Big Ol' Privet

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Big Ol' Privet

Post  Kevin B. on Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:13 am

I must confess, I like big trunks and I can not lie!  Came across this biggie late winter of last year on a farm I was working on.  Happened to spy it as I was clearing back brush along an old stone wall...  Long story short, my boss at the time didn't want any invasive plants on her property (privet is considered invasive here), so I came back on a day off from work in April to dig the thing out.  Took me about 5 hours, but the tree was 100% free and still had a ton of fine roots near the trunk, so it was worth it!


After dragging the beast 300 yards uphill back to my Jeep, I soaked and bagged the roots and brought it home.  It started raining that afternoon, which was perfect, and I didn't have to worry about the plant staying wet.  Despite loosing all it's foliage and a lot of root, it responded in true privet fashion by budding out a month later, and then exploding with new growth by July!


Fast-Forward to this year...  To my delight, the tree easily made it through winter and started to show signs of stirring about a week ago.  Faced with the fact that I now had to do something with this massive plant, I spent a couple days studying the branches and searching for inspiration online and through my own photo collections to determine what I wanted to do design wise.  I knew that with privet, branches tend to thicken slowly.  Therefore I wanted to come up with a plan for development of the primary and secondary branches ASAP!  I finally took the plunge yesterday and trimmed out the unnecessary branches to redirect energy to those I wished to grow out.  I also encountered some die-back in the upper portion of the trunk, but this was to be expected since I cut back this privet hard.  Primary wiring of the sections close to the trunk will be done within the next day or so.  Here's the before and after thinning/dead bark removal, and a couple rough sketches showing the front I have chosen, how I see the deadwood, and one potential idea for growing out the branching.  Should be somewhere between 4' and 4'6" when finished, but that's about 15 years away!  Wink


Comments or questions welcome, this is my first time handling something this big!

Kevin B.
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Big Ol' Privet

Post  Neil Brough on Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:52 am

Hi M8 great stump there , i like the pic of you dragging it LOL .Great material to work on carvings a breeze and don't mind being bare rooted at re potting time. Check out mine a few post back Cheers Neil .

Neil Brough
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Re: Big Ol' Privet

Post  GreenLarry on Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:12 am

That's an awesome bit of privet!

GreenLarry
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Re: Big Ol' Privet

Post  Auballagh on Thu Apr 23, 2015 3:03 am

Very cool, and thanks for sharing.  I like the bonsai vision you have for this tree, and the journey you have in getting there with this (humble?) under-utilized tree species should be interesting.

Good luck, and please keep us posted with pictures as this big ol' brute is tamed & worked, and develops into something that is hopefully..... amazing!  Very Happy

Auballagh
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Re: Big Ol' Privet

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