took a heavy snow load or was broken another way in nature.
Michael Hagedorn does something slightly different. From what I was able to see, he cuts a small notch in the bottom of the branch where it connects to the trunk, and bends it down, making the two halves of the notch meet. He said they will heal together in the future, and will be hidden from view because they are directly underneath the branch. Every time I try to ask Kathy about this technique she says something like "That's not how it would look in nature!" I guess it comes down to personal preference (like anything artistic) as to which technique to use.
 

Brian Van Fleet

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Peter did that "notch" technique on this black pine during his demo. I think both techniques are good to have in the arsenal...each has a valid place, and over time, this one may look just as natural, and it may be a more conservative approach. It was interesting that Peter placed the notch a few inches out from the trunk on the underside of the branch. He definitely has a style about his work.
 

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Brian Van Fleet

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And, conversely, here is the juniper I've been taking to Kathy's workshops, showing one of several cracks made on the tree. The second photo is of the same injury on a pine, but it occurred naturally. It's toward the back and not visible, but it's an interesting feature.
 

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october

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Thanks Brian V F and Brian U for the info.. Interesting pics... I wish I had the actual pics of his book so others could see it here...The pics from his book are illustrations, not actual pictures though.
 

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