Lumpy dougy

wireme

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#1
Here'a another dougy, a younger tree but the longest standing tree in my collection. Actually the first tree I ever collected and henceforth has had a bit of a tough go and slow development. This tree once went a full two maybe three seasons without opening a single bud or dropping a needle. It also survived the early deep freeze event when I lost a bunch of trees a few years ago. Amazing resiliency really. All the foliage you see now has grown from single buds close to or from the trunk while in my care. The top was reduced a couple years ago and is beginning to blend nicely now. A lot of the foliage at the upper right is a sacrifice branch/leader that will probably be removed next year. My goal for this tree is to develop a fairly classic even cookie cutter design. Something that more or less says I'm a bonsai to anyone viewing experienced in the hobby or not. First ill try to make the tree look like a bonsai and maybe later try to make to bonsai look like a tree. It's got a ways to go yet but finally there is enough growth in place to begin to form the image. It's been back and forth from pot to grow bed a number of times now. It was just put back into a pot this spring and I hope to do some shaping work next summer.
image.jpg
Mp
 

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wireme

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image.jpg image.jpg An unusual feature of the tree is the lumpy trunk. These lumps are very common on the younger branches and trunks of sub-alpine fir but I don't often see them on Doug fir. On the Sub-alpine (balsam) fir we call these lumps pitch pockets, they are very juicy, you can squish them with your thumb and with good luck and a bit of aim squirt your hiking partner in the eye with sap. Good fun, right up there with but less dangerous than kick'n'flick battles with false hellebore stems.
 
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wireme

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And a quick update on ol' lumpy here. I was worried about the health of this one last fall, last years needles never got that nice deep green but stayed pale and discoloured. It's looking fine now though, good growth this spring, not bad for a tree with apparently no live roots.

The crown was broken off during spring snowmelt this year, bums! I had a very clear plan for all that top growth! Anyway, I was looking at the tree yesterday and pulled up a back branch to replace the crown, I think it will be a satisfactory solution. On the plus side with the crown removed I'm expecting strong back budding this year, time will tell.

Pics before and after pulling up the back branch.
 

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edprocoat

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#4
Why does it set so high in the pot, does it have a large taproot stub beneath the soil ?

ed
 

wireme

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Yes, exactly. Due to the fact that I could not see a single living root in the soil mass (bonsai substrate held together by Myc) I wasn't about to cut anything when I put it into the pot. Actually I am fine with the mound, I would like it to be less uniform but it doesn't really bother me.
 

wireme

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Before and after of a bit of working on this one today.

It seems happy this year, good back budding as expected. I think it in a good position to improve fairly quickly over the next few years. Back buds on the upper branches will soon enable me to shorten them. I will probably always miss that old crown but at least nobody has bulldozed all my trees or anything and I have water to drink!

Beginning to look like a tree again I think.
 

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wireme

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#7
Winter bonsai blues already, was looking at summer/fall pics and decided to add a few to the thread. Provided it stays healthy I think this tree will improve fairly quickly over the next few years. This year was only a partial styling, weaker branches were left alone and emerging backbuds will help a lot.
 

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wireme

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Spring growth extending nicely, stub above the replacement crown has been pruned off, its a bit awkward, hopefully it blends in a bit or it may have to be hidden. Looks like it will force me to change the front too, we'll see, it will be another year or two till I get the foliage I need in the upper portion of the tree.
 

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wireme

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Ever since the crown broke off and I had to redesign a bit the placement of one of the upper branches has been bugging me a bit. Tricky to find an anchor point to pull it over but a pencil for leverage and a couple guywires did the trick today. Better already, except for the pencil...chainsaw file wrapped in tape, that's what I'll use next time.
 

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wireme

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#11
3rd year of posting this tree and still nothing eh? Can't help but wonder what people think when I post up trees, skeptical that it will get there? To boring for a comment? The last 2 pics one year apart, that's something isn't it?
Remember I've never had anyone who knows anything about bonsai see my trees, seen other peoples trees once. A little feedback would be nice.
 

0soyoung

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#12
Are you certain that is a dougie? I've never seen that kind of bark on a Douglas fir. This looks more like tsuga.
 
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#15
It's just pitchy bark and as the bark gets woodier it will go away. Based on the length of the needles I think you're trying to keep the tree too small. Also if you havn't already seen the whole root system you might decide to change the trees angle to get the most surface roots exposed or use a crook in the taproot for a part of the trunk. Except with Yamadori this is the way I normally decide the base and angle of my trees.
 

wireme

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It's just pitchy bark and as the bark gets woodier it will go away. Based on the length of the needles I think you're trying to keep the tree too small. Also if you havn't already seen the whole root system you might decide to change the trees angle to get the most surface roots exposed or use a crook in the taproot for a part of the trunk. Except with Yamadori this is the way I normally decide the base and angle of my trees.
Hey, thanks for the reply, didn't see it till now.
Yes, eventually the bark will change. As for the needle size, we'll see, it should have double the number of bud sites in another couple years, I'm hoping that will start to reduce needle size, I'd like to work it at the current size.

Anyways, turns out a pencil is not the best tool, cracking and bending and the branch is moving back to the front, I'll replace it with a chainsaw file soon, should be a good mini-rebar.

IMG_20150629_102646.jpg IMG_20150629_102538131.jpg
 

Geo

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#18
I'm new here and fairly new to the place I'm living in-Baja Sur,Mexico that is.I am very fond of this tree.And obviously the trials and tribulations you and it have been through are a bit of a testament to what this hobby?passion?obsession? is all about.Lucky you,but you deserve it.Funny how some pictures of a bonsai can make me miss the North.Keep it up,bro.
 
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