Any questions about booking a course or shopping online? Contact us:   07399 383106

Studio Stories – The “Stag” becomes a “Dancer” (Part Two)

Sometimes I work on nursery trees, sometimes I work on client’s trees……and sometimes if I’ve been a really good boy I get to work on my own trees. Hopefully these regular visits will give you an insight into what goes on behind closed doors……….

Studio Stories – The “Stag” becomes a “Dancer” (Part Two)

Part one of this blog was posted under Studio Stories on October 13th 2013.

Sept 10 055 Sept 10 056 Sept 10 057


We left the tree in September 2010, growing well but the branches are generally too long and the foliage mass is becoming too large.

Sept 10 058 Sept 10 059 Sept 10 060

Making the canopy more compact required new strong foliage growing from inside. I decided therefore to go back to basics with this tree and prune the branches back as far as I could without jeopardising it’s health or vigour.

During 2011 and 2012 the tree was well fertilised and encouraged to grow. As the foliage inside emerged and became stronger the outer branch tips were cut back harder.

IMG_1032 IMG_1514 IMG_1769

The three pictures above were all taken this year and show the tree in the studio in April, in my garden in July and again in the studio in September. The tree has again been allowed to grow strongly.

IMG_1770 IMG_1771 IMG_1772


Notice how strong the tree is, how compact and vibrant green the foliage is. September 2013, it has taken 3 years but at long last the tree is ready for a new styling.

IMG_1795 IMG_1796 IMG_1797

There is a large, heavy branch which passes in front of the trunk. Taking great care I want to get this branch behind the trunk so that the foliage mass it carries is below the deadwood rather than in front of it. Whew…..!

IMG_1889 IMG_1892 IMG_1894

One of my helpers Len takes over and after cleaning/treating the deadwood, he wires all the branches ready for styling. Three remaining long branches to the rear will be removed completely. Notice the curves and deadwood to the trunk which are now visible inside the tree.

th-1 th-2 th-3

The solid mass of the once rampant animal has lost it’s weight. The lower branch will be reduced in-depth and allowed to extend more to the left.IMG_0958

The projecting antlers have become the describing arms of the artist’s performance. Make no mistake this is still a very strong tree, but one with perfect poise and balance, resting on a tip-toed single live vein. A problem tree transformed ……the “stag’ has indeed become the “dancer”…..and a mighty fine one at that!!!