When to carve??

barrosinc

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What is the basic behind the timing for carving?
For conifers, other evergreens and deciduous?
 

BobbyLane

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for me personally, the basis is very simple. i carve whenever i want, doesn't matter what species. you will get a bag of mixed views and opinions.
for many folks during winter, bonsai work completely shuts down for various reasons. this is when i do the bulk of my carving work and i absolutely love it:)

i was doing a hornbeam yest
20190117_211654.jpg
 
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Season is not important since the portion you'll carve is dead or you want it that way. Only carve when the roots are firm in the pot. So best before repotting, not right after. For minor carving i don't think it makes a difference when.
 

Mike Hennigan

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This isn’t from my personal experience so much but I remember somebody (don’t remember who) talking about the timing of carving with power tools, like a dremel. He said that he only likes to do power carving in the winter, specifically when the pot is frozen because this will reduce the impact of all the vibrations of the roots. I think the logic makes sense.
 

Dav4

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My only concern with creating deadwood/carving into living tissue while dormant is the delayed callus response to the trauma and the potential for die-back of the cambium beyond the actual carving plus the chance of introducing infection. I'll work already created deadwood year round, but I generally prefer cutting into living tissue when the tree is actually growing... my 0.02.
 

Leo in N E Illinois

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This isn’t from my personal experience so much but I remember somebody (don’t remember who) talking about the timing of carving with power tools, like a dremel. He said that he only likes to do power carving in the winter, specifically when the pot is frozen because this will reduce the impact of all the vibrations of the roots. I think the logic makes sense.

That person be me. Had a discussion with Colin Lewis. I prefer to carve with power tools while the tree, particularly the root ball is frozen. Heavy vibrations of the trunk can jar the root ball loose, and the wiggling, shifting, movement of the trunk can cause the breaking of fine roots. I had otherwise healthy trees crash and die after a summer carving project. I have had 100 % survival of frozen winter projects. So while I am certain if you are careful to not vibrate, wiggle, shift and bang around a tree while carving you can get through a carving session without breaking a lot of roots. If you are klutzy like me, carving a tree who's root ball is frozen may well be the safest time of year.

Note: If carving a tree in winter, it is best to get it back outside before it thaws on you in order to not disrupt winter hardiness.

Carving while frozen is a nice touch, but not absolutely necessary for success, otherwise be careful, it is easy to break a lot of fine feeder roots without ripping the tree out of the pot.
 

BobbyLane

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on a well established and securely wired in tree, there should be no wiggling, shifting or any trunk movement at all. maybe if youre using hand tools, i could imagine this happening. but with proper technique and good machine carving tools there shouldnt be any give at all on a well established/properly secured tree at any time of the year.

also if im a little worried about die back on a particular area of bark i just apply a little cut paste
20190118_130206 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr
IMG_7364 by Bobby Lane, on Flickr

that will be sufficient to keep that area of bark going for 2-3 months until growth resumes
 

MACH5

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I let this Japanese maple grow for a season, let the roots develop well and then did all the carving in late winter a year later. I don't think timing is critical at least on deciduous species. Just ensure that the tree is well established in its pot as already mentioned. I used a combination of dremel and hand tools. Then gave it a wash of India ink to aged it and integrate it into the overall design. Later I protected the wood with a wood hardener. This is optional as sometimes is better to just let the wood rot naturally. I think it's on case-by-case basis.


This is my attempt at being @BobbyLane ! :p:p






Detail of the carving.

 

BobbyLane

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I let this Japanese maple grow for a season, let the roots develop well and then did all the carving in late winter a year later. I don't think timing is critical at least on deciduous species. Just ensure that the tree is well established in its pot as already mentioned. I used a combination of dremel and hand tools. Then gave it a wash of India ink to aged it and integrate it into the overall design. Later I protected the wood with a wood hardener. This is optional as sometimes is better to just let the wood rot naturally. I think it's on case-by-case basis.


This is my attempt at being @BobbyLane ! :p:p






Detail of the carving.

Fabulous job you done there Mach, great tree:cool:

I would say though, in the section here, i can see where the drill bit went in marked in yellow, you can blend these in better with a dremel grout removal bit
most wouldnt notice those little details, but i see them straight away. the smallest hole where drill bit went in is almost too circular if you see what i mean
IMG_3619_zpsskvxjq40.jpg

this is great at smoothing tool marks out


and does a lot of the work a drill bit will do, i'll combine the two
 

MACH5

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Fabulous job you done there Mach, great tree:cool:

I would say though, in the section here, i can see where the drill bit went in marked in yellow, you can blend these in better with a dremel grout removal bit
most wouldnt notice those little details, but i see them straight away. the smallest hole where drill bit went in is almost too circular if you see what i mean
View attachment 225302

this is great at smoothing tool marks out


and does a lot of the work a drill bit will do, i'll combine the two

Awesome! I'll look for one. Thanks for the tips Bobby.... er no pun intended :p
 

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