Western Hemlock progression

parhamr

Omono
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
4,245
Location
Portland, OR
USDA Zone
9a
I bought a Western Hemlock prebonsai from a Bonsai Society of Portland silent auction in mid 2016. I forget the final price but I believe it was around $30.

February 2017, top center
IMG_0452.JPG

In the 2017 growing season I let some of the lower branches run to put on vigor and girth.

September 2017, before
IMG_1259.JPG

The tree was quite bushy and I hadn't yet done significant lower branch section.

September 2017, after
IMG_1263.JPG

I'm pleased with the bottom four branches. Around the midpoint I will be focusing future efforts, as it's currently disappointing and sparse. (This photo is a little off because of damage to my camera lens.)

IMG_1274.JPG

The bark is continuing to put on nice, detailed character.

It has a trunk spread of 1.5" and a height of 32"
 
Last edited:

parhamr

Omono
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
4,245
Location
Portland, OR
USDA Zone
9a
Last night I did some detail trimming to check its vigor.

CA992EE4-5CB3-42B1-A259-9F87A4972160.jpeg

This tree needs to be fully wired again.
 

parhamr

Omono
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
4,245
Location
Portland, OR
USDA Zone
9a
After about 4 hours I’m no more than 20% done with this season’s round of trimming and wiring. Whew!
EBF70F77-6157-450A-8FFB-8967F6CAB8FD.jpeg

The lower primary branches are in positions that feel mostly “final” and a dozen or so of the secondary branches are starting to look great. The bottom left branch is 75% wired and the bottom right branch is about 40% wired.

The middle branches will drop quite nicely into place and continuing the alpine style into the canopy is something I can visualize. This feels doable but there is a lot of work left to do.
 

parhamr

Omono
Messages
1,332
Reaction score
4,245
Location
Portland, OR
USDA Zone
9a
Progress has been slow; it’s close to done for this season. I got promoted at work and have been planning to get married. Whew!
BB81BE71-235C-422B-9CCA-D4194B5FC03C.jpeg

I’m glad the shape is working out to be asymmetrical. I let the apex branches get a bit too strong and their alignment is difficult to adjust. This tree will benefit from some notch cuts next year to make the bends sharper.
 

River's Edge

Masterpiece
Messages
2,535
Reaction score
5,711
Location
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
USDA Zone
8b
Progress has been slow; it’s close to done for this season. I got promoted at work and have been planning to get married. Whew!
View attachment 266352

I’m glad the shape is working out to be asymmetrical. I let the apex branches get a bit too strong and their alignment is difficult to adjust. This tree will benefit from some notch cuts next year to make the bends sharper.
Looks like you are having fun! Hemlock take a lot of wiring and it is easy to slip behind. One step that has helped me is to use a bit heavier wire to begin with than i do for a similar branch on pine. Also, when positioning the branch i tend to work it a bit rather than in one go. The micro fissures caused by the little bit extra back and forth seem to help the branch set in position.
I also find the Hemlock branches take longer to set in desired position than pine. They seem to have a tendency to bounce back! Main branches on larger trees can take up to three seasons before holding position.
I have a Western that i dug up out of the ground last spring to start on pretty soon! Easier for me, retired, wedding occurred over fifty years ago!
 
Top Bottom