Author Topic: How to restore ancient bark  (Read 2865 times)

Attila Soos

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How to restore ancient bark
« on: September 29, 2011, 02:11 PM »
Hello Guys,

I have an issue that came up just recently, when I was wiring one of my collected Pygmy cypress. These are trees that Bob Shimon and his son collected a few years ago, and they have wonderful and ancient bark.

I have several of them, still training in nursery pots, and doing quite well. I did some extensive styling and wiring this year, and I love the results.

But here is the problem: the beautiful old bark on them is very fragile. There are portions on the trunk where there is the danger of losing this bark, if I don't do something to keep them in place. Some of the pieces are just about to fall off.
This would be a huge loss, since I see this old bark as the greatest value of these collected trees.


By the way, the reason why the old bark is in danger of falling is two-fold: one reason is that the trees are watered daily, and constant expansion (=wet bark) and contraction (=dry bark) weakens the bark. In nature, these trees encounter much less moisture.
The second reason is that in nature their growth is almost non-existent. They grow a couple of inches every decade. In the pot, however, they grow much faster, and the new bark underneath expands much faster. This expansion causes the old bark to loosen.

What is the best way to preserve this old bark from falling off?



 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2011, 02:22 PM »
Could you place a few wires loosely around the bark?

http://bonsaitonight.com/2010/12/14/finding-the-front-japanese-black-pine/
 

Attila Soos

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2011, 02:25 PM »
If I wired over the old bark, even loose wire, it would just accelerate the damaging. Some pieces would break off right away.

Generally speaking, this bark is more fragile than the bark of the Black pine

« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 02:27 PM by Attila Soos »
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2011, 02:33 PM »
Got a picture?

How do you water?
 

Attila Soos

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2011, 02:40 PM »
I am at work, no picture.

But picture wouldn't help much to solve this. I water just like any other of my trees, from above, with a fine, low pressure watering nozzle.
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2011, 02:42 PM »
Best bet, adjust the way you water.  Stop watering the bark, just water the soil.
 

Attila Soos

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2011, 03:21 PM »
That's probably a good adjustment to make.

However, I was thinking about chemical sealants, such as the Paraloid (Acryloid) products, used for fossil conservation, such as B-72 or F-10.

http://www.museumservicescorporation.com/scat/co.html

I wonder if any of you had experience with them, and how they work.
 

cbobgo

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2011, 08:19 PM »
I have a couple of these from Shimon, and what I do is super-glue the pieces back on when they fall off.  I do that with my cork bark black pine as well.  It works well, and is completely invisible as long as you don't use too much glue.

- bob
 

Attila Soos

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2011, 12:19 PM »
Thanks, Bob.
Using some kind of glue was my initial choice, as well. It would be useful to know the best choice of such a glue. A long-lasting bond can solve this problem.
 

rockm

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2011, 05:28 PM »
Clear silicone outdoor window caulk applied with a small paintbrush or smaller applicator?
 

Elliott

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2011, 11:51 PM »
Hi. I have done allot of experimentation with the acryloid b-72. I get it from talasonline.com. They are a company that sells all kinds of products and tools for preservation, bookbinding, art, etc.
 I Just called the 800# and paid with a credit card. I believe the acyloid is your best bet. I got a 5 lb bag for around 50 bucks if I remember. This would equal about 10 cans of minwax wood hardener. I also believe that the acryloid is way better than minwax in that you can customise the viscosity of it. Use it as a paste to glue a jin or repair a broken branch or use it as a thin suspension to absorb into rotten wood or bark as a preservative.
 It came in these little rectangular beads. I put about a tablespoon full in a glass cup or an aluminum can with the top cut off. Then I mix it with a chop stick after adding acetone to dissolve them. It is kind of a pain in the ass compared to the minwax which comes premixed. You just mix it for a few minutes till the beads melt. They will melt faster on warmer days than cold, but don't try to heat it up as the acetone is flamable!
 For bark or rotten wood, you would want a solution about as thick as whole milk. I have experimented and painted the stuff on a live plant I didn't care about. The leaf I covered did not die and there was no die off on the live trunk. It doesn't look like it would do any damage if you accidentally got some on the plant were you don't want it. Add more beads to make it thicker or more acetone to thin the solution.
 Use a paint brush and keep coating it over and over until it won't absorb anymore. After it dries, you can barely notice the difference in the look. If you used a solution that was a little to thick, then there might be a very slight sheen (much less than minwax), just dip a toothbrush in some acetone and give it a very light brushing.
 Minwax wood preserver is now illegal in California and this stuff is cheaper and better. That's why museums use it to preserve old paintings and documents. Talas has other formulations of acyloid for glass and ceramics, so getting a pot repaired will be easier with this stuff also.
 When you get some, use a tiny bit on the back of one tree, let it dry and make sure it does what you want. If you use it on deadwood, adjust the color of the wood with a diluted ink in water or limesulpher first as once you use the preservative, its hard to change the color again, but not impossible. Use acetone with a toothbrush to loosen up the surface then use either limesulpher to bleach it or ink to darken it. Then reapply the acyloid.
 The key is experiment with an old dead tree trunk and or a tree you don't care about first. Good luck!
 
 

Attila Soos

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2011, 01:37 PM »
Thanks guys for all the imput, I really appreciate it.

Elliott,

I am glad to see that somebody is using this product successfully. I actually ordered it a while ago, and now a full bag of it is sitting in my garage. I never got to use it yet, but now I am ready to apply it to some of my trees. I have two different problems to fix, the first one is the falling bark, and the other one is to strengthen some of the old deadwood that is in danger of disintegrating. There are a few trees where a small deadwood has a huge role in the design, and losing that feature would destroy the whole visual impact. So, it is really important to do something about preserving it.

I take it that for impregnating and strenghtening deadwood, I need to use a more diluted solution. For patching up the old bark, I will need a thick substance, to use it as a glue. It is great that the acryloid is versatile enough, to work for both purposes. I will do some practice runs on al less significant tree, before I tackle the more precious ones.

Thanks again,
 

Elliott

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Re: How to restore ancient bark
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2011, 10:58 PM »
email me at galloptort@yahoo.com. I will give you my # and I will tell you my experience with the stuff. Thanks