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Classroom Corner – Driving a Taxus round the bend!…..(Part One)

An open window into the comings and goings of students and their trees attending our regular weekend and midweek bonsai classes under the ever watchful eyes of John Hanby.

Classroom Corner – Driving a Taxus round the bend!….(Part One)
One of my students kindly donated this Taxus to the nursery. He had no place for the tree in his collection. Towards the end of November 2014 I had an academy class so maybe we could put this tree to good use.
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The tree had an impressive base and some strong upper branches which could be encouraged to bud back. Unfortunately in between the two was a heavy straight trunk with no taper. Basically it spoilt everything.
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We needed to bend this trunk and compress the tree nearer to it’s base. Using power tools we hollowed out the section of trunk to be bent. Longitudinal wires were inserted into the hollowed section and raffia was applied externally.
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The trunk was then wired in the normal way. With some serious effort the trunk was bent in line with a large existing dead stump nearer the tree’s base. There was only a very slight crack to the top of the hollowed/carved section. This would not affect the compressed live vein below.
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The tree now looks totally different and new styling possibilities are immediately obvious. A tree heading for the bonsai scrapheap is suddenly a desirable proposition……to be continued.