Author Topic: Thought on This Apple  (Read 5319 times)

Jay

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Thought on This Apple
« on: January 22, 2010, 02:38 PM »
Greetings,
I was out in my garage checking over my trees. Everyone 'seems' to be doing fine. I spent some time with this apple and I'm thinking of making a change. This first post shows the apple as it wants to be. This is the front, it does not show the carving and dead wood that has been developed, but it does have a reasonable 1st and 2nd branch.
Jay
 

Jay

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 02:42 PM »
This is a second possibility, or at least I think it is. I would rotate the tree, use this as the new front. It shows the main feature... the deadwood/carved area much better, but it will require doing a reasonable amount of growing of new branches.
I open myself to all of your thoughts and suggestions.

Jay
 

noissee

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 11:21 PM »
I like it, and I think it would make for a much more unique tree. However, the deadwood/carving area needs to look much more natural.
 

Jay

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2010, 07:52 AM »
I agree, if I do go with the switch of fronts the carved area will need work. Deadwood on Apples is common in nature but not so easy to keep in Bonsai. I plan on doing some additional work on the area in the spring and getting some lime sulfur on it. I want to avoid the white look, I'll probably put some color in the lime sulfur. White deadwood isn't right on an apple.....Am I correct?

J
 

thomas tynan

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2010, 09:35 AM »
Hi...When you look at the location of the wound and the proximity to the new leader and the side branches - I can see that this wound will want to close naturally over the years. There is alot of live tissue around this wound site. If the edges are cleaned up and the surface made smoother it will close - whether you want it to or not is another issue. With apples in general - the wound will callous and be fairly large - so you can use this to create a more bulbous knarly base. Given that apples are suspect to many kinds of fungus - I am not sure I would want such a large open wound site. Also....when you look at the top leader that you are growing - you can see there is an abrupt transition - the only way to make the taper better is to grow the top leader longer - the energy and growth this will take - by itself - will also help to close the wound.
It may be a cliche to say this - but I would put this one in a larger grow box and with good soil, water and fertilizer - really get the tree pushing alot of new growth - you can get new branches easily over three to four feet in one season. With an apple [whether common apple or crabapple you did not say..] you can cut off all of the side branches and regrow these completely - but the key is to have a great trunk to start with. It is your tree of course - and you will have to decide which way to go. I would still clean up the wound site either way, and yes you can dull the white of the lime sulfur with a touch of black ink....good luck ...Tom
 

noissee

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2010, 10:16 AM »
Yeah white wood won't look natural on an apple. Have you read about the woodhardener Walter Pall is using? I'm not sure if you could get some, but you might be able to find a similar product. It's acetone with dissolved plastics. You can read about it on his blog.
 

Jay

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2010, 03:52 PM »
Thomas, interesting take. This Apple (not a crab) is the Indian Summer variety. How much experience do you have with apples, it sounds like an interesting way to go. I did not think that a wound of this size would heal over in a matter of a couple of years even with unchecked growth. I very much enjoy this tree and would gladly invest another couple of years to have it heal.

Noissee, I would use Minwax wood hardener before the lime sulfur if I go that route.

Thank you both and everyone please keep the suggestions coming.

Jay
 

thomas tynan

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2010, 06:53 PM »
Jay...I have no hands on experience with common apple - I am guessing Indian Summer is the variety. Most apples grown for fruit are grafted varieties - just wondering where the graft union is located on your tree....

I do grow lots of crab apples - from all different sources. I have (2) that are in the final stages of development; trunks are grown out and the primary branches are selected. I know more about crab apples for sure than common apple.

I still think that tear-shaped wound will close if you cut it with a very shap knife back to the live cambium. Smooth over the heart of the wound and I would temporarly seal the edge with cut paste. You should have no problem getting the callous to roll over and get started.

Will this tree flower and/or bear fruit...if so what size? That will have alot to do with the final size of the tree. You have a good piece of material to work with - but I do think it needs to grow out more. I also think you pot is too shallow for growth and development. Tom
 

Jay

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2010, 06:05 AM »
Good Day Tom,
To answer your questions: This is not a graft, to my knowledge it was grown for Bonsai. The Variety is Indian Magic (sorry my mind must have been thinking ahead to warmer weather when I listed it incorrectly as Indian Summer). I have had this tree for 7 years and it has never flowered, it has always been extremely healthy with strong growth.  When I purchased the tree it had a different leader, the present one being a side branch. It was on a pole stand and  was taken by the wind... dropped to the ground and snapped off the 'then' leader and a side branch, causing the re-design. The carving is from this accident and the original trunk chop from before I purchased it.

My concern about allowing it to grow free is not that I will be a couple of years behind in training, but that it will take much longer than 2 or 3 years to heal the scar... especially in my growing conditions in Northern Vermont (zone 3B)

Jay
 

rockm

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2010, 08:49 AM »
The problem with using deadwood in apples is that wounds draw borers. Borers on apples can be a very bad thing.

Borer beetles are drawn to the chemical signature given off by wounded trees and exposed wood. The larger the wound, the more scent is given off.

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/apborers.htm


As for apple blossoms form on last year's wood. Hard pruning for bonsai can remove most or all of them. Ironically, failure to aggressively prune can also result in low flower production.

http://eap.mcgill.ca/CPTFP_7.htm


 

Jay

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 12:22 PM »
So, if I decide to leave the deadwood will an application of Minwax wood hardener and then some lime sulfur help?
and if I try and close the wound (and I still have a hard time believing it will happen in a short time frame)will protecting the wound with sealer also afford protection?

Thanks
J
 

thomas tynan

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2010, 12:36 PM »
Jay....I can't comment on the idea of protecting the wound site with sealer and/or lime sulfur as it waits to close. I re-read my previous posts and don't recall saying the wound would close in 2 to 3 years; if the tree is growing strongly it will partially close by the end of three years - but it may take 5 years or more to completely close. Given that the rest of the tree needs at least that time to develop; ie. trunk line, new branches etc. there is ample time to heal the wound site. It is in a visible location, low and to the front - which is always difficult to resolve. Tom.
 

Jay

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2010, 04:05 PM »
Tom, I agree you never interjected a 'time' into your thoughts. It was I who first mentioned the 2 to 3 year period.
I think we are coming to the intersection of patience and time required. AND..... as a 64 year old waiting 5 years or so while the tree stays in the ground (or grow box) is more than I think I want to wait.

To me we are entering into the question that many less capable artists ( read me) ask, when are we willing to accept a trees basic development and turn to fine development? In the case of this apple.... leaving the deadwood will allow development at a quicker pace... BUT... waiting to close the wound could develop a far better tree......

Am I rambling? Does this make sense?

my two cents
Jay
 

ChrisM

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 07:23 PM »
maybe you can have the best of both worlds jay. i don't think you have to rotate the tree that much to show off your deadwood aspects, i mean, they don't HAVE to be front and center. by rotating the tree just slightly, the deadwood will grab the eye of the viewer and attract it's own attention. then you can begin to fine tune your branching and so on. the following pic is crude, but i think effective in showing what i am suggesting.

chris

 

Jay

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Re: Thought on This Apple
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2010, 08:47 AM »
Chris thank for your thoughts. I have thought about a slight rotation as you suggest, If you look you can see the 1st pix is actually shot with a slight angle. The problem is as the tree rotates to open up the view of the deadwood it also rotates the nebari. With the original front the nebari is OK... not great but OK. With the tree rotate to show the deadwood ( 2nd pix)  it actually improves the nebari a bit. But a partial rotation moves the most prominent root to directly infront and pointing towards the viewer. I would not want to do that. Still I can not dismiss any idea.

J