Revisit: Twin Trunk Hemlock on a Nylon Board—
The last post about a Hemlock suggested that I might as well start a series on revisits from past work to see if they’ve gotten worse with time, stayed the same, or improved. Today we revisit one of the weirder things we’ve done here, putting a tree on a plastic cutting board…
At the finish of the day when this Mountain Hemlock went on a nylon slab in March, 2012.
The Hemlock in question was collected eons ago when I was a few years younger, and has changed a bit. The main change happened without my input. A borer, or rather four of them, decided to settle down and carve out their dwellings inside the top part of the main trunk. I first noticed a strange discoloring of the foliage in the top part of that trunk in mid-summer, with the needles turning an olive drab. That wasn’t encouraging. When we brought the tree into the studio to remove the dead branches and the bark, I suggested to my then apprentice, Bobby Curttright, that he keep an eye out for borer galleries. And there they were. Flat head borers, already deep into the heartwood, settled down next to their fireplaces and tucked deep into their blankets, snoring with books on their laps and getting ready for a long winter. It was distressing to disturb them.
But we did show them the door and now the tree is restyled.
I grudgingly admit that with borer-crafted ingenuity this tree is much better designed. I was humbled and yet still irritated at them (mostly because I hadn’t thought of it myself).
April 2018. This photo shows a forced liaison between invertebrate and vertebrate design. Following the insect usurpation of the original design, a couple years of branch adjustment to the new reality was in store, with compaction of the branching and filling in the new canopy on the left trunk. Cast your votes on whether the new design is improved, stayed the same, or is worse…
It’s now 6 years after the first composition. That, however is another story, which you can find here: Mountain Hemlock on Levitated Nylon Board
The original story was also covered in more detail in Bonsai Focus, Sept/Oct 2012