Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

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Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

Post  Lost2301 on Sun Jul 14, 2013 4:54 am

I believe this willow tree is a Bebb's willow. It was collected in the mountains of Colorado sometime ago by Jerry Morris. It took me some time figure out what type of willow it is. I purchased it a few days ago and am looking for some idea's on styling. It has massive dead wood that spirals from left to right depending what side of the tree your looking at. It has numerous dead branches that all go in the same direction and died off for some reason. A new branch/trunk has emerged from under the dead on the right side of the tree and is growing pretty much at an angle following the deadwood. This branch/trunk has a larger branch of it on the outside of it growing straight up, plus several small branches originating from the main branch under the deadwood. I have removed 4-5 small deadwood branches from it and one larger one. I have hollowed out the ends of the deadwood branches that were sawed off sometime ago.

I was thinking about bringing the main living trunk back towards the left of the tree and then seeing if I could get it to follow the flow of the deadwood branches to the right of the tree. I was then thinking about working the living branches into and through the dead branches to form the tree. It does looking like it grows fast. The previous owner pruned it back this spring and it has responded well.

The dead branches are pretty tall and I could chop them down to size and move the trunk over to the left of the tree side of the tree and build it out from there? It would go against the growth of the tree though.

Pot size is around 24x17 inches.

I would appreciate any suggestions any one has. I would like to do something with the main trunk before it gets to big.

Thanks,

Mike

Photo #1


Photo #2.


Photo #3


Photo #4


Photo #5 Red = Main Trunk, Blue = Large branch of main trunk, Purple = 2 small branches from main trunk under the deadwood.


Photo #6 Shows the direction/spiral of the trunk and the deadwood/branches follow this direction on the other side of the tree.

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3 Years Latter - Looks Completely Different

Post  Lost2301 on Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:49 am

Any thoughts now 3 years latter? Which front do you like best?

Mike





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Re: Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

Post  fiona on Sat Jul 30, 2016 6:03 pm

Tricky call. I am more naturally drawn to the second one but am aware there is a lot of interesting stuff in the trunk detail in the first.

Just my two cents worth and not a criticism, but were the tree mine, I am seeing it with the branches/trunks a lot shorter, really just to take away a bit from the straightness. More foliage of course will help with this too.

Nice bit of material to have. Keep us posted on its progression please, Mike.

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Re: Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

Post  Lost2301 on Sat Jul 30, 2016 11:44 pm

Fiona,

Thank you for your kind reply. Photo number 2 should be retaken at a different angle with the tree swiveling to the left more so you can see into the curved section of trunk more. That would be my selection for a front.  The tree is really pretty massive in size. I error-ed in my original thoughts about the dead branches being sawed off. After watching how the tree was growing for 3 years before styling it, I realized that the living branches would only grow so high before they would start to bend over and head towards the soil line. So I now think when the tree was living in the Rocky Mountains next to a stream the branches did the same thing until they were broken off by snow with almost all of them being broken off at the same height. I designed the tree to limit the height of the tree to about where the dead branches were broken off.  So the living branches are now designed to bend over at about the same height. I agree with you the tree needs more foliage to fill out. I plan to ask the Denver Botanic Gardens if they can keep the tree in their greenhouse for me over the winter. This should give me a head start on improving the foliage for the  next couple of years. The leaves emerge in the spring with half of each leaf being a peach color. It has actually flowered the last 2 years, not very showy, but it does indicate that the tree is happy now. I may be able to bring some of the branches back in as you suggest when I can get it to start back budding. Its a willow they like to back bud.

On a side note, the tree was sitting in front of my house in the street on a stand and neighbors were going by saying "Wow, what a nice tree". I get more people watching me and my house (trees) and they stop and ask questions all the time. The kids have nick named me the tree hoarder! One recent comment by a guy and his friends was "Are you ever going to let them get big?". I answered back "No, that is not the goal".

Best Regards,

Mike

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Re: Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

Post  augustine on Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:10 pm

Mike,

Fine piece of material you have there.

It is hard to tell from photos but I think the first photo shows a bit too much of the base and the second a bit too little so maybe you can rotate between these 2 points. Also I cannot tell if the tree is leaning toward the front (but it should).

Never saw this species used for bonsai.

Congratulations on a great find.

Augustine.

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Re: Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

Post  Lost2301 on Mon Aug 01, 2016 6:05 pm

Augustine,

Thanks for the reply. The front of the tree should be moved in the photo to the left more, which allows you to see less of the big hump (very impressive) and more of the natural curve of the trunk. The trunk swirls around and rises off of the soil a little and then comes back down. The smaller deadwood trunks arising from the main trunk all lean so the right which is how the main living trunks are doing right now. The smaller branches have been worked through all of the upright dead trunks. The living branches do come towards you until a snow storm comes along and breaks them all of and then you start over. The living branches come towards you after they reach a certain height and get weighed down by the weight of the leaves. I bet this tree never got over 10 feet tall before flopping over until being broken off. I had the tree outside in the spring time and a late blizzard hit and the poor branches were all flopped over pretty good. It was not styled at the time. I doubt they would flop over now due to the way the tree is wired. Lots of unusual wiring wiring to support the thin branches, other wise they keep growing up until they just flop over until they break.

Somehow this willow popped up another tree in a Ponderosa Pine tree pot. Not sure how that happened? But it did.

Mike

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Re: Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

Post  Lost2301 on Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:36 am

Shown below is a photo of the tree today with Jerry Morris standing next to it. Jerry collected the tree on a ranch around Fairplay Colorado. Jerry is very famous for finding and developing miniature conifers through out the world. He would find witches brooms growing up in the Rockies and take cuttings home and graft them. He would then send the grafts out to growers all over the world until the plant restrictions put an end to it.


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Re: Salix bebbiana - Bebb's Willow

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