Forsythia stump

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Forsythia stump

Post  jersanct on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:22 pm

This is a Forsythia I "collected" from the front garden at my new house 2 years ago. I believe it is probably the same age as the house, or around 80 years old. It was wildly overgrown, with a mass of long, wavy branches probably 8 feet long or longer, all of which were falling into my driveway at the time. It had maybe a dozen main trunks, plus various other dead ones.

So, I chopped it back to a stump, for the most part, and let it grow. Two years later, I was here.

p.s. the sharp-eyed among you might notice something odd about the stump on the left





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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  jersanct on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:25 pm

You may think the stump was looking fairly good as it was. Most of it was dead, however, and--while some of the dead wood was extremely hard and seemingly stable, much of it was soft and rotting. Note the mold/fungus growing on bits of the rotting wood.

I had noted over the summer that there were a few areas where roly-polys were helpfully hollowing the interior.

A close-up...


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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  jersanct on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:31 pm

So, out came the trusty carving tools, Dremel, and die grinder, and here's where I am after a few hours of carving. I may need to hollow a little bit more of the softer dead wood at some point, but Mrs. Jersanct came downstairs at this stage of the work and complained about the state of her basement.

I hope you think I have improved a nice old stump rather than ruined it.

Next steps, I think: a few coats of wood hardener, a root pruning, and a lot of fertilization. Thanks very much for looking.





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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  jersanct on Sun Feb 06, 2011 5:41 pm

So you can have an idea about how much of this stump was dead/rotting, here is a shot of the back, where much of the dead wood had been hollowed already by nature (age/conditions/roly-poly activity), and much of the rest of it was very soft and had to go.

Also, there is a spooky tree-man figure from this angle, which my daughters found to be amusing.


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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  fiona on Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:38 pm

Interesting piece of material and I sense a further carving fest will occur. Wait until Mrs J goes out though, so you don't get any more basement complaints.

If it were mine, I would be tempted to get rid of the spooky treeman dude and concentrate of the rest of it to bring it in more compactly. I'm assuming it is going to behave like Forsythia over here and pop stuff out all over the place on the main part of the trunk.

Nice piece of wood to work with though.


btw what are roly-polys? Over here the Roly Polys were a dance troupe of diminutive and rather elderly ladies of various degrees of plumpness. I have now a hideous mental image of miniature tap-dancing grannies flubbering merrily across your tree.

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Forsythia stump

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:13 am

Hello Chris. What a fine stump you have there. I think the first thing to consider is a change of planting angle. Sorry about the crap virt but she who knows is fast asleep. A chang of angle will give some varying height to the trunks. You can certainly get it out of the pot now and have a look at the roots to see if it can be changed. You may find some further interesting features below the soil level.

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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:19 am

fiona wrote:btw what are roly-polys? Over here the Roly Polys were a dance troupe of diminutive and rather elderly ladies of various degrees of plumpness. I have now a hideous mental image of miniature tap-dancing grannies flubbering merrily across your tree.

Haha.

Roly polys (polies?) are pill bugs. Strange little "bugs" (too many legs to be an insect) that roll themselves up into a tight little ball when threatened. Children love them, and the name is a lot cuter thab "pill bug", yuck!

Love the stump, btw.

R


Last edited by Russell Coker on Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 08, 2011 11:55 am

Pill bugs are known as wood lice over here. They do very little damage though. They feed on very rotten and damp wood and occasionally get up into the rootball if the draining mesh isn't seated properly. Taste a bit like shrimp if lightly fried.....Apparently

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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  fiona on Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:20 pm

Up here we call them slaters.


But back to Chris's stump.

Have you had a rummage around to see what lies below the soil? Like Will, I too wondered about altering the planting angle.


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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  jersanct on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:13 am

Hello everyone, and thanks for your replies. I'm glad you like the look of my stump.

I definitely will pull it out of the pot to see if there might be a better planting angle. I have been thinking I probably had selected what I had thought was the best angle when I planted it, but I more likely just plopped it into the smallest available pot in whatever manner it wanted to sit. The top of the stump looks much different now, too, with several large trunks having been removed. I'll be repotting a few trees at the local bonsai nursery this weekend, and I'll wait to look at it until then, so I don't have to risk Mrs. J's wrath yet again. I will post some photos if I find anything interesting.

Finally, I appreciate everyone clearing up the roly-poly mystery for Fiona, although it was too late to save me from nightmares concerning plump, elderly, bonsai-eating ballerinas. With fangs.

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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  jersanct on Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:54 am

Updated after a change in planting angle - thanks for the suggestions, Fi and Will. I'm quite pleased with it, although I need to introduce some different movement to the two central leaders now. Please let me know if you have any thoughts. Thanks for looking - Chris


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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  bonsaimeister on Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:22 am

Much improved at the new angle. Who is the potter?

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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  jersanct on Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:07 am

Thanks, bonsaimeister. The potter is a local St. Louis artist named Joel Price. I might have struggled to commission a better one. I just randomly bought it at my club's auction last year.

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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  Guest on Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:14 am

Great improvement Chris, and I like the pot too. I would let this tree grow freely for this year, to gain some vigour and put some weight on the branches.

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Re: Forsythia stump

Post  bonsaimeister on Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:18 am

Hi Chris,
Maybe not the best pot for this tree in the long run but nice earthy glaze. Glad to see you're supporting local potters and your club! Very Happy
Josef

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