Olive clump

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Olive clump

Postby Beano » July 16th, 2017, 10:58 am

I was given this by PeterB when I bought another tree a while back but I just haven't figured out what to do with it. He suggested possibly making a windswept style but I want to gather opinions on what style would suit with any virts appreciated as well.

The only thing I can see in my brain is dividing up each trunk into its own tree and separately potting them. Does it have potential as a clump or are there not enough trunks?

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Re: Olive clump

Postby Keep Calm and Ramify » July 16th, 2017, 11:37 am

:wave: beano,
If it were mine - I'd stick to windswept - looks like from the old cut scars on the lower trunk base, that windswept was the style the original developer was heading? The stiffness and angular growth habit of olive would also be advantageous [in aiding drama.]
Sorry - no verts or magical re-style ideas from me, just an opinion of what the tree looks like suggesting already.
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Re: Olive clump

Postby Watto » July 16th, 2017, 6:09 pm

Windswept or slanting is the way to go I think. However you will need to get the trunks closer together and that probably could only be done with cranking them closer with big guy wires.
Keep us posted.
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Re: Olive clump

Postby shibui » July 16th, 2017, 6:36 pm

I think the first picture seems to have the best lines but I suspect the trunks grow a fair way backward. It may be possible to change the planting angle to bring them a bit more upright if needed?
Reduce the length of the longer trunks. I think deadwood as indicated would be appropriate.
Just a few foliage pads on each trunk - windswept should not be full and healthy looking. Sparse and weather beaten is better.
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Re: Olive clump

Postby kcpoole » July 16th, 2017, 10:26 pm

x2 for Shibui's Suggestion.
Nice little clump there :yes:

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Re: Olive clump

Postby Beano » July 17th, 2017, 9:07 am

Thank you! Can I work on shortening the trunks now or is it better when it's warmer for olives?
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Re: Olive clump

Postby Matt S » July 17th, 2017, 11:34 am

Now is a good time to shorten the trunks, but really anytime is fine. It's hard to damage an olive in Adelaide.

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Re: Olive clump

Postby Beano » July 18th, 2017, 5:01 pm

Initial workings... this will be a challenge, this is not a style that comes naturally to me, ha!! I'll do the deadwood another day. Every time I went to work on it today it started pouring rain.

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Re: Olive clump

Postby Keep Calm and Ramify » July 18th, 2017, 8:07 pm

:yes: Beano,
I think you've made a great head start here, considering the tree's initial lack of capabilities.
I imagine you will have a lot of fun in developing this style.
Keep posting those updates.
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Olive clump

Postby Beano » July 20th, 2017, 5:24 pm

Carved it up. It took a long time. I've never created deadwood before. The middle trunk ended up having some natural Shari on the back so I've incorporated some more into it. I'm happy with it, now it needs to weather and for some branch development.
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Here's another photo (actually in focus) from a higher up angle, which would simulate pulling the backward slanting trunks toward the viewer. I may do this on repotting if the roots allow for it, though personally I think it highlights how too straight the trunks are.
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Re: Olive clump

Postby shibui » July 20th, 2017, 10:47 pm

No real obvious scale given to this tree so far but olives are reasonably flexible so I'd guess you should be able to bend either of the 2 taller trunks. If you have any hesitation that the trunks are too straight or changing planting angle might be difficult you should bend them now. When the exposed wood has dried it will be so much harder to bend.
The tree will not object to you excavating the surface roots enough to see if a change of planting angle would work though I probably wouldn't do a full repot on olives at this time of year if I had a choice.
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Olive clump

Postby Beano » July 20th, 2017, 11:11 pm

I'd like the left side branch to lean over to the right more but it looks to have already had a heavy guy wire on it which has caused it to split at the first branch so I'm not sure I could get away with it if someone else hasn't. It hasn't healed and instead there's a brown line caused by two deadwood planes meeting. Can you cut a wedge out of the trunk base and pull it over that way or will that whole side of the trunk die?
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Re: Olive clump

Postby shibui » July 21st, 2017, 7:55 am

I could see the split in that trunk in the initial pictures. May have been caused by pressure down on that branch while collecting or while trying to lower the branch or maybe, as you suspect, while trying to bend the trunk. I don't think it matters. Probably actually enhances the look of wildness and rough life of the tree and could be worked into that area of dead wood with some extra carving.

Cutting a wedge to move the whole trunk should work but I'd wait until it adjust to the changed sap paths from this work first. Moving the trunk this way could change the angle but won't alter the straightness.

Guy wires have a place in bending stiff material but can only work in one direction at a time and give relatively uncontrolled force. used alone there is also no protection to reduce splits and breaks.

In this situation I think I'd probably try full trunk wrap with raffia or something similar then plenty of heavy wire. It should then be possible to bend something of this thickness in a controlled manner at places you want it to bend and probably even bend in different directions to give better 3d movement.
Wrapping and wiring holds the wood together while you bend so splits and breaks are less likely and even if they do occur the wrapping holds it all together while it heals up under the wrap.
If you use enough wire it can often hold the bends while the tree sets into the new positions but sometimes when the trunk is too strong, guy wires or steel bars and/or blocks can be added to provide extra holding power.

Another possible solution for this straight trunk being in the wrong place would be to remove it altogether. To quote Tom Yamamoto "You have ploblem? Cut him off! No more ploblem."
Converting the entire trunk to dead wood might enhance the design. You can also wire and bend or carve and bend a recently jinned trunk. Because it has had all the bark removed and is dead there is less worry about possible breakage while bending. Tony Tickel used method this on several of the trees at the last Bonsai week workshops in Canberra with good effect.
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Re: Olive clump

Postby Beano » July 21st, 2017, 8:31 am

I had been thinking if I guy wired it and it split then that straight trunk could just become deadwood. I'll have to play with it. I extremely bent some of the thinner branches on on the other trunks and I was surprised they didn't break.

Perhaps a shoot will appear lower and I can grow a new trunk putting more shape into it then continue the deadwood up that?
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Re: Olive clump

Postby Matt S » July 21st, 2017, 11:49 am

If you give it a good feed you should find new shoots popping up everywhere which would solve your problem. Severe bending of thick branches on olives can be tricky as the bark slips off the wood pretty easily so raffia wrapping is important. Otherwise turning the straight trunk into a curved jin is a good idea to me.
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