Sasquatch Sighting (An Alaska Yellow Cedar - For Eric)

grouper52

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Well here's this big boy that Eric has alluded to on several occasions here recently. 8" base, about three feet long.

Fun story: I'm up on Vancouver Island early last November with Dan Robinson, writing/photographing a chapter about his collecting adventures for the upcoming book (tease, tease - except for a few here). We're about a half mile back into this alpine bog, slogging through the muck and rain in the late afternoon after a day of collecting stunted treasures for him, and a day of bad weather photographing and recording for me.

He's after some big Alaska Yellow cedar he root enhanced the year before. We locate it. It's enormous. With the strength of an ox, literally, he doesn't need my help, but I offer it anyway, and he encourages me instead to look around and see if there are any others worth collecting. I discover this guy sitting on a small hillock, and call to him. He comes over to look at it, and surprises me by saying I should collect it for myself. It's a MUCH bigger tree than I have expected to come home with.

Well, I dig around and it seems to have a viable root ball in close, in addition to the main roots running off deep into the surrounding bog with have to be cut through with a saw. So I do my best over the next hour to collect it, and once it is freed, and its enormous root ball wrapped up, I find out it weighs a ton. About this time Dan has freed and wrapped his monster as well. He says, let's go. I go over to help him carry his tree out to the truck, but he says he'll get his by himself if I want to get mine by myself, otherwise he'll get his and come back to help me with mine.

I'm impressed with this monster, a real prize, and I decide to add to its appeal by having a real story behind it, so I put the crotch (where that large cut off branch meets the trunk in the second photo) over my shoulder, and Dan does a fireman's carry with his tree, and we sludge off together in the now-fading light. It's exhausting. Really tough going. We're up to our knees in hidden underwater holes at times, and Dan goes face down into the muck once when he steps in one, preferring to save the tree in his arms rather than keep his face out of the bog. My heart's beating practically out of my chest at times, a bit worrisome after a heart attack 18 months before, but my ticker holds up. Certainly the longest half mile I've ever traveled, and one of the toughest hours I've ever spent, but I get this treasure out all on my own, with great pride and a great story to boot.

So, after about nine months wrapped in plastic, it is putting out new growth towards the end of this season - a safe time to containerize it. I then spent a few minutes last evening with a brass brush cleaning it up a bit, and tonight snapped its first photos, one from one side, and the other on the other side and a little towards the base and down from above.

As you can imagine, this will be carving heaven, probably starting this winter. It's got the flimsiest of foliage going on right now, but I couldn't care less at this point - it's truly about the trunk and the deadwood and the live veins covered with gorgeous bark. I have no idea how I will style this bad boy, nor do I care at this point. My collection lacks even a single broom or formal upright, but I doubt THIS will become one. :D:D:D

In honor of Japanese tradition, I am thinking of a naming ceremony at some point, complete with Shinto priests. I would like to call it Sasquatch. :D

Enjoy.
 

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Ang3lfir3

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Ahh yes... yes yes yes... I do indeed love this tree.... its a rare treasure and a marvelous tree.... The deadwood is spectacular and a perfect example of what we can try to create. These trees aren't light for anyone who might think otherwise. A tree truly worthy of the name.

I am so happy to see this is doing well it will become a true masterpiece.
 

JasonG

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That is a pretty cool tree Will....but why carve on the deadwood? It looks nice and natural now, carve it and it will never look that good. Really, not every tree needs man to make marks on it with his carvers.....no man has yet to do as good as good ol' mother nature. Well there is one guy who is as good.... Cheng, Cheng Kung

Jason
 

grouper52

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That is a pretty cool tree Will....but why carve on the deadwood? It looks nice and natural now, carve it and it will never look that good. Really, not every tree needs man to make marks on it with his carvers.....no man has yet to do as good as good ol' mother nature. Well there is one guy who is as good.... Cheng, Cheng Kung

Jason
Hey Jason.

I largely agree with you, but there are many areas where the wood has rotted and is soft down to quite deep levels - these will need to be hollowed out in a convincing manner. Then there is the large branch, which will need to be shaped in a convincing manner, as well as the several smaller branches. I don't plan to mess with things for no reason just to be carving - not my style. :)

I do not, typically, do the extensive uro thing on every tree, as you might expect I would from my association with Dan, although I would probably do it more if I was better at it. But I must say that what surprised me quite a bit when I first started to study his trees was that areas that looked very contrived when first carved, and which I might have left alone because mother nature seemed to have done a fair job, started to take on a very natural look after 5-10 years, blending perfectly with the surrounding beauty that nature had produced, AND often, while looking completely natural by then, adding enhanced value that far surpassed the original. Made a believer of me, and even though I don't feel compelled to "attack" every tree with a die grinder, it really freed me up not to hesitate when it might enhance things. :)

Will
 

grouper52

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Ahh yes... yes yes yes... I do indeed love this tree.... its a rare treasure and a marvelous tree.... The deadwood is spectacular and a perfect example of what we can try to create. These trees aren't light for anyone who might think otherwise. A tree truly worthy of the name.

I am so happy to see this is doing well it will become a true masterpiece.
Thanks, Eric. I know you've been waiting for me to post this beast. :D I thought he cleaned up and photographed well, and looks happy in some bonsai soil. I disturbed the roots very little at this planting, so he should be fine.

Will
 

irene_b

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WOW!
That wood is awesome....
I will be waiting to see what you do with this one.
Irene
 

the3rdon

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Well here's this big boy that Eric has alluded to on several occasions here recently. 8" base, about three feet long.

Fun story: I'm up on Vancouver Island early last November with Dan Robinson, writing/photographing a chapter about his collecting adventures for the upcoming book (tease, tease - except for a few here). We're about a half mile back into this alpine bog, slogging through the muck and rain in the late afternoon after a day of collecting stunted treasures for him, and a day of bad weather photographing and recording for me.

He's after some big Alaska Yellow cedar he root enhanced the year before. We locate it. It's enormous. With the strength of an ox, literally, he doesn't need my help, but I offer it anyway, and he encourages me instead to look around and see if there are any others worth collecting. I discover this guy sitting on a small hillock, and call to him. He comes over to look at it, and surprises me by saying I should collect it for myself. It's a MUCH bigger tree than I have expected to come home with.

Well, I dig around and it seems to have a viable root ball in close, in addition to the main roots running off deep into the surrounding bog with have to be cut through with a saw. So I do my best over the next hour to collect it, and once it is freed, and its enormous root ball wrapped up, I find out it weighs a ton. About this time Dan has freed and wrapped his monster as well. He says, let's go. I go over to help him carry his tree out to the truck, but he says he'll get his by himself if I want to get mine by myself, otherwise he'll get his and come back to help me with mine.

I'm impressed with this monster, a real prize, and I decide to add to its appeal by having a real story behind it, so I put the crotch (where that large cut off branch meets the trunk in the second photo) over my shoulder, and Dan does a fireman's carry with his tree, and we sludge off together in the now-fading light. It's exhausting. Really tough going. We're up to our knees in hidden underwater holes at times, and Dan goes face down into the muck once when he steps in one, preferring to save the tree in his arms rather than keep his face out of the bog. My heart's beating practically out of my chest at times, a bit worrisome after a heart attack 18 months before, but my ticker holds up. Certainly the longest half mile I've ever traveled, and one of the toughest hours I've ever spent, but I get this treasure out all on my own, with great pride and a great story to boot.

So, after about nine months wrapped in plastic, it is putting out new growth towards the end of this season - a safe time to containerize it. I then spent a few minutes last evening with a brass brush cleaning it up a bit, and tonight snapped its first photos, one from one side, and the other on the other side and a little towards the base and down from above.

As you can imagine, this will be carving heaven, probably starting this winter. It's got the flimsiest of foliage going on right now, but I couldn't care less at this point - it's truly about the trunk and the deadwood and the live veins covered with gorgeous bark. I have no idea how I will style this bad boy, nor do I care at this point. My collection lacks even a single broom or formal upright, but I doubt THIS will become one. :D:D:D

In honor of Japanese tradition, I am thinking of a naming ceremony at some point, complete with Shinto priests. I would like to call it Sasquatch. :D

Enjoy.
I enjoyed your story and all of your trees, but I know you have atleast one formal upright. I would say that the field grown beech would kinda classify as formal.
 

grouper52

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I enjoyed your story and all of your trees, but I know you have atleast one formal upright. I would say that the field grown beech would kinda classify as formal.
I am DEEPLY insulted!!! :mad::mad::mad: DEEPLY, I tell you. It's a good thing you put that little "kinda" in there.

BTW, anyone want to buy a field grown beech? I have an extra one in my collection that I'm getting kinda tired of . . . .

:D

PS: It is a stately tree, with a formal sort of feel to it, but it is really a long way from a true formal upright. That style has very rigorous rules, and this one isn't really close to those. They are very difficult to do well, BTW.
 

irene_b

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I am DEEPLY insulted!!! :mad::mad::mad: DEEPLY, I tell you. It's a good thing you put that little "kinda" in there.

BTW, anyone want to buy a field grown beech? I have an extra one in my collection that I'm getting kinda tired of . . . .

:D

PS: It is a stately tree, with a formal sort of feel to it, but it is really a long way from a true formal upright. That style has very rigorous rules, and this one isn't really close to those. They are very difficult to do well, BTW.
A picture is worth a thousand words.....
 

the3rdon

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I was just bustin ur balls Goupers52. You have fantastic trees. I could only wish to have a creative and knowlegable mind as yours when it comes to Bonsai. I will buy the Beech though if you don't want it.
 

grouper52

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Update: Another sighting yesterday, and this time he was walking upright!

I'll probably leave him a few more years in this way to develop roots and foliage further before transferring to an actual bonsai pot. Meanwhile, my die grinder and the forces of nature are continuing to carve out the deadwood that makes up most of his bulk, so that one day he may actually be light enough to have a chance to stand upright in a pot without external wire supports.
 

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tmmason10

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Update: Another sighting yesterday, and this time he was walking upright!

I'll probably leave him a few more years in this way to develop roots and foliage further before transferring to an actual bonsai pot. Meanwhile, my die grinder and the forces of nature are continuing to carve out the deadwood that makes up most of his bulk, so that one day he may actually be light enough to have a chance to stand upright in a pot without external wire supports.
Another great tree will. Really can't do any better than that deadwood, and it seems to have responded well to collection.
 

fore

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Great tree, story, progression and a fine job carving Will! How tall is it btw?
 
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