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spruce with controversial dead wood

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Marty Weiser
juniper07
Thomas Urban
Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai
DougB
Vance Wood
my nellie
moyogijohn
kcpoole
Justin Hervey
gman
Cees
Tona
AlainK
Todd Ellis
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Post  MerschelMarco Sun May 12, 2013 11:58 am

This spruce is in the styling process for about 7 years now. By now it has gained some maturity and it is getting show ready soon.

The first pic is from 2006 the last one is recent.

Regards,
Marco

spruce with controversial dead wood Fichte10

spruce with controversial dead wood Fichte11

spruce with controversial dead wood Fichte12

spruce with controversial dead wood Fichte13

spruce with controversial dead wood Dsc_0310

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Post  Todd Ellis Sun May 12, 2013 12:19 pm

I like your tree. It tells a story Very Happy
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Post  AlainK Sun May 12, 2013 12:51 pm

I find it very elegant.

And I understand the title of your post: I would be tempted to thin out a bit the dead trunk Wink But I agree with Todd, it tells a story.
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Post  Tona Sun May 12, 2013 3:50 pm

Hi Mershel,
If it were my tree, I would like to see the third picture with drastically reduced deadwood.
Just my opinion.
Very nice tree!!
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Post  Cees Sun May 12, 2013 9:14 pm

Now I see what thunder and lightening can do.
Nice tree.

Cees.
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Post  gman Mon May 13, 2013 5:47 am

Nice composition....isn't it interesting that less is more.......the reduced live upper section really fits the overall image. IMHO I like the greyer tones of the other pot.....blends better with the bark...
Cheers Graham
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Post  Justin Hervey Mon May 13, 2013 7:51 am

Really nice composition Marco. I like the individuality of the image, without the second trunk it would be like so many other trees.
For my eye though, I would like to see the dead trunk reduced a little and given greater texture as the age, shape and girth look very similar to the main trunk.
Something like this maybe?

spruce with controversial dead wood Dsc_0310
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Post  kcpoole Mon May 13, 2013 10:49 am

I cannot see what the controversy would be, What a lovely tree congratulations

Ken

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Post  moyogijohn Mon May 13, 2013 10:06 pm

I have looked and looked at your tree.. it is very nice !! my opion only,,i like the second picture with the limb going back to the dead wood.. i also would like to see that dead wood reduced a lot !! just me but it takes away from the nice tree..anyway a nice job working with this one..take care john

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Post  MerschelMarco Mon May 13, 2013 10:20 pm

I think your answers are showing perfectly why the tiltle of this thread was chosen. From doing nothing to reducing a little bit to reduce drastically everything was suggested. But when you see the detail photos of the dead trunk it is understandable why I dont like to reduce it. It is the decision between a more elegant looking tree and a more wild looking tree. But by choosing the elegant solution it is nessecary to work on the very old and natural looking dead wood parts. This means destruction because this dead wood is not not copyable.
You cannot have both.

Regards,
Marco

spruce with controversial dead wood Fichte15

spruce with controversial dead wood Fichte14

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Post  Justin Hervey Tue May 14, 2013 6:06 am

I agree Marco, wonderful deadwood... this may be one of those trees that a photo will never do justice to, one that needs to be seen in detail and the third dimension to really appreciate.
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Post  my nellie Tue May 14, 2013 2:39 pm

How natural and unique!
I love the deadwood as it is, too.
Bravo, MerschelMarco!
gman wrote:... ...IMHO I like the greyer tones of the other pot.....blends better with the bark...
I second that.
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Post  MerschelMarco Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:24 am

rewired now.

Regards,
Marco

spruce with controversial dead wood Fichte13

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Post  Todd Ellis Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:20 pm

Lovely Marco!
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Post  Vance Wood Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:31 pm

There is another post floating around on the forum to the effect of where bonsai is going.  This tree is a really good example of where I believe bonsai is headed.  It is difficult to put this tree into a category style wise other than informal upright and that does not describe the tree.  If you would look into the literature for a description of this tree there is nothing that comes close other than the collected tree category, where the shape of  a tree is accepted for what it is; a collected tree. In my way of thinking this is the way we should be doing bonsai anyway. I do not know the source of this tree collected or not, if you or me or someone else can make an everyday tree look like a collected tree, that in itself is an accomplishment.

I think the tree is beautiful and I would not change it, especially the dead wood.   The statement earlier that less is more was correct until you got to this point where less is -------less.
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Post  DougB Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:32 pm

Well said Vance.
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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai Mon Jul 07, 2014 6:02 pm

ditto

wonderful tree and treatment

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Post  Thomas Urban Wed Jul 09, 2014 10:14 am

This tree is beautiful. It's awesome because it's a spruce, which are still pretty rare and if you found this tree in Nature and it has this deadwood, then how can that be controversial? If nature made it then it's as natural as can be and with those closeups you posted on the deadwood's texture; holy hell this tree is awesome. To reduce or cut off that piece of deadwood would be a complete shame, it would loose it's 'story' and would start to look like many other conifers 'trying' to be a particular style.

Super Jealy of you Very Happy
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Post  Vance Wood Wed Jul 09, 2014 1:46 pm

Thomas Urban wrote:This tree is beautiful. It's awesome because it's a spruce, which are still pretty rare and if you found this tree in Nature and it has this deadwood, then how can that be controversial? If nature made it then it's as natural as can be and with those closeups you posted on the deadwood's texture; holy hell this tree is awesome. To reduce or cut off that piece of deadwood would be a complete shame, it would loose it's 'story' and would start to look like many other conifers 'trying' to be a particular style.

Super Jealy of you  Very Happy

This does bring up a question: How much of the split trunk element is natural and how much of it has been man made? Either way the tree is an accomplishment and a work of art but if the dead wood element is totally man made then we have some really interesting conversations around the corner as to how it was created in the first place and how it was treated to make it look so natural.
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Post  juniper07 Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:26 pm

When it comes to deadwood, I have read that when a trunk dies, the bark starts secreting resin into the wood as a defense mechanism from infections. Resin also hardens the wood which aids in supporting it's weight for a much longer time. Another benefit of resin is that it is fire retardant... try an experiment of burning a freshly cut wood (bark peeled off) simultaneously with a natural deadwood. The natural deadwood will burn much slower.

So, resin and the time resin takes to get soaked into the wood are two key ingredients. Others can be heat and moisture.
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Post  Vance Wood Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:00 am

juniper07 wrote:When it comes to deadwood, I have read that when a trunk dies, the bark starts secreting resin into the wood as a defense mechanism from infections. Resin also hardens the wood which aids in supporting it's weight for a much longer time. Another benefit of resin is that it is fire retardant... try an experiment of burning a freshly cut wood (bark peeled off) simultaneously with a natural deadwood. The natural deadwood will burn much slower.

So, resin and the time resin takes to get soaked into the wood are two key ingredients. Others can be heat and moisture.

An interesting and helpful observation.
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Post  MerschelMarco Mon Nov 29, 2021 9:12 pm

An update.

Regards,
Marco

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Post  Marty Weiser Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:28 am

Thanks for the update. It is progressing nicely. I think that breaking the crown up into multiple pads might make it look even better.

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Post  breck Thu Feb 17, 2022 8:09 pm

oh please dont mess with the deadwood it is fantastic natural and cannot be bettered with power tools or by hand

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Post  Thomas Urban Wed Mar 02, 2022 10:29 am

Marty Weiser wrote:Thanks for the update. It is progressing nicely. I think that breaking the crown up into multiple pads might make it look even better.

I agree with Marty, it's not a traditional pine, and with that deadwood it suggests an alpine tree and splitting up the crown into some more pads would do a lot. Also I think the apex should be more pointy versus the pine helmet look but it's your tree Wink

The deadwood is !
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