Advanced Techniques > Advanced Bending Discussion

Bending a Western Juniper

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How is the scarring dealt with?  Are the bends placed in such a way that they will eventually scar over sealing the channel and aluminum wire or will there forever be an opening into the center of the tree?


--- Quote from: bwaynef on June 19, 2009, 03:48 PM ---How is the scarring dealt with? 
--- End quote ---

On the tree, or the hands and other body parts? That seriously looks dangerous.



The "opening" will remain.  This will just become another feature of the tree.  Junipers don't really heal large cuts well so we have to emphasize the deadwood.  There's already a significant amount of deadwood on this tree, and more won't look out of place.  With a little refinement carving in a few years you would have a hard time distinguishing where work was done.

The aluminum wire will remain until the raffia rots away and can be safely removed.

John Kirby:
Nice presentation. This technique is talked about in many. many books and articles, frequently with very few photographs (lots of drawings though). You have to maintain a steady hand and Boon uses a router speed control unit on his fixed speed die grinder to give greater control during wood removal (I found my router speed control unit- think of a rheostat (dimmer switch) for a die grinder at

The speed control and the depth of work need to be carefully observed. you want to take out a good deal of wood, but not so much that you "crimp" the live wood when you bend it. This crimping (collapsing) of the canal is partially alleviated by the large Aluminum wire and raffia(Wayne, it fills more of the channel and is much more flexible and amenable to bending than large copper). However, I can tell you from personal experience that not controlling speed can lead to the grinder wheel walking to where you don't want it to and not maintaining uniform depth can result in pinching and killing the branch.

You can bend many branches of many species with the raffia, lengthwise wire, followed by raffia technique. I don't believe that you will bend these old junipers as well, or at least not without the fear of an occasional break. If you have a number of guy wire points and places to put fulcrum(s) you can get pretty dramatic bends in yews and pines and junipers using the technique that Hans used with Irene.

Nice pictorial, the more of these we get out there the better.


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