Yew - Initial Styling (Imbedded Photo)

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Well it's sort of an initial styling... I've been working on getting this tree going for three years now. I bought it from Elandan Gardens from someone who was selling tree material on consignment. I'm going to try and find the photos from when I first got it. I spent the next two and a half seasons getting it healthy, and some structure started. Then I potted it this spring, and spent this weekend getting it all wired out, and the majority of the deadwood carved. I'm pretty pleased so far. It took 14 hours of work this weekend to get it to this point.

Enjoy....

Kindest regards,

Victrinia

 

shohin kid

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Not to bad, keep up the good work. I am eager to see the before photos if you find them.
 

grouper52

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Hey Vic! So THAT'S why you weren't down there helping bail out the flood at Elandan this afternoon!

Very nice tree and very nice work! But . . . .

The 90 degree angle bothers me, and the excessive tilt that it requires puts your nebari in an awkward position. IF you used your die grinder to hollow the heart wood out at the crotch just enough, you could extend that right angle out to 110 or 120 degrees, which, IMHO, would make a huge difference. The virts below give some idea of the difference with a slight change in that angle. The angles are less abrupt and jarring, and the nebari then require little tilt to appear to sit almost flat and fully exposed. Does that make sense? It would be easy to do.

Cheers,

Will
 

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This is a photo from earlier this year... I'm still looking for the original photos of the tree from three years ago...

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
 

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Hey Vic! So THAT'S why you weren't down there helping bail out the flood at Elandan this afternoon!

Very nice tree and very nice work! But . . . .

The 90 degree angle bothers me, and the excessive tilt that it requires puts your nebari in an awkward position. IF you used your die grinder to hollow the heart wood out at the notch just enough, you could extend that right angle out to 110 or 120 degrees, which, IMHO, would make a huge difference. The virt below gives some idea of the difference with a slight change in that angle. The angle is less abrupt and jarring, and the nebari then require little tilt to appear to sit almost flat and fully exposed. Does that make sense? It would be easy to do.

Cheers,

Will

Dearest of friends.... have you moved a yew? lol This wood is incredibly tough... I don't think it would go gracefully into that position. I am not too concerned with the bend... it's not a perfect tree by any means... but it makes me happy to look at it, and that counts for something too. I will likely leave well enough alone with it for now, but I do agree it would be lovely to have it in that position.

We had a flood? Oh my... that's not funny... I'm surprised no one called.:confused: There must have been enough hands... or I know they would have. :p

V
 

grouper52

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We had a flood? Oh my... that's not funny... I'm surprised no one called.:confused: There must have been enough hands... or I know they would have. :p

V

I added a second virt with an even wider angle. Tough wood is what die grinders are there for! :D:D:D

BIG flood. Heika and Dan were the only ones there. Zenah and I couldn't stay long, but held our fingers in the dike for a while. Couldn't empty the buckets fast enough. Quite a mess. :eek:

Will
 
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I added a second virt with an even wider angle. Tough wood is what die grinders are there for! :D:D:D

BIG flood. Heika and Dan were the only ones there. Zenah and I couldn't stay long, but held our fingers in the dike for a while. Couldn't empty the buckets fast enough. Quite a mess. :eek:

Will


Die grinders are my primary weapon of choice for all things truely dramatic in bonsai... but I wouldn't be willing to run the risk of ruining it completely. Like Daniel says... don't beat yourself up over things you can't change. (He was meaning trees you lose.. in this case I mean it over a tree I won't risk. ;))

I am stunned they didn't call... He knew I was doing family stuff today... but still I would have come. Poor guys. :(

V
 

Mark59

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I think you have done a very fine job with this tree! Very well done as it always is with your trees. Please keep us updated with its progress.
 
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jonathan

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very nice improvement indeed looks this 'll become a very nice tree once the foliage fills up a bit more.

nice work ;)

greets jona.
 

RyanFrye

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What an improvement from the before pic! You did a great jobe wiring and styling this guy out. Thanks for sharing
 

Dav4

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Very nice. Yews are great bonsai subjects which, for some reason, are not very commonly seen as such here in the states. This one will back bud like crazy and the canopy will really develop over the next year or two. Keep it up, Vic.

Dave
 

Vance Wood

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I think the tree is a very nice piece of work. Myself; I would be hesitant to attempt to hollow out a portion of the trunk and bend it for fear of killing the portion of the tree above the bend. Yew wood is almost unique in its properties. The over all nature of it is very hard, the lighter colored sap wood is flexible and the darker heart wood is like steal. This is why it was favored in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries for long bows. So much so that the forests where it grew in Europe were considered strategic assets and only so much of the wood could be harvested and sold for other purposes; such as the making of Lutes (something I know a little about). Once the heart wood starts to develop it is exceedingly difficult to bend.
 

Bill S

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Great start, and worthy of your efforts. I am surprised too we don't see more of these in collections, especially when so many great urban yamadori trees are out there waiting for us to get them.
 

shohin kid

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I like the work that you have done. Do you know what type of yew it is?
 

grouper52

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I think the tree is a very nice piece of work. Myself; I would be hesitant to attempt to hollow out a portion of the trunk and bend it for fear of killing the portion of the tree above the bend. Yew wood is almost unique in its properties. The over all nature of it is very hard, the lighter colored sap wood is flexible and the darker heart wood is like steal. This is why it was favored in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth centuries for long bows. So much so that the forests where it grew in Europe were considered strategic assets and only so much of the wood could be harvested and sold for other purposes; such as the making of Lutes (something I know a little about). Once the heart wood starts to develop it is exceedingly difficult to bend.

Vance, it seems to me that what you say makes the technique I proposed quite possible, and safe, (assuming Vic might WANT a different angle, which she doesn't). The technique of using a die grinder through a small hole to hollow out the heart wood leaves only the sap wood and the everything external to it. The heartwood is hard and inflexible, the sap wood, is not, and if done properly the tree is left with only a very small scar and an area of markedly increased flexibility. The heart wood is also entirely dead and serves no function except structurally: it is entirely expendable. The sap wood must remain, as, of course, must the cambium, and the technique leaves them largely uninjured except for the small hole or groove through which you go in with the die grinder. Even somewhat extensive damage to the sap wood is well tolerated in most trees, as long as a thin rim is left intact below the cambium - it really doesn't seem to require all that much finesse, just understanding.

In the case of this tree of Vic's, there would not even need to be any damage from an entry wound at all - there is already extensive deadwood exposed at the crotch where one would go in. It's also clear that there is some flexibility to this wood as it is - several branches have been bent fairly extensively, it appears, using standard techniques. While they are much thinner than the area I propose bending, they are either thick enough to contain at least some heartwood, or point to fairly thick and flexible sap wood, and I assume, a cambium that survives bends well.

If Vic WAS interested, the technique would be easy and very safe IMO. I've learned and practiced this on a number of my own trees of various species since Dan Robinson introduced it to me several years ago. It has made otherwise impossible trunk and branch manipulations quick and easy, and there is no unsightliness to the result, AND I have yet to lose any distal portions. I've also watched Dan do this on several of his own marvelous trees, with easy and healthy results, and seen a number of other trees of his where such work done previously has turned out admirable transformations. It's a very powerful technique to have in our bonsai armamentarium.
 

Vance Wood

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Vance, it seems to me that what you say makes the technique I proposed quite possible, and safe, (assuming Vic might WANT a different angle, which she doesn't). The technique of using a die grinder through a small hole to hollow out the heart wood leaves only the sap wood and the everything external to it. The heartwood is hard and inflexible, the sap wood, is not, and if done properly the tree is left with only a very small scar and an area of markedly increased flexibility. The heart wood is also entirely dead and serves no function except structurally: it is entirely expendable. The sap wood must remain, as, of course, must the cambium, and the technique leaves them largely uninjured except for the small hole or groove through which you go in with the die grinder. Even somewhat extensive damage to the sap wood is well tolerated in most trees, as long as a thin rim is left intact below the cambium - it really doesn't seem to require all that much finesse, just understanding.

In the case of this tree of Vic's, there would not even need to be any damage from an entry wound at all - there is already extensive deadwood exposed at the crotch where one would go in. It's also clear that there is some flexibility to this wood as it is - several branches have been bent fairly extensively, it appears, using standard techniques. While they are much thinner than the area I propose bending, they are either thick enough to contain at least some heartwood, or point to fairly thick and flexible sap wood, and I assume, a cambium that survives bends well.

If Vic WAS interested, the technique would be easy and very safe IMO. I've learned and practiced this on a number of my own trees of various species since Dan Robinson introduced it to me several years ago. It has made otherwise impossible trunk and branch manipulations quick and easy, and there is no unsightliness to the result, AND I have yet to lose any distal portions. I've also watched Dan do this on several of his own marvelous trees, with easy and healthy results, and seen a number of other trees of his where such work done previously has turned out admirable transformations. It's a very powerful technique to have in our bonsai armamentarium.

You are correct; It might work with someone who has a grasp of the technique. The only problem I have is what the cost might be if it fails. It is easy sometimes to understand something from reading it but when you go to putting your hand to it all kinds of unanswered questions can raise their uncertain heads, and things start to fall apart rather quickly after that. It is a good technique I have seen Kimura do it---in print, but that is not the same thing as seeing it done and being able to ask questions during the process. If you could offer detailed instructions I know many more than Ms. Vic could profit from it.
 
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I think my biggest concern with that technique (which I am able to do), is that it's greatest value lies in being able to curve inward (which is typically the problem) to add movement, not take it away. The live areas supporting the tree run along the back of that curve for the most part. Stretching it upward might damage it, as the bark is not going to be of that much inclination to stretch. I bares some thinking on though, it think I would have to further increase the deadwood area to account for the areas where the bark will simply tear apart. And then it's a waiting game to get to the point where the branch could support the weight of it's top again... because there is a lot of heartwood in that area, and it would have to be separated to get the movement required.

Interesting conversation though... as it does get others thinking.

Kindest regards,

Victrinia
 

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