suggestions for styling buttonwood

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was thinking about doing some work on this buttonwood over the weekend, and was interested in hearing any suggestions for it's style...
It is a rather large tree, in the 3 feet tall range, that for the most part, I have just been trimming to shape.
Trying to decide if I should go with more of a natural looking tree, perhaps something like an old oak... or should I go rather drastic??? Since with buttonwoods, one can do alot of dead-wood carving, kinda like junipers, one of the main reasons they are sought after...

hmmmmmmm ?????
 

John Ruger

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I'd deadwood the face of the trunk and let that be the primary focus.
 
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thanks John for responding! I was trying to decide if I wanted to go in a totally new direction with it, like removing all of the top growth and jinning the top, or work with what I kinda already had going. So this morning I defoliated the tree, which I often find helps me to decide. For some reason when I am looking at a bunch of sticks I can see clearer where they should go??? Yikes!!!
I decided that I would work with what I had already going on. Then I went through and wired the tree, the very top I left partially alone. I figured for now I would do a little clip and grow.The fine wire has a tendency to bite rather fast, and I was planning on leaving the wires on till next spring.
As for dead wood... I would agree with you John, there is a path of dead wood that leads right up the front of the tree for the most part, that needs some serious carving!!! I let my friend borrow my die grinder, and haven't gotten it back yet, so for now it will just have to wait... I think it is starting to take shape though???
 

John Ruger

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You know, you have some really interesting options and they can all have a great outcome. I was picturing a deadwood face from top to bottom and the foliage pads emerging from, essentially, behind.
 

jason biggs

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you seem to have some very nice trees.What species is buttonwood??
 
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There are many plants with the common name of 'buttonwood'. Conocarpus erectus (in the Combretum Family) is probaly one of the most popular collected tropical trees, here in the US. They grow along the shorelines in Florida near the mangroves. They have to endure years of windblown sand, tropical storms, hurricanes, droughts and floods and because of this, they often have unique shapes and end up with alot of dead wood. This deadwood, makes wonderful carving material !!!
 
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