Styling A Snaky Mountain Hemlock: Part II

We left off with this Hemlock mid-stride, asking the question, what would you do?


This was the front and inclination Carmen and I chose.

Where would you put the branches and the crown? Would you remove any branches?


Carmen’s initial styling complete. You could keep it this way, and the design would be balanced and stable. We asked the question, given this active trunk line, how might we make it more dynamic?


One idea, remove the lower right branch to make it flow more clearly to the left. 


Low right branch removed. You could leave the tree this way, with the right-tipping crown creating tension for the left key branch. You could also bend the crown slightly to the left for more obvious flow. We ended here, with a bit of jin whittling yet to do on the lower right.

A few styling takeaways for raw trees: 

  • Take a look at all sides of the tree
  • Consider inclination and play with options; some might surprise you
  • Have your front and inclination choices enhance what you think is special about the tree
  • Try to ignore branches when looking at fronts and inclinations; we can move those, so focus on the trunk line
  • Consider keeping (and wiring) more branches than you might want
  • Once initial styling is complete, toy with taking off branches using a mask of cloth or digitally with a photo

Here’s the first post if you wish to see alternate fronts: Styling A Snaky Mountain Hemlock: Part I

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  1. Ayla H Baha says:

    Beautiful tree and great post. Thank you!

  2. crataegus says:

    Thanks Ayla!

  3. John S says:

    Documenting the decision process is extremely helpful


  4. Bruce Lenore says:

    I love the towel trick, a way to see” before the cut. I have a purple pot for Carmen . Should I send it to you?

  5. stephen fluett says:

    I like the stem base with the top stem both sharing the same direction. It gives the top counter direction reason to be ?

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