Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

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Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Fore on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:12 pm

I bought 10 Shimpaku seedlings that I'm going to plant in ground this spring. I've been looking at a lot of finished Shimpaku's, and have wondered about the twisting nature of this tree's trunk growth. Is this natural for the live veins/trunk to twist over time or does the twist also have to be wired? I just don't know how these grow naturally, but many of the Jap. yamadori Shimpaku's have a very twisted trunk, so I'm guessing it's natural but just want to make sure I get it right from the get go. Wiring for curves and bends makes sense, but the twisting nature I just don't know...

Fore
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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Poink88 on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:31 pm

It happens in nature (some nicely some not too much) but nothing wrong "helping" it out with wires Wink Note that the nice yamadori trees also got other natural help like brutal/bad weather, climate, drought, inhospitable substrate, animal/insect attack, etc. that your seedlings might not be exposed to.

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Fore on Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:50 pm

Thanks Dario. I know I can't simulate mother nature...but was thinking of putting a huge fan in front of it, smashing it down with my foot, and well.... LOL Wink
Seriously, great to hear it's natural, and that I can help it. Great as it gives me total control of the trees desired end result.

Fore
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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:06 pm

Do you mean the corkscrew effect of the vein against the shari or a twisted trunk in general?

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Fore on Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:21 pm

Yes Orion, the twisting vein around the shari is what I want to do, but I thought it was the same as the trunk twisting?

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:35 pm

Trunk twisting, to me, is creating a bent, curved, twisted, contorted trunk line that moves and flows which is done through wiring. This is something that you can do with seedlings. You can't twist a trunk, for example, by holding one end stationary and twisting from the opposite end, it'll break before it dies. There's a couple of different ways to create the "barber pole" effect: One would be to tightly spiral wire from the base to a branch making sure you don't break the sap line and allow the wire to cut in. The vein will swell as a result. The other way is to create wounds and gradually connect them over a period of years. One thing to keep in mind is the shari is eventually going to have to be wide enough to prevent the live wood from growing over it.

I've never tried it, I've seen it done with mixed results, sometimes it looks great when well crafted and others look totally contrived.

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Fore on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:43 pm

Thanks for the clarification Orion on trunk bending.

Cool tips for the twisting vein too. Do you not agree with Dario that it occurs naturally as you didn't mention this. Just want to know all my options. I certainly don't want to go to all this effort and end up with a contrived tree.

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Orion on Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:57 pm

It occurs naturally, but the side getting pounded by the elements, sand, etc. is where you'll see the bulk of the deadwood and the live wood is usually on the opposite side as a result. To be honest, I've never seen a uniform spiralling vein in nature, not to say there isn't one somewhere.

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Poink88 on Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:19 am

The twisting (not spiraling) happens all the time and I've seen them on landscape plants that are not influenced in any way. I've seen it on plants planted individually or as hedge as well. I think the spiraling is more influenced as the veins are artificially created to look that way or by bending/wiring after. Normally the vein should follow the wood curvature but again a more dramatic effect can be created. "Cheated" ones might become obvious though as the dead wood shows aging.

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Fore on Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:13 pm

Thanks guys. Now I've got it. I'll prob. just wire some and let some others grow naturally. I've got enough to experiment on. Funny, this isn't talked about much. The curves and the spirals are what make the trunks so awesome on Shimpakus.

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

Post  Billy M. Rhodes on Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:40 pm

One technique requires stripping a band of bark in a curved line, but you must be careful that the bark removal doesn't cause the death of branches.

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Re: Shimpaku Twisted Trunks

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