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Studio Stories – White Pine Transformation….a new angle!

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 – White Pine Transformation…..a new angle!

It all started with a telephone call several years ago….a lady, a little in distress. Sadly her husband had passed away some two years previously and she had been left having to look after two Japanese White Pines. Her husband had apparently nurtured these trees for more than 30 years.

She was worried about losing the trees and not having the expertise to look after them properly. She had found me on the internet, she lived locally and asked if I would be prepared to buy them from her. So I paid her a visit and was pleasantly surprised to find two substantial trees in really good condition. I congratulated her on an excellent job and told her that her husband would have been very proud of how she had managed.

We agreed on a price and I took the trees back to the nursery. They were put up for sale and eventually both trees were sold.

In the autumn of 2013 one of the trees made a welcome return to Newstead. The owner of the tree asked me if I would wire and restyle two pines. I had carried out similar work for this client in the past so I knew what was expected.

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The tree was bushy and generally in very good condition with excellent colour and signs of back budding. The problems centred around the middle of the tree.The trunk reduces in thickness by more than half at a single point. At the same point there is a strong first branch which is very thick and comes out somewhat unnaturally at a right angle to the trunk.

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When the tree is tilted slightly towards the right in the direction of the branch the picture changes quite dramatically. The branch almost takes on the appearance of a second trunk and the tree becomes more like a semi-cascade. The trunk and branch now flow and work well together. The trunk flows more naturally from thick to thin and even suggests movement and taper.

Old needles had already been cleaned out so there was just a little thinning out of shoots to do before wiring of all the branches could commence.

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Once the branches have been wired and repositioned the change to this tree really is quite dramatic. I really like the new image, this is a Japanese tree which now looks like a classic Japanese White Pine.


The whole transformation is down to a simple change in planting angle. Look carefully at your own trees the next time you are considering a restyle because sometimes a little change can produce a big, big result.

I sincerely hope that the kind people who have guided this tree in the past can rest assured that his future is something to look forward to!