himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

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himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:23 pm

i have a himalayan birch that i have been wanting to do some carving and trunk removal on and being in wisconsin in january, it is of course dormant...

does anyone know if i would be relatively safe doing that type of work while its dormant ?

i will be doing NOTHING with the roots or branches... i will only be enlarging an existing dead-wood cavity, perhaps even splitting the trunk a bit and some of this work will go into the live portion of the trunk.

thanks


Last edited by kevin stoeveken on Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:17 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  JimLewis on Wed Jan 28, 2015 6:36 pm

I wouldn't do that until early summer.

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Jan 29, 2015 3:10 am

Because...?

(Notice anything different, Jim?)

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:05 pm

bump... i'm considering doing the work tomorrow... unless ???

i saw all the winter work being done on the larches and because they both end in the letters "rch",
i figured they must be similar species... Razz


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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Sun Feb 15, 2015 3:31 pm

well, the guys at our monthly collective workshop thought now would be a safe enough time to do the work i wanted to do...

tree as acquired w/ flat trunk chop.



my first attempt at re-working a trunk chop (done w/o any advisement)





while i was happy enough with the work of the first attempt, i wasnt super stoked on how it looked so i went at it again yesterday working a rift down 2 opposite sides of the trunk













still need to clean it up a bit, but at least its better than it was and now just gonna see how it heals and then start on the branch work (and from what i hear, birches kinda do what ever the hell they want and dont exactly share your vision  Rolling Eyes )

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  Leo Schordje on Sun Feb 15, 2015 4:42 pm

OK - I'''m editing my post becuase you were posting while I was typing. Laughing

- I loved it. You did a really nice job considering this is the first time you done that type of work to anything.

This tree looks even more natural in person than in photos. Great Job!

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:03 am

thanks leo

maybe i mis-spoke/typed, but yesterday wasnt the first time... what i did in summer of 2013 was the first time, but between then and yesterday i have been playing more and more with carving, etc... but mainly on junipers, and not so much on deciduous material

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  Andre Beaurain on Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:17 am

Nice work Kevin. Any reason why you wanted it to look like it burned?

We call this tree the Silver Birch

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  Shayn on Mon Feb 16, 2015 8:42 am

Andre, I believe the burning is for healing purposes and a more natural non-tampered colour later on. If I'm mistaken please tell me.

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Feb 16, 2015 12:43 pm

thanks andre

and yeah shayne, while i'm not sure that the burning does anything for healing, i believe it does offer some level of protection until i can apply some wood hardener... and i believe it moves it along toward a more natural look a bit quicker.

at any rate, the burnt look is part of what needs to be cleaned up... i didnt bring a small enough wire brush to get in between the rifts...
once it gets brushed though, it looks alot less black and eventually looks more natural.

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  KyleT on Mon Feb 16, 2015 4:54 pm

From the first photo I wouldn't have thought this material was worth it. By the end of your photo progression I was getting pretty excited. This could become a super cool tree.

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Feb 16, 2015 6:23 pm

thanks kyle...

see !
you left the meeting before things got exciting...
you know, trunk carving, dancing girls, ribald humor... woo-hoo !

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:15 am

a year has passed and i wanted to do some more work on this guy...

mainly on the 2 fugly roots...


more pics here from an impromptu session at my house with a few of the AAC MKE guys...

http://arborartscollective.blogspot.com/2016/02/february-in-wisco.html

sorry for the link, but i didnt feel like retyping and reposting pics...

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  fredman1 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:18 am

As mentioned above, I didn't see much in this tree from the first pics, but the carving changed the whole tree. Beautifully done Kevin. When you up to it, plz put up some more pics from around it.

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:51 pm

thanks manfred ! Wink

yeah, when i first got it i kinda figured "well there aint much going on here, so i might as well play with it..."

when you say "from around it", i imagine you mean more pics of the entire tree, correct ?
if so, i will try to remember to post some this growing season when it is in leaf.

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  fredman1 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:13 pm

Yeah from a few sides. Maybe now while its naked. Love full size pics with exotic bear cans next to it Wink
I would like to see that pointy bit at the top better from another side. Don't you think it would eventually interfere with that branch next to it? Also its unclear to me...did you remove the 9 o'clock root to?
Yes you can call me Manfred.... Laughing

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Feb 24, 2016 6:30 pm

right now its tucked away back in winter storage, but if i get the chance i will pull it out for some portraits...
and my current favorite can (strictly for scale, you understand) has been DEATH BY COCONUT by oskar blues...

but in answer to your question about the pointed top of the carved area, i dont think it will interfere with the adjacent branch because as that branch thickens, i can and will remove more of the dead carved part...


and yeah, the 9 oclock root was mostly removed and became the ground level hollow...
there were 2 smaller roots along side it though that i left (mostly) alone.

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:30 pm

tom longfellow (of the AAC and hippie Bonsai) down in illinois invited a couple of us wisco AAC boyz down for a carve party a couple weeks ago and he wasnt talking about punk-ins or turkeys !!!

so - i resumed work on this birch... (vlad's post on birch was the impetus for this update)

i had done some excessive root removal, which ended up being dead anyways...
and no matter what i did, i just could not get happy with the way the roots were at the base of the hollow

as seen below





so i went ahead and got rid of those and i think i can live with this much better...



as this was a carving party i didnt really take a good picture of the whole tree... mainly the carved areas



but it has been healthy this year and even made a head fulla these



so for now, i believe i am done with the trunk work...
i understand it does not have much in the way of taper, but there is really nothing i can do about that...
some new surface roots may help with the illusion, but not much...

next is working on the crown (i cut it back pretty hard before putting it up for winter)
and new surface roots (which this seems to make easily)

i should also point out that this was a VERY inexpensive piece of material...
i think i paid $20 bucks for the trunk chopped stump...
(i bet ya cant say that 3 times fast: trunkchoppedstumptrunkchoppedstumptrunkchoppedstump geek )

(and i also bet most everyone who read it, tried it Razz )

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Re: himalayan birch - edited - now a progression thread

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