This little white pine is about 14 inches high and is really quite healthy. However you can see it has quite a few problem areas. Due to my earlier neglect a number of middle branches on one side have died leaving a long, bare, middle trunk area. When viewed from its existing front the lower trunk movement and bark are very interesting and the tree has a nice nebari. but the lowest / main branch however is very thick, long and straight. To disguise this feature would be a quite formidable task.
The orininal front
Ian, of NIBS fame suggested a garage afternoon this week and I brought this tree along for some advice. I had really no intention of working on it but Ian rose to the challenge and we got stuck in. After some consideration we decided ton a new front that still maintained some of the interesting movement of the original front but set the lower problem branch at the back of the tree. This actually improved the depth of the tree.
When viewed from this new front the top of the tree leaned away from the viewer and the tree appeared to be too tall.
After careful consideration we decided to use guy wire to bend the top of the tree forward toward the viewer and this proved to be quite easy as the trunk was still very supple. When this exercise was completed we were delighted to discover that it actually had the effect of lowering the tree and presenting a much more visually attractive tree.
First guy wire in place
Two guy wires in place
The guy wires were fixed using small eye hooks that would be used in ordinary curtain wires
Guy wire fixing detail
After completely wiring the tree some and placing the branches and foliage we had a much more compact tree with considerable potential given reasonable growth over the coming years.
Ian at work. Colonel Saito say ” Be happy at your work”
The challenge now is to safely overwinter the tree and look for development of the pads next year and in future growing seasons. Our climate here is not the best for white pines. There is often not enough sunshine and too much rain. This apparently tends to make their overall development much slower and weaker overall.