I had a one to one workshop on Saturday and as part of the session we carried out a little work on this Maple Raft. This is the front before we started.
End on view
and from the other end
Over the Winter and into next Spring we planned to reposition the last branch on the right of the tree. In it’s current position it stopped the flow. The branch when viewed end on, or even in the back view above, turns almost 90 degrees towards the front and brings the flow to an abrupt end. We raffia’d the branch and wired it to allow us to bring it around into a more suitable position. This was done in stages during the afternoon. We opted to use a bar to act as an anchor point to give us more control of the branch. The tree had a few other branches wired at the same time. The wire will need close monitoring in the Spring as this tree is a vigorous grower. Hopefully the wire can stay in place until the tree is defoliated in late May early June at which point it can be removed.
Some work was also carried out on a deadwood hollow in the main trunk. Some wood was rotting and in a few places deadwood was stopping the rolling in of the cambium layer. The hollow will be darken down to catch the eye less when viewing.
This twin trunk raft Hawthorn of mine has been a great tree to play with and learn from in recent years. Its a vigorous tree but by it’s very nature has been a problem for me to come up with a convincing design. As you can see from the photo, the two apexes are very close to the same height and also the raft/root portion of the tree is unconvincing as it rises out of the pot in places.
I discussed this tree with Peter Warren during a workshop last year and he suggested that the tree be tilted to the right to raise the left apex higher. This would also lower the other trunk line down to the soil surface closing the gap and make a more convincing design. I had already toyed with this idea during the previous repot but at that point it wasn’t possible due to the heavy root to the left. It would be raised out of the pot and would ruin the design. Peter said that this time around I might be able to reduce the root further back allowing for the change. This is the root in question.
This would be the new angle
I don’t have a suitable pot for the new position but I wanted to repot the tree and see if it was possible to carry out this alteration. If I was able to change the root now, I could pot the tree into a temporary training box and then keep an eye out for a suitable pot for a transfer next year.
When I took it out of the pot, it had done it’s usual thing, and had circled the pot with roots.
I removed all the long roots and had a close look at the problem heavy root. By working back step by step I was able to removed sufficient root to allow me to make the new angle. Here you can see how much was removed.
Happy to remove this heavy bit considering the strength of the tree.
This was what was circling the pot!
This is the tree potted in a training box at it’s new angle. See the change in the apex heights and also how much more convincing the surface roots are. I might tilt a little further yet but for now I’m happy until I can find a suitable pot.
I’m sure someone out there now is saying ‘Shell Pot’ 🙂 I’m not a lover of the shell but this might be nice. This is a virtual I made after PW ‘s visit. And this angle would definitely be achievable now.
This was another tree discussed with Robert. Again this Hawthorn raft was looked at from the back as a possible different front. Robert felt that even thought the base was just as nice, the back gave more depth to the composition.