Author Topic: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine  (Read 27607 times)

MatsuBonsai

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Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« on: June 14, 2009, 08:21 AM »
Before doing major bends it is sometimes necessary to apply raffia to the branches.

Raffia must be soaked before it can be applied.  Once dry the raffia will tighten against the branch, keeping it from splitting, tearing, or separating.

Take 4-5 strands and tie them at one end.  It may be easier to coil them and leave them in a small container of water.

Start wrapping the raffia from the base of the trunk or branch and work your way up and out.  Wrap in the direction that you plan to twist and bend.  This will help keep the raffia tight through the process.  Then, start wiring.

Here, we started with size 6 annealed copper wire on the large branch.  Be sure to wire two branches with one wire.  Support the outside of the bends with wire.

In the second picture below Boon students will recognize "figure 3" on the lower branch.  This is one of the most often techniques used to wire a forked branch.

This tree will continue to be wired and rewired year after year.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 08:26 AM »
Irene,

I don't know a lot about the tree.  It was collected 2-5 years ago and placed in the grow box with a mix high in pumice to promote root growth.  It was repotted the same day of wiring.  Winter's are so mild in the Bay Area that it didn't miss a beat.

Boon teaches wiring with a set of instructions.  It helps keep things consistent and easy when all he has to say is "figure 3 here, figure 15 there."

Figure 3 is a way to wire two branches with one wire.  It's the method used, seen here on the bottom branch starting at the raffia.  For lack of a better term I'll call it the horseshoe.  Wire is place at the crotch of a branch and wrapped in opposite directions.  You can start from the bottom or top, depending on purpose and obstacles; there may be other wire in the way, if the branch had been wired out from the base, etc.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 08:28 AM by MatsuBonsai »
 

bonsaikc

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 11:36 PM »
Irene,

I don't know a lot about the tree.  It was collected 2-5 years ago and placed in the grow box with a mix high in pumice to promote root growth.  It was repotted the same day of wiring.  Winter's are so mild in the Bay Area that it didn't miss a beat.

Boon teaches wiring with a set of instructions.  It helps keep things consistent and easy when all he has to say is "figure 3 here, figure 15 there."

Figure 3 is a way to wire two branches with one wire.  It's the method used, seen here on the bottom branch starting at the raffia.  For lack of a better term I'll call it the horseshoe.  Wire is place at the crotch of a branch and wrapped in opposite directions.  You can start from the bottom or top, depending on purpose and obstacles; there may be other wire in the way, if the branch had been wired out from the base, etc.

Irene,
Here are a couple more pictures of Figure 3 wiring. Where the branch forks, see the wire that wraps across the base and proceeds up each sub-branch. The wire that extends from the trunk to this branch is wrapped at least 1.5 turns but not more than 2 turns up one sub branch, to act as an anchor. My third photo shows three examples of Figure 3 wiring.

In photo 2 in John's post, no anchor wire was needed because no bending of that portion of the branch was required.
 

Victrinia Ridgeway

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 05:34 PM »
The nice part about wiring a branch that way is that you can use less wire. There can be an incredible amount of wasted wire applied to a tree when one lacks little tricks like that. I have been taught to be very conservative with my use of wire. Use as much as is needed, but no more. For example, if not anchoring to another branch (and you saddly have no jins to hang off of  :P) then it only takes two full wraps around the trunk to get wire to hold. It's not unusual to see newer learners misunderstand what they are seeing on trees which have been wired out, and they wire a tree from the bottom up. (I made the same mistake myself on my very first tree...lol)

The only thing more troubling than wasted wire is wire which has been applied and then put to no apparent use whatsoever. (but I won't digress there just yet)

This tree couldn't be accused of that by a wide mile. It's exceedingly lovely.

Lastly... an alternative to raffia which requires no soaking, comes in any length required, and is equally effective is hay bale twine. Available at almost any feed store. One spool will last a lifetime.  ;D The only thing with it, is that you have to unwind it as you go. However I find it to be extremely effective, and aside from whatever asthetic issues someone may have with "orange" on a tree... I have yet to hear a compelling arguement for a preference for raffia.

Wire, wrap (in whatever form), training pots, tools... all of these are a temporary means to an end. They are not the end, and should not be treated as such. In other words, don't think it's the end of the world if your wire isn't copper, or your wrap isn't grass... It all comes off in the end anyway. Effectiveness is the only real measure.

Sorry... rambling... that happens sometimes. I'm not preaching to the chior... but rather just thinking outloud for others to ponder in the future who may come across this thread.

Warmest regards to all,

Victrinia

 

bonsaikc

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2009, 06:29 PM »
The nice part about wiring a branch that way is that you can use less wire. There can be an incredible amount of wasted wire applied to a tree when one lacks little tricks like that. I have been taught to be very conservative with my use of wire. Use as much as is needed, but no more. For example, if not anchoring to another branch (and you saddly have no jins to hang off of  :P) then it only takes two full wraps around the trunk to get wire to hold. It's not unusual to see newer learners misunderstand what they are seeing on trees which have been wired out, and they wire a tree from the bottom up. (I made the same mistake myself on my very first tree...lol)

The only thing more troubling than wasted wire is wire which has been applied and then put to no apparent use whatsoever. (but I won't digress there just yet)

This tree couldn't be accused of that by a wide mile. It's exceedingly lovely.

Lastly... an alternative to raffia which requires no soaking, comes in any length required, and is equally effective is hay bale twine. Available at almost any feed store. One spool will last a lifetime.  ;D The only thing with it, is that you have to unwind it as you go. However I find it to be extremely effective, and aside from whatever asthetic issues someone may have with "orange" on a tree... I have yet to hear a compelling arguement for a preference for raffia.

Wire, wrap (in whatever form), training pots, tools... all of these are a temporary means to an end. They are not the end, and should not be treated as such. In other words, don't think it's the end of the world if your wire isn't copper, or your wrap isn't grass... It all comes off in the end anyway. Effectiveness is the only real measure.

Sorry... rambling... that happens sometimes. I'm not preaching to the chior... but rather just thinking outloud for others to ponder in the future who may come across this thread.

Warmest regards to all,

Victrinia



Victrinia, yes, the ultimate measure is effectiveness, but as you have learned, making one's wiring beautiful is both more effective and more frugal. This is one of the things about the Japanese ethos that so many people miss. When form follows function effectively, very little excess ornamentation is needed. So will baling twine work? Sure it will, although it won't usually rot as quickly as raffia and will need some help coming off.

Will aluminum wire work for pines and junipers? Sure, but then we are back to using wire of a size that is more obtrusive. The key, though, is plan your wiring and your work.

Chris
 

TTran

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2011, 06:51 PM »
Could you please show me, a newbie, more wiring techniques then Fig.3. like fig.1; 2 or Fig.15, Thanks.
 

Matstao

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 08:54 PM »
Could you please show me, a newbie, more wiring techniques then Fig.3. like fig.1; 2 or Fig.15, Thanks.

Maybe a "Basic Wiring Discussion" area would be helpful..  I know I'd appreciate that.
 

Jay

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2011, 08:09 AM »
TTran and Matstao, neither of you show where you are in your 'Profile', this is helpful.

May I suggest you search out a local club where you live. We can help you find one if you tell us your local. Wiring is not something that is easy to learn from a book or online, it is extremely helpful to see it in person and have some one guide you again in person. Some of us pick it up quickly... others take a long long time.

Wiring is the best way to improve your trees in the shortest length of time. It is also the easiest way to damage a tree if done incorrectly.

my two cents
Jay
 

TTran

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2011, 10:36 AM »
Hi there,
Just because you have a wiring discussion section here so I don't mind to ask and if you can explain fig. 3 and why not other fig.
I can learn what Matsubonsai shows here with fig. 3, it would be more helpful if I can see other fig.
I, newbie, come to this forum looking for help, but you (Jay) suggest me to go difference place to get help. It's not helpful of you Jay.
Anyway, I live in Bay Area, Ca. Zone 9,  I haven't gone to any Bonsai Club yet. Bonsai forum is my first go
Thanks for your help.
 

Jay

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 03:13 PM »
Ttran,
Yes, I am suggesting you go to a local club. Somethings CAN NOT be explained properly with pictures. Books and internet sites are useful, but anyone here will tell you they are not as useful as meeting people in person, and the best place is a club. The Bay Area has many many knowledgeable people. I'm sure one of our members who reads this and is local to you will offer a suggestion.

Jay
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 05:34 PM »
TTran,

Might I suggest you contact Boon?  He's local to your area and is a great teacher.  He also has a great DVD on the subject, http://bonsaiboon.com/pages/shopping.html.

Please feel free to continue to post questions here and engage in conversations.  There's plenty to learn here in this community.

Lots of people use varying techniques for wiring with good success.  One thing to remember is to take pride in your work.  Make the wire neat and make sure that it is effective, that it is size properly to hold the shape you intend. 
 

Matstao

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2011, 10:17 PM »
Jay, I appreciate your suggestion of seeking out advice from my local club.  I have seen that advice often before, and completely agree.  I realize that regularly meeting with helpful, experienced people in my area is the next big step I need to take.  The current issue is is "free" time & scheduling though. 

Rather than bore you with all of my private issues, I'll just add that I have an energetic 2 year-old (is that redundant?) , a wife that works evenings, a hectic 8-5+ professional job of my own, etc.  So, I take the few minutes I have some evenings and learn what I can via the internet, for now.

I also have my dad and a close friend who have both been enjoying the "hobby" for a number of years.  They are a wealth of information and have backyards full of nice trees, but neither are into wiring.  Probably sounds strange to those who wire every twig, but some just don't use the stuff.  I see its importance, use it and want to become more proficient with it.

I've been clicking around this site for a while.  It is fantastic.  I think part of the reason for my first post is that, as a relative newcomer to the past-time, I'm a little intimidated by all of the "advanced" sections here.  I would like to participate, but feel that I would be clogging up most threads with my newbie thoughts/questions.   Maybe this would have been better said in the 'forum feedback' area.  Probably I should just start some threads of my own.  The 'tropical' area could use some action  :)

Anyway, thank you for your reply.  I apologize to all for altering the original focus of the thread.
 

Jay

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 03:38 PM »
Matstao, life has a way of happening. I can understand and your life does sound full. It sounds like you could call on your dad or the family friend to help you out with a wire lesson or two. It is just soo much easier when you can get feedback on your wire work. It helps to know if you are doing it too tight or too loose, neither is good. Also to have someone you can ask if it is time to remove the wire will also be helpful. You can not remove it by time.

Even though you do have a full plate with things going on, see if you can find out where the local clubs are and when they meet. Perhaps you will be able to catch a meeting or two a year.

just my two cents
Jay
 

bwaynef

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 08:08 PM »
Rather than bore you with all of my private issues, I'll just add that I have an energetic 2 year-old (is that redundant?) , a wife that works evenings, a hectic 8-5+ professional job of my own, etc.  So, I take the few minutes I have some evenings and learn what I can via the internet, for now.

Its like we're living parallel lives, ...except I've got a 4 year old as well.

If you can't find someone local to help you out ...or can't fit them into your schedule, Boon's Wiring DVD covers "figure 3" wiring in detail.  He also covers several of the special cases as well, and gives some pointers on how to practice applying wire correctly.
 

Matstao

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Re: Wiring a Ponderosa Pine
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2011, 05:23 PM »
Found this video from Graham Potter. 

http://www.youtube.com/user/GrahamWPotter#p/u/1/lHdGpf9AfQc

I've watched it several times and finally got to try out the techniques today out back (took a half-day & left work at noon... beautiful day here in central Florida  8) ).  I'm guessing that Boon's "figure 3" is similar to Graham's "1-wire, 2-branches" advice? 

After a little pruning, I wired a ficus & a rosemary.  I like it...efficient & effective.