How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

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How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 31, 2012 8:19 am

Hi you all,

I have a modest sized hawthorn (about 30 to 40cm, in inches that is about 14, that I yamodoried (;-) myself many years ago in my early bonsai days when i was about 19. It spent years and years trying to recover, bad soil bad fertilizing etc... In recent 3 years i got it going again.
However all those years of neglecting the dead wood that was a result of my poor carving experiments when i was younger, the tree now shows huge amount of dead wood, even down into the ground reaching the inside and bottom. I can now see the live vains in between the cracks in the barks. It really survives on these sometimes narrow vains.

I did some carving this year, but wanted to give the tree a rest and first recover and regrow this year. Its amazing how it keeps struggling on, its a survivor. I got it fertilized good, and its in a good substrate.

More carving to do on the 'dead' apex part, depending on where the live vains are over there.
More carving to do inside a bit (give more natural feel to it), and at the bottom hollow it seems that i will be left with holes spread around the trunk base. I want to really hollow it out right down into the ground.

Now is that really possible? Cause i notice that treating it with lime sulfur is nut sufficient at all when its dead wood that digs into the ground. Will it calluse enough around the dead parts at the bottom with some seal or treatment i am unaware of?

And finally, well what do you all think about it?

A litte progression to go along with my questions




















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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:03 pm

just an extra update: yesterday i've had a closer look in search of the live veins, and really all the branches/leaf are kept alive by veins with a width of no more than 1 to 1,5cm (that is +/- 1/2 inch). In between those veins all is dead bark, dead wood underneath. It will be a challenge to keep this tree alive in long (long long) term. Carving will have to be done very carefull, leaving enough dead wood next to the edges of the veins and right behind (in the trunk) the veins.

But my dream is to open it all up and leave enough 'sealed' dead wood at the base to keep it stable in its pot.
That is why i want to know what is the best protection i could give dead wood like that.

cheers

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  JimLewis on Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:34 pm

Check into a marine epoxy. It probably will end up with a shine, but sandpaper or wire brush should solve that.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:25 pm

JimLewis wrote:Check into a marine epoxy. It probably will end up with a shine, but sandpaper or wire brush should solve that.

Hello Jim, and thank you for the suggestion. Not really easily available around here i think, belgium is not a country with a lot of boats Very Happy

I have been googling around a bit, and came accross Graham Potter's website, which i allready knew, but there he actually describes coating it with any wood hardener, is not a smart thing to do and will only give short term satisfaction. He talks about trapping the moist behind the coating that way, especially if moisture can be sucked up by the wood from ie underneath or from the ground. This would definitely be the case here.
He also talks about the fact that fungi form a good barrier between the live and dead wood, and that the types of fungi that 'eat' rotted wood do no harm to the living parts of the tree, a natural form of protection.

In fact he only says that the actual rotted wood must be removed (soft and moist), and the hard dead wood can be saved and will be ok if treated with ie lime sulphur. Unfortunately he does not really comment on what to do with a trunk that has deadwood that goes in the ground. The problem is there, where it is underground and sucks up moisture. Maybe he says let it rot, the fungi will only eat as far as they can and not harm the living parts. But if i do that, i'll be left will little wood to stabilize the tree in the long run.

I guess i will be forced to find a solution that is in the middle of both suggestions.
That is, inspect the underside while repotting, and remove all real rotted wood if necessary, and hollow it out that way, step by step. If I follow Graham's logic, i'll eventually be left with the hard dead wood thats behind the living veins. I wonder if that has no callus around it (impossible at the inside) will it not simply get affected anyway by fungi.

Putting it higher on the substrate while i repot, is not an option right now, for that its roots are not developed enough (real thick roots are even absent). It would simply not be stable enough.

This is becoming a more difficult issue as i think about it more and more.
I do know that i dont wanna end up with a shiny epoxied tree, but if i'm left with no other choice...

thanks

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:31 am

Hi Yves

In this case of the decidus hawthorn, is lime sulfur not really the best thing to give, as the white collor does not look right. It does not harm the tree, so dont worry
In your case would I, as soon as the tree is potbound tilt the tree, and wash dawn the deadwood with clean water and a toothbrush.
When dried up, give the wood " wood harder" you can buy this from Walter Pall.....it is invisible, and make the wood like "plastic"...You dont need to remove the rotten wood, unless you want...as it will be hard too, or it will just dissapper with time in natural manner.
I woul give woodharder, when the wood has some natural age, and patina...then treat.

Kind regards yvonne

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:46 am

Yvonne Graubaek wrote:Hi Yves

In this case of the decidus hawthorn, is lime sulfur not really the best thing to give, as the white collor does not look right. It does not harm the tree, so dont worry
In your case would I, as soon as the tree is potbound tilt the tree, and wash dawn the deadwood with clean water and a toothbrush.
When dried up, give the wood " wood harder" you can buy this from Walter Pall.....it is invisible, and make the wood like "plastic"...You dont need to remove the rotten wood, unless you want...as it will be hard too, or it will just dissapper with time in natural manner.
I woul give woodharder, when the wood has some natural age, and patina...then treat.

Kind regards yvonne

hmm allright, interesting. And i did not know WP sold this, i know Graham Potter does, but this will offcourse be not the same product.

thank you

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:52 am

Hi Yves

If you go to Noelanders Trophy, can you buy it here....Walter always have some of it in hes car.

Kind regards Yvonne

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Walter Pall on Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:58 am

While I work a lot with wood hardener and do have a few cans to sell usually I have to warn folks:

Wood hardener is some sort of chemical that dissolves plastic. It is acetone in my case. if you treat the deadwood you have to look at it like you are painting a piece of ordinary wood. Imagine you have a very old half rotten garage door. So you paint it. What will happen? The door will look good for a while and then it will be obvious that it continued to rot under the paint. The paint will only go into the wood for one to maximum five millimeters. The wood hardener will thus create a very hard turtle shell. Underneath nature goes it's course.
If your deadwood is very precious you can avoid this if you do what folks do who preserve very old wooden sculptures. You use some injection tool, go deep into the wood and inject wood hardener.

Another thing that might be of interest:
I leave alone deadwood for ten years and more so that it decays naturally. When it looks very good I start to preserve it.
So my answer to the questions asked here would be: don't do anything for at least ten years. Your deadwood looks very artificial and raw. Let it decay for a very long time. Then brush off all soft parts and preserve what is left.

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:16 am

the issue about the wood hardener, that was exactly my point (fear), or reason why i would not go that way !

So here we are, why try to invent somehting that nature allready provides. The primary thing to do then is a little aftercare or 'help' if you like, of what nature will have left me after another ten years.

I'm satisfied, so for me topic closed (i mean i'm not worried any more, nor am i doubting any more Wink

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 03, 2012 1:23 pm

The instructions on the Minwax wood hardener sold here say to remove ALL of the pithy, rotten wood before applying the hardener.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

Post  Guest on Fri Aug 03, 2012 2:49 pm

JimLewis wrote:The instructions on the Minwax wood hardener sold here say to remove ALL of the pithy, rotten wood before applying the hardener.

so? you have rot and you have dead wood. If you harden 'healthy' dead wood, still moist will get behind it and it starts all over. That was the clue actually

reed up on Graham Potters site, and what Walter replied, and add a little common sense to it

i know what i needed to know.

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Re: How to properly treat dead wood of hollow Hawthorn

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