Large Hollow Trunk Crabapple

Brian Underwood

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Here is a project I started last year. It was old stock at a now closed Bonsai nursery with lots of dead areas, but a huge trunk. The tree only stands 12" tall with a 6" diameter trunk. I carved out the entire inside of the tree from top to base. It was a fun project, but I relinquished it to the capable hands of eBay this evening. The auction should start tomorrow at 7pm. So what do yall think of the tree?
 

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Stan Kengai

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You've been watching Graham Potter videos again haven't you? ;)

The material certainly has some potential, but I see a few things I might have done differently. #1. I would have waited to do any carving until the branching was much more developed. This would let the wood harden in some areas and soften in others giving it a more natural appearance because it would have aged naturally. This would also save the tree from the stress of having to seal off any new wounds while undergoing refinement. I know some crabs are hard to get more development than you have here, and that may be your case. 2. I would have left a ribbon of deadwood on the inside edge of the live bark areas, so that the wounds could bulge a bit when they heal, instead of curling around to the inside. This would add more character, like live veins on junipers. 3. The carving needs a lot more refinement and detail. As it is now, it looks rather unnatural, but that's something that can be improved in the future after allowing it to age on its own. 4. If you were going to sell it anyway, why not let the future owner do the carving? I know I personally would prefer that. You might have actually gotten more money out of it by giving someone else the opportunity to do the carving.

You are lucky to have the opportunity to work on a piece of material like this. Many people don't get that experience, I hope you were able to learn from it.
 

Brian Underwood

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Haha! Yeah, guilty... I enjoy carving and tend to use it as a fix-all when working on funky material. This tree was mostly dead when I started, and the dead areas extended two feet past the top of the carving. I agree it needs much refinement, but the total hours put in it are about 1... The tree had a few more large branches and was in my "do not sell" bunch until it got run into by my Landlord's tractor. From experience, I get significantly more money if I carve material before selling. I agree with you that most people, here on this forum at least, would prefer to work with untouched material, but it seems the eBay buyers are not the same. The best part is that I get to have fun making an uninteresting tree somewhat more interesting, and I learn a great deal from working with such diverse and numerous trees. I actually have two more in the works that need a little carving, so perhaps I'll post before pics and see what yall come up with.
 

Ang3lfir3

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I think it certainly has potential to be a very interesting tree... one I would prolly sit on my back bench for a few years and let mature (that's not a bad thing) ....

There does certainly need to be more done with the carving however I would add that some initial work can help hasten the natural work that needs to occur... removing the bark from dead areas helps the wood mature naturaly instead of just turning into pulp ....

a very interesting tree that is certainly bizarre (i like that about it) .... fruit size is good .... someone should have a good time with it ...
 

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