A couple of Privets.

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A couple of Privets.

Post  Smithy on Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:20 pm

I thought i would post a couple of my trees i have been working on. These are two privets i dug out of my hedge. They are not quite in the class that i see on this site but hopefully over the next 20 years I might get there.


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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:11 pm

I think they have good potential, especially the first one. What are their current dimensions? Given the speed privet pops out new growth I'd be surprised if you had to wait 20 years. Maybe 6.

BTW what is the object that looks like a butt at the (appropriately enough) bottom left of your pics?

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Smithy on Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:23 pm

I meant its going to take me 20 years to get the skill to produce some of the trees i see on here Smile
The first one is 36cmc and the second is 60cm.
The butt is a piece of ash wood.

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Harleyrider on Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:34 pm

@ fionnghal: Your comment speaks volumes about the Scottish butt, my dear. I blame the kilt, no underwear and tall heather! Very Happy

Smithy, these 2 are very similar in size to my growing collection of privet stumps. I cut them down at roughly knee height, just in case any carving/dead wood was needed, but then I started to think they needed a little more reduction. Having seen the second pic, I'm going to take a second look at one or two of my stumps to see if any of them will carry the extra height.

Nice work so far, very inspirational.

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Acouple of Privets

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:52 pm

I like the carving,especially the second. Looks quite spooky and airy, like a flowing ghost! Not sure about the right side trunk. Looks too bulky and stiff in comparison with the rest of the composition?

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:01 pm

Be very careful abut too much carving and deadwood on this species (at least) of privet. Privet wood rots VERY quickly, whether or not you use wood hardener or epoxy on it. All your work will be long gone in 5-10 years.

These are very good trees for bonsai, but Kimura wouldn't like them at all -- which may be why I like them so. Evil or Very Mad

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Smithy on Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:01 pm

Harleyrider wrote:@ fionnghal: Your comment speaks volumes about the Scottish butt, my dear. I blame the kilt, no underwear and tall heather! Very Happy

Smithy, these 2 are very similar in size to my growing collection of privet stumps. I cut them down at roughly knee height, just in case any carving/dead wood was needed, but then I started to think they needed a little more reduction. Having seen the second pic, I'm going to take a second look at one or two of my stumps to see if any of them will carry the extra height.

Nice work so far, very inspirational.

Thanks ,i think they are great trees for us beginners as they grow so quick and pretty tough, good luck with yours.

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Smithy on Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:02 pm

will baddeley wrote:I like the carving,especially the second. Looks quite spooky and airy, like a flowing ghost! Not sure about the right side trunk. Looks too bulky and stiff in comparison with the rest of the composition?
Thanks Will. I did a lot of carving on the left one as there was a massive scar where i cut abig straight new piece off. There are some big cuts on the back of the right trunk which i want to carve out and bring around to the front. So yes i agree with you about it.


Last edited by Smithy on Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Smithy on Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:05 pm

JimLewis wrote:Be very careful abut too much carving and deadwood on this species (at least) of privet. Privet wood rots VERY quickly, whether or not you use wood hardener or epoxy on it. All your work will be long gone in 5-10 years.

These are very good trees for bonsai, but Kimura wouldn't like them at all -- which may be why I like them so. Evil or Very Mad

Some of it is a bit frail now and i'm battling a little to save it.
I'm intrigued why Kimura wouldn't like privet. Question

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Acouple of Privets

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:17 pm

I am very much in favour of dead wood on deciduous species. This has been discussed on many previous posts, some love it, some loath it. As most of the time we try to create an old image with our bonsai, along with old age comes distress. Imho the reason old books on bonsai do not advocate deadwood on deciduous trees is because the wood lacks the resinous strength to withstand decay. Left alone your lovely hard work on the carving will rot in a couple of years! Jin fluid is not enough [apart from being completely the wrong colour] I have an English Elm ive been working on for 11 years. It has very large areas of deadwood and has not deteriorated in that time. I treat all deadwood areas with a modern chemical wet rot wood hardener,. It is spirit based and dries resinous. Ialso use Teak oil as a water repelent. both applied twice a year.

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:56 pm

I'm intrigued why Kimura wouldn't like privet

I suspect he wouldn't like it because the deadwood doesn't last.

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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: A couple of Privets.

Post  Lee Kennedy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 10:31 am

JimLewis wrote:
I'm intrigued why Kimura wouldn't like privet

I suspect he wouldn't like it because the deadwood doesn't last.


Never mind Kimura etc,the bonsai world in general walks straight past,it's total snobbery especially from the British most probably due to the fact most 1930-60 council housing estates had privet hedges all over them.You cant sell these for love nor money no matter how goods the specimen is,but put a olive half as good next to one with double the price tag and you'll flog it instantly. Exclamation

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:38 am

Well said that man! That's why I personally like seeing the threads started by our colleagues like Jose Rivera, Jose Luis et al as they seem to be perfectly happy with creating their masterpieces from their own native species. Of course there are some non-native ones in there, but they seem to be in the minority. I have nothing against non-native species and indeed own a few, as I imagine do most bonsaists in the UK. But as Lee rightly says there's a kind of snobbery about it all as if the brit nats were some sort of country bumpkin cousins that we'd rather forget about. IMHO if you compare the growth habits of an olive and a privet, they do pretty much the same things and, as Ian's tree (and countless others) shows, can produce quite simply stunning results. And ... they're a dang sight easier to look after in this country.

Anyway, soap box back in cupboard now, but all the same I'd be interested to know if this same snobbery exists in other countries.

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Lee Kennedy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:58 am

The funniest thing is it's higher taxon is..........yes you guessed it OLEACEAE(unless your a snob then you probably didnt)http://www.discoverlife.org/nh/tx/Plantae/Dicotyledoneae/Oleaceae/Ligustrum/
Yes the very same family as olives,
SPECIESISM as stupid as RACISM

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:22 pm

Lee Kennedy wrote:The funniest thing is it's higher taxon is..........yes you guessed it OLEACEAE...Yes the very same family as olives
... thus confirming my earlier contention that Privet is the embarrassing country relative who only gets acknowledged through gritted teeth and false smiles at Christmas lunch. What, are we scared it'll slurp its soup or use the wrong fork or commit some other equally life-threatening solecism? Shocked

But, hey, Auntie Ligustrum, I love you! You're welcome at my table any time

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Acouple of Privets

Post  Guest on Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:38 pm

Isaw a Privet at the British Bonsai Assn show at Willowbog 2 years ago, it was STUNNING! Graham Potter also styled one and later sold it to a very discerning Italian collector. It was also a cracking tree.

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  JimLewis on Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:03 pm

Most of my trees are native to wherever I have live at some time or another, Others I seem to prefer are the invasive types -- figuring that they are safer in a pot than spreading over the landscape -- and Ligustrum sinensis fits that bill in the southeastern and middle USA. I also have a couple of Tamarisk.

For some unfortunate reason, privet is still sold in nurseries in the SE (the claim that the variegated leaf variety doesn't escape, but that is hogwash -- the do, and they revert to their green-leafed ancestors. Tamarisk couldn't be sold in Florida, but it too is still sold in North Carolina. It is a bigger pest in the western US than here in the east, though.

_________________
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: A couple of Privets.

Post  Velodog2 on Fri Jul 31, 2009 1:13 pm

Lol, funny stuff on the Privet vs. Olive family feud. I've seen many privet bonsai I like, but nice looking olives are few and far between, in my opinion. Nuff said, for now.

I think that these two specimens will look great once all of the dead wood is gone and there is but a twisted hollow shell of live wood left. Whether that process takes 2 hours with a grinder or 10 years with nature is irrelevent, although I could see the slow path of nature being more in tune with the bonsai ethic and I think that I would enjoy observing the natural process. True, dead wood doesn't last as long on deciduous trees as conifers, but then the trees themselves do not last as long either. Live fast, die young, etc, etc.

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Ian Warhurst on Fri Jul 31, 2009 4:51 pm

JimLewis wrote:Be very careful abut too much carving and deadwood on this species (at least) of privet. Privet wood rots VERY quickly, whether or not you use wood hardener or epoxy on it. All your work will be long gone in 5-10 years.

These are very good trees for bonsai, but Kimura wouldn't like them at all -- which may be why I like them so. Evil or Very Mad

My privet was carved about 10 years ago and the only part that is starting to rot is just at the bottom of the uro where water collects. I also have a number of others coming along nicely one in particular is very old with very old deadwood, yes parts of it are going a little soft, just like most of us bonsai nuts, lol! but I certainly wouldn`t let that put anyone off, these are fabulous trees to work on and if you enjoy carving get youself a nice chunky one and go mad with the makita.

Ian.

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a stocky Wirral Privet

Post  Les S on Fri Jul 31, 2009 5:19 pm



As Lee and Ian have mentioned there are a few good privet in the Wirral Society, this one is developing well it is 12inches from top of pot and 9 inches across

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:50 pm

Jim talks in both this post and in his other one, about Ligustrum sinensis and refers to it as Privet. Over here, Privet is usually the name given to Ligustrum ovalifolium. I wonder if there's a difference in the durability of the deadwood.

Ian's privets are indeed a joy to behold. (Boy, am I glad I got that spelling correct!). The pics I took recently are not brilliant but here's a taster.








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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  fiona on Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:55 pm

Recognise these arms, Les?



BTW I sent you an e.mail earlier

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Ian Warhurst on Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:12 pm

Ian's privets are indeed a joy to behold. (Boy, am I glad I got that spelling correct!).


so am I lol! "OOOH EEER! MISSUS!"

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Re: A couple of Privets.

Post  Smithy on Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:22 pm

Great looking at all of those privets.

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Re: A couple of Privets.

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