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