silver Birch

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silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:34 pm

Hi there ,
This is my first post on this site. I have this Silver Birch that i have had a few years and i put it into a pot for the first time this year. Now that i have reached this stage and advanced my knowledge a little further i am not sure that it looks alright. I keep thinking i should cut it down smaller and just use the first branch . Maybe i could get some advice how to carry this one on.
There is a big root sticking up at the back that has to be worked on.





Last edited by Smithy on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:02 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : thanks to Jim for help to embed pictures)

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HI

Post  Joe Hatfield on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:11 pm

I agree with you in regard to the height. Seems a little out of balance. Maybe make the chop and re position the branch on the left side. Doesn't seem like you have to loose much at all.
-Joe

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:21 pm

Hi Joe
Thanks for the reply, its good to get a bit of conformation as i have chopped things before and regretted it afterwards. I was wondering whether to leave a jin where i chop or to hollow it out. Is this going to be just my preference.

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jinning it up

Post  Joe Hatfield on Mon Apr 27, 2009 9:27 pm

What I like about creating Jin is that even after I make it, I can remove it Smile I say, see what others here think and then think about it some more.

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lowering tree height

Post  moyogi john on Thu Apr 30, 2009 2:34 am

my opion you have agood apex already. chop the long top use that left branch for a top right branch for topbranch then hollow the chop that is there already.nothing that drastic....john

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Alan Walker on Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:17 pm

You have a nice movement in the trunk. Cutting back to the first branch will lose much of that. In addition, you will lose the transition from the aged bark to the younger bark which is appropriate on such a tree.
The aged and heavy trunk contrasts with the immature branches which will be slow to develop in a bonsai pot. I realized that you just potted it up, but it might be better if it returned to the ground, so your branches could mature more quickly.
One more point is that birch often will lose branches pretty readily. I would be loathe to use jin on such a tree.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Apr 30, 2009 4:58 pm

I agree with Alan, I'd carve it something like this to introduce taper.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:07 pm

moyogi john wrote:my opion you have agood apex already. chop the long top use that left branch for a top right branch for topbranch then hollow the chop that is there already.nothing that drastic....john

Thankyou John for your suggestion . It was that long top that was bothering me . I had wondered before to just shorten the long top. I'm not going to be too hasty and i'll really have a look at it. My wife will be happy as she really doesn't want me to cut it down.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:15 pm

Alan Walker wrote:You have a nice movement in the trunk. Cutting back to the first branch will lose much of that. In addition, you will lose the transition from the aged bark to the younger bark which is appropriate on such a tree.
The aged and heavy trunk contrasts with the immature branches which will be slow to develop in a bonsai pot. I realized that you just potted it up, but it might be better if it returned to the ground, so your branches could mature more quickly.
One more point is that birch often will lose branches pretty readily. I would be loathe to use jin on such a tree.

Hi Alan,
If i kept the tree as it is and returned it to the ground would you let the branches grow out to thicken up and then cut them back .
Your right about the jin as the wood does rot very quick. There was a birch in Bonsai focus with a hollowed out cut which looked very good.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Thu Apr 30, 2009 5:40 pm

I've just been out to have a look at it and i think for starters i am just going to shorten the long top and see what that looks like.If that doesn't look fine then i will use the branch on the left as a top. If i work down bit by bit i can't go wrong as i can't stick it back on Laughing

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Re: silver Birch

Post  prestontolbert on Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:52 pm

That top branch has nice movement and it has some caliper. If you cut it back to the second branch you are adding more years to the development. I think Kev had it right with his carving suggestion.
-PT

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Carolee on Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:14 pm

I've done some carving on wood that was already dead, but never on 'live'. How do you know that you won't kill part of the tree that you want to keep? Thanks!

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Kev Bailey on Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:40 pm

Carolee,

Carving dead wood is more difficult as it becomes much harder. If you have the right tools, carving away unnessary/unwanted livewood is much easier, so long as you keep the logical flow of nutrients and water in mind.

For the majority of species, look and think carefully about the vertical relationships between each of the roots and the branches.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Carolee on Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:21 pm

Thanks, Kev. With the trees I've carved, it was easy to tell the live vein from the deadwood, but I still don't understand. Could you elaborate on
the vertical relationships between each of the roots and the branches
, or refer me to a site or a book? Thanks,

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Sat May 02, 2009 9:30 pm

I had a little go at moving a few of the branches and cutting the top. I wonder what you think.
I wired it lightly and will keep an eye on it as i know these grow very quick.
I agree with Kev's suggestion about the carving and will have a go at that some time.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  JimLewis on Sat May 02, 2009 11:24 pm

If this tree was mine, I'd take it out of the pot, put it in the ground, and grow that top to match the rest of the trunk. All it will take is time.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Joe Hatfield on Sun May 03, 2009 12:42 am

Looks good so far. I'm glad it's working out.

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birch pruning

Post  moyogi john on Sun May 03, 2009 12:55 am

My opion the tree looks good like that... if you want to carve for taper ,,i would not go overboard...how tall is it now?? GOOD JOB john..

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Sun May 03, 2009 12:56 am

JimLewis wrote:If this tree was mine, I'd take it out of the pot, put it in the ground, and grow that top to match the rest of the trunk. All it will take is time.

Maybe next year, i have the smallest growing bed which is full at the moment.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Smithy on Sun May 03, 2009 12:58 am

Thanks Joe and John.
The tree is 50cms.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  marie1uk on Wed May 06, 2009 11:37 am

Carving to induce taper as one poster suggested is a good option - but be aware that fungal infection (common in birches) may be more probable. The thin branch used for trunk continuation going into the top third needs thickening IMO to build taper even more - I'd let it grow out and use it as a sap drawer as it will keep the lower branches from overthickening as the tree develops. Be careful about wiring Birch - the branches will sometimes just die on you!

It was a shame the post on the dancing birch by walter pall on the previous internetbonsaiclub site has been erased - it had some great info.

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Re: silver Birch

Post  Kev Bailey on Wed May 06, 2009 6:06 pm

All the old IBC information is still on the original server that was brought down by hackers. It is unfortunately not available to us at the moment as the previous webmaster, Terry, is still ill in hospital. We have sent our best wishes from all on the IBC. It will also be a lot of work manually cutting and pasting information, if and when we get access. So folks, please don't hold your breath!

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Re: silver Birch

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