Mt. Hemlock Options

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Shohin
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I have the Mt. Hemlock (tsuga mertensiana) shown in the picture below. This tree was collected this last May in the High Cascades of Oregon. I collected it because of what you cannot really see - it is a natural root over - well around (think inverted "C" clamp) - rock. The trunk is barked up and swells to about 2" in diameter around the lava, which is about 1" thick and totally flat. When I collected it the rock was twice the size, but my trusty hammer brought it down to the size it is now (16" plastic pot"). It will probably get more hammer design work in the future. Not a killer tree, but it was hot, I drove a long way, and well, my permit was good for only two days. Also, when I collected it, it had a very small root pad that was about 1/2" thick - and was completely under the rock. I trimmed it back slightly, took this picture for posterity, and placed it into my special recoup area.

Over the past couple of weeks the terminal buds have extended and so I dug into the soil today. Pot is filling with roots. I give it a good shot of recovery - though posting it diminishes its odds greatly. Murphy or something. That is why I post infrequently, if you really must know...

The design is straight forward - kifuhin moyogi sekjoju. No challenges there. The challenges I have are 1) keeping it alive, 2) reducing the foliage and compacting it 90%. I have yet to get a Mt. Hemlock to back bud, and when I muck with them 50% of the branches die off.

My questions to the forum are: a) any secrets to getting them to back bud and reducing the foliage/increasing the ramification?, b) any secrets to keeping the branches alive?, c) has anybody approach grafted these successfully? I ask now, as to prepare a plan of action for the next few years (i.e. mostly special treatment this fall or spring while I still have the opportunity to accomplish them).

Anyone???
 

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bonsai barry

Omono
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Not ignoring your question, just don't have the experience with hemlock to make any suggestions.

PS Is that so true about posting a tree on the Internet.
 

irene_b

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Not ignoring your question, just don't have the experience with hemlock to make any suggestions.

PS Is that so true about posting a tree on the Internet.


LOL No he just thinks it does! :D
Mom
 

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Shohin
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Update

This last week I went ahead and did the stage 1 styling - 4 months after initial collection. Yes, a little early, but the styling was minor and the tree is growing well with the roots filling this 16" pot. This stage 1 accounted for wiring the major branches, primarily one dimensionally (down), and spreading them around the circumference of the trunk. I did not put much, if any, compound bends into the branches at this time. I have seen 50% branch loss with Mt. Hemlock, and it was very recently collected, so I decided to stop here for now.

Future considerations will be to put movement into the branches, and then reduce them by 90% in overall length. I will also remove lower branches, but have kept them on as back-ups and to help keep pushing overall health at this time. Future development hinges on forcing back budding, which I have not been able to accomplish as of yet with Mt. Hemlock.

The questions posed above still apply.

And, yes, I know this is not world-class material, but is an interesting subject and great material for learning - or, as I like to say, expanding my boundaries of ignorance...
 

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tom tynan

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Rich: The latest Bonsai Focus has a summary on Mt.Hemlock by Peter Adams; just a 2-pager of facts and info. I think you are going to get a limited response - simply because these trees are NW specific - they won't survive in the Mid-West or on the East Coast. I am not sure how similar they are to Eastern or Canadian Hemlock; these are common in NY State where I live. I don't have any as bonsai at the present time; I do have a landscape tree with a 6" trunk that I have been pruning to see what happens. I would say that they will back bud and quite close to the trunk along the branch. They do seem to like partial shade. Spider mites are a problem here becasue of the August heat/humidity.

Your tree seems like it has a decent crown; but with growth at the perimeter. You may have to risk pruning some branches to get light deeper into the tree or perhaps prune the strongest branches [those with the fullest growth at the tips] in order to trick the tree into budding. It definitely has some nice taper with that fattie of a base.

It will have to get smaller and more compact to make a decent tree - but don't sell the tree or yourself short - it could be a nice smaller tree..

Like Alpine Firs - these Mountain Hemlock are just not seen too often; perhaps you guys in Oregon can keep pushing the envelope by collecting. I seem to remember another multi-trunk beauty that you worked on several years ago in a W.Pall workshop..

Tom
 
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Rich,
First, I have to say, your wiring is superb in its evenness, angle, and frugality. I am always very pleased to see someone put so much work into their wiring.

The only question I have is, are the wires a little small? Is that why you use so many guy wires?

(I of course avoid mention of my lack of information or any knowledge whatsoever with the species in question by deflecting attention to something I know a little about, or have read about.)

That being said, I am intrigued with the tree and look forward to seeing it in the future.
 

imholte

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I am interested to see how this turns out....

though I cant say I am much of a fan of your avatar, being a beaver grad myself...though I will root for an oregon team over anyone else, that is if the beavers are out of it, if they are in the running then the ducks are going down. :)
 

grog

Shohin
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<3 the beaver! That may be a different subject though.

Go Hawkeyes!

Sorry Rich. I'm very interested in your tree but that's the most intelligent thing I have to add. Though I do look forward to hearing more from you on use of that hemlock and the alpine firs very much.
 

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Shohin
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Rich,
First, I have to say, your wiring is superb in its evenness, angle, and frugality. I am always very pleased to see someone put so much work into their wiring.

The only question I have is, are the wires a little small? Is that why you use so many guy wires?

(I of course avoid mention of my lack of information or any knowledge whatsoever with the species in question by deflecting attention to something I know a little about, or have read about.)

That being said, I am intrigued with the tree and look forward to seeing it in the future.
Chris-

Your comment regarding the frugality and the size of the wire are partially correct. I intentionally used a smaller wire gauge than what was required for the initial downward bends, knowing I would use guy wires. This allowed me to have the proper size wire further out on the branches, and eliminated a transition in wire size in some cases.

I also chose this route because the branches are relatively flexible - the wire size I used will allow for and hold bends several inches out. But, more importantly, the bark is somewhat easy to scar and while a larger wire gauge offers a greater surface area and reduces the chance of scaring, I find that I prefer one or more wraps of thinner gauge wire as it is easier to wrap (with less force) and I can be more careful with regards to the bark - and branches, as I am afraid of the potential branch death.

In regards to frugality, you are right on - I am in dire need of more copper, and am hoping that there will be a vendor at the NW Bonsai Shindig next week that has some Gremel wire in their booth!

Finally, thanks for the comments on the wiring. I can honestly say I learned technique from a Boon workshop, and am acutely conscious of how I proceed regarding anchor points and direction. I am sure a master could pick out many things I did wrong if they wanted to, and the look of the job could obviously be improved. But, this is a first wiring, and I don't really care - remember, I have had two days working with Boon and about a month spent with Walter who preaches function over form!

Rich

p.s. - All you Duck haters - it is water off my back. You'll soon be on the bandwagon that I have have been trudging along next to for the past 12 years...
 

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Shohin
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Rich: The latest Bonsai Focus has a summary on Mt.Hemlock by Peter Adams; just a 2-pager of facts and info. I think you are going to get a limited response - simply because these trees are NW specific -

Your tree seems like it has a decent crown; but with growth at the perimeter.

It will have to get smaller and more compact to make a decent tree - but don't sell the tree or yourself short - it could be a nice smaller tree..

I seem to remember another multi-trunk beauty that you worked on several years ago in a W.Pall workshop..

Tom
Tom-

Thanks for the reply & info on BF - I will hunt one down. Yes, my plan is to feed heavily and start the process of reduction in the spring. It must reduce in overall size by 90% to achieve the scale I need to make it convincing.

Please don't bring that western hemlock up - another Murphy Catastrophe... A neighbor cut down one of their large trees - a curly willow of some sort. I was forced to move the tree to another part of the yard to allow it some shade. It was then assaulted by birds digging much of the substrate out in an attempt to get at fish fert (I believe) - but at the time not enough to concern me. Other than that, it had decent light (i.e. bright shade on western side of the house - I have my ficus in a window directly above where it sat, but the house next door - 30 feet away - kept the direct sun off the hemlock) and got the same watering & feeding as it always had and as all my other trees got during this period of time. However, most all the needles have now dropped - save the ones lower on the tree that would have been shaded by those above them during the day or two the tree was in place (in heavy sun) prior to moving a month ago (but I do have two other western hemlocks in that sunny location that I have never moved). I am perplexed and a little pissed. I might take that Murphy fellow to task in the cafeteria later on...
 

darrellw

Mame
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In regards to frugality, you are right on - I am in dire need of more copper, and am hoping that there will be a vendor at the NW Bonsai Shindig next week that has some Gremel wire in their booth!
Rich,

Jim himself will be there as a vendor.

-Darrell
 

JasonG

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Hey Rich,

I have seen mt hemlock back bud.... next time you are out just look around at some of Randys trees and same with Lee's...... so it can be done. I have had good experience with back budding on western hemlock but also ran into a branch just dying out of the blue. In 5 yrs we will be more experienced at this and will collect better trees and know what, when and how to prevent dying branches... I hope!

Now, quite screwing around with these little OK trees and lets go get some good ones! :)

Oh, and you owe me a beer for guiding you in your wiring skills, :rolleyes:

Darrell is right on... Jim will be there....

Jason
 

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Shohin
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Now, quite screwing around with these little OK trees and lets go get some good ones!
The sad thing is, this tree is better than any of your hemlocks - hahahahahahaha.

But, you are right. A pilgrimage to Hemlock Heaven is in order. We'll have to take the Hemi though, the Ford's tranny is in the process of blowing up. Can't afford even gas when I get this bill...

And, I have seen your wiring. I should be the one on stage next week!
 

ghues

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Mtn Hemlock Heaven

Hey Rich,
Any updates on this Mtn. Hemlock? Would be interesting to see its progress in 2008.

I've been told by a reliable source (my hand was severely slapped as I inadvertently moved an already wired branch)...that one has to be very careful with their branches, although they are flexible enough....too much movement can and will break the cambium below the bark… enough so to do severe damage.
If you head north in the fall of 2009 to the PNBC 20th annual convention you should see some great Mtn. Hemlock examples and meet a few folks who love them.
Cheers Graham
 

Marc S

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I have the Mt. Hemlock (tsuga mertensiana) shown in the picture below. This tree was collected this last May in the High Cascades of Oregon. I collected it because of what you cannot really see - it is a natural root over - well around (think inverted "C" clamp) - rock. The trunk is barked up and swells to about 2" in diameter around the lava, which is about 1" thick and totally flat. When I collected it the rock was twice the size, but my trusty hammer brought it down to the size it is now (16" plastic pot"). It will probably get more hammer design work in the future. Not a killer tree, but it was hot, I drove a long way, and well, my permit was good for only two days. Also, when I collected it, it had a very small root pad that was about 1/2" thick - and was completely under the rock. I trimmed it back slightly, took this picture for posterity, and placed it into my special recoup area.

Over the past couple of weeks the terminal buds have extended and so I dug into the soil today. Pot is filling with roots. I give it a good shot of recovery - though posting it diminishes its odds greatly. Murphy or something. That is why I post infrequently, if you really must know...

The design is straight forward - kifuhin moyogi sekjoju. No challenges there. The challenges I have are 1) keeping it alive, 2) reducing the foliage and compacting it 90%. I have yet to get a Mt. Hemlock to back bud, and when I muck with them 50% of the branches die off.

My questions to the forum are: a) any secrets to getting them to back bud and reducing the foliage/increasing the ramification?, b) any secrets to keeping the branches alive?, c) has anybody approach grafted these successfully? I ask now, as to prepare a plan of action for the next few years (i.e. mostly special treatment this fall or spring while I still have the opportunity to accomplish them).

Anyone???
They are Alpine trees, and they don't forget it. They need cool nights even in the summer, and from what I read, backbudding is impredictable.
 

bonsai&me

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where to collect mt hemlock in washington state.

hi i am new here, i live in olympia, before i got a nice mt hemlock from estate sell, i love that bonsai tree alot, after i tranplant it die, i am looking for another mt hemlock, but i heard that you can go up the mt to collect, anyone on here have go up the mt to collect mt hemlock please help me out and guide me where to collect the mt hemlock where to get the license, sorry my about my; english, i am asian thanks for your help .
 

bonsai&me

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where to collect mt hemlock in washington state.

hi i am new here, i live in olympia, before i got a nice mt hemlock from estate sell, i love that bonsai tree alot, after i tranplant it die, i am looking for another mt hemlock, but i heard that you can go up the mt to collect, anyone on here have go up the mt to collect mt hemlock please help me out and guide me where to collect the mt hemlock where to get the license, sorry my about my; english, i am asian thanks for your help, i went to nursery i saw one mountian hemlock look like the one i have before i ash the owner he said the tree call high attitude wester mt hemlock but the needle look like the bonsai here, anyone know where to collect this mt hemlock.
 

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Do you have any updates on your hemlocks? It is a long shot and a species off, but I am looking for further inspiration for my Eastern Hemlock and would like to here about other Hemlock developments.
 
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