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Author Topic: Big bends for this spruce  (Read 1030 times)
october
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« on: September 15, 2013, 04:22 PM »

Hello all.. Picked up this Alberta Spruce the other day for $20. I wanted to try something a little different. Generally people twist up junipers for yamadori style bonsa. I wanted to try a spruce. I also wanted to try it on something older than what is normally used. Since spruce branches set very slowly, this is a very long term project. Providing it lives and thrives, branch wiring will be done at a later time. For now, just the necessary pruning and the big bends were done.

Rob

Pic 1 is the tree as is. It is about 24 inches tall
Pic 2 is after removing what was not needed.
Pic 3 is after raffia and wire was applied
Pic 4 is the end result. A tree that is 8 1/2 inches with a trunk base that has the illusion of a trunk base twice the size from what we started with.
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tmmason10
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« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2013, 11:30 AM »

Wow impressive. You were really able to compact it even though it looked kind of thick.
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bwaynef
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2013, 12:16 PM »

So this was just raffia & wrapped wire?
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october
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2013, 03:52 PM »

Wow impressive. You were really able to compact it even though it looked kind of thick.

Hi Tom. The average thickness of the trunk was about 2/3 of an inch. This is an estimation. There might be a spot that was very close to an inch. Surprisingly, the tree was bent more easilly than what you might think. I only used my hands. There are 3 bends. With each bend, I bent it, held it with my hands and then wrapped a wire around the bend to hold it.

I want to start using some extreme techniques. I think there might be material that may be able to be utilized. Of course, we will never know until we try. I am really hope the tree recovers from this. If it fails, I will still not be convinced that this cannot be a fruitful endevor. After doing this, there are a couple of things I would do different if I give it another try. It might be these things that might make it successful the next time.

Rob
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october
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2013, 04:33 PM »

So this was just raffia & wrapped wire?

Hi bwaynef. This is just raffia and 3 wires. 1 aluminum number 3 and 2 copper number 3. Of course, this would not hold these bends if there were not secured at certain points by a single wire.

The bends are as follows. The whole top was bent all the way down to the soil towards the viewer. Then that part was bent towards the right (trunk following the soil line). Then that part was looped up and to the left behind and over the top. Which is where the apex is. Then, that part was bent down.

Here is a virt. The bends are not as sharp as the virt. The tree was turned to the side because that minimized the look of the bends and yielded the best front.

Rob
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Chrisl
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 10:03 AM »

Rob, I've never heard of anyone bending a branch, and then wiring it into position.  I always thought you wire first, and then bend.
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jlushious
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« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2013, 12:39 PM »

Peter Tea has a great blog entry about some intense bending he did on a pine (here http://peterteabonsai.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/pushing-the-limit/).

It shows how he used wire to anchor the bends. I would think that this spruce would have definitely needed the extra wires to hold the bends in place - at least for the first bit until the wrapped wire became enough to hold it in place.
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october
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« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2013, 02:39 PM »

Rob, I've never heard of anyone bending a branch, and then wiring it into position.  I always thought you wire first, and then bend.

I think there is a misread here.  The whole trunk was wired first. Then the bends were done in stages. Then, with each bend, a length of wire was wrapped around the bend site to hold it.

Here are a couple of different views. This could also be the front. Actually, I might be leaning towards this front. This angle shows off the bends a bit more.


Hello jlushious. Yes, I saw that article awhile back. It was very interesting.

Rob
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John Kirby
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 06:49 AM »

Rob, glad to see someone trying to make this kind of material work. I would suggest using wire (and rubber/plastic) on top of the raffia to force the trunk to make the sharp and noncontinuous bends. Loop aluminum wire over the u shaped bend and tighten it, it will crack/break but the resultant  bend will bw much more convincing. Nice start.
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october
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 01:41 PM »

Thanks John. You make a good point about it cracking and being more natural. A sharper bend, in this case, would make for a more natural look. The tree is secured at 2 points with a loop of wire. I also contemplated wrapping the trunk with rubber tape after the raffia. However, I decided not to.

Rob
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John Kirby
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 01:50 PM »

Rob, sorry Imeant to give extra protection only at the point you apply additional pressure. I like where you are going with this!
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Chrisl
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 06:31 PM »

That makes sense Rob, thanks for clarifying it up.

Compacting the tree will make a better tree, so I'll just agree with John Wink
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october
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 07:32 PM »

Thanks John and Chris. Also, here is my plan for the tree. I pretty much knew what I was going to do right after it was done.

Rob

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