Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

She-Oak, Australian Pine
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Steven
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Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Steven »

G'day,

I found this River She-Oak in Noel Summerells garden back in 2009. I asked him about his experiences with Casuarina and his response was not favourable. I sensed that he wasn't happy with the tree so I made him an offer and took it home with me. Noel had been the custodian of it for approximately 15 years prior. Following is a very poor picture of how it looked in January 2010.
2010 January (1).jpg
It sat in my garden for the next year without any work while I considered its future styling. The trunk was pretty straight and boring but I saw a future new leader in the lowest branch. Here it is 12 months after in January 2011;
2011 January (front).JPG
2011 January (back).JPG
After another 4 months of growth the lowest branch/new leader was almost 2 meters tall and had quadrupled in thickness!
2011 May (front).jpg
2011 May (back).jpg
In early winter, I took it to my workshop for a bit of shaping. Following is what happened;
2011 May 25 (before compression).jpg
2011 May 25 (after compression).jpg
2011 May 25 (after compression - back).jpg
I let it recover for another 4 months before doing any further work. It didn't seem to skip a beat! Here is how it was looking a few weeks ago;
2011 September (front).JPG
2011 September (back).JPG
I have now wired all the remaining branches and bent them to shape. I've removed all of the unwanted branchletts and left a few where I want them to become branches. There are some taper issues with the new leader that might fix themselves if not I will have to cut back a bit further down and regrow. I'll let it grow freely for a while and then start finger pruning the growth to increase the foliage and ramification. I'll have to carefully watch the wire doesn't bite in!
2011 October (front).JPG
2011 October (back).JPG
It stands 280mm tall from top of pot to tip of live growth.
I'll do some carving to the deadwood in the future but I'm still undecided on how much too keep. I'd value your feedback and ideas :tu:

Regards,
Steven
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Craig »

:gday: Steven, great work mate, are you intending on keeping the new leader as is or ? i'd like to see the lowest branch brought up as the new leader to bring some taper and scale into the new trunkline. Scale compared to the older jinned original trunkline/leader. :2c: :wave:
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by kcpoole »

Nice Steven :cool:
What have you treated the Jin with? Anything ?

Re Craigs' suggestion. I would more inclined to use the second branch and wire that one up as a new apex. Then regrow a new 2nd branch to replace it. That way you have an intermediate size trunk in the middle to give taper between each section

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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Steven »

Craig wrote:are you intending on keeping the new leader as is or...
G'day Craig, I'll keep it as it is for now and see if it continues to fatten at the base. As mentioned in the post I can always cut it back later.
kcpoole wrote:What have you treated the Jin with? Anything ?
G'day Ken, nothing as yet. I'd like to do some carving first. Casuarina wood is notorious for rotting easily so I will probably treat it with Earls Wood Hardener after I carve.

What do you guy's think about the height of the deadwood?

Regards,
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by kcpoole »

The height is nice :-)
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Watto »

Steven,
Nice work so far. I will be interested in the foliage pads that are developed. I think the jin should be reduced by about one third. As it is now it dominates the tree and I believe it should be the dessert not the main course.
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by NathanM »

Very nice, Boss :)
I really quite like the progression on this and where it is heading!!
It can't hurt to see how th taper issue pans out, but if it is or the worst, I am with Ken on using the second branch for a new leader
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Steven »

NathanM wrote:I am with Ken on using the second branch for a new leader
Thanks Nathan, if it doesn't work out then I too think the second branch would be mu choice of leader.
Watto wrote:I will be interested in the foliage pads that are developed.

G'day Greg, it is a challenge to make the foliage look natural. When finger pruning these it is easy for them to end up with a topiary roundness to them.
Watto wrote:I think the jin should be reduced by about one third. As it is now it dominates the tree and I believe it should be the dessert not the main course.
Nice analogy :) I think I will see how it looks once the foliage fills in and then make a decision. With a heavier bulk of foliage, it may just take some emphasis off the dead wood. :lost:

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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by bodhidharma »

Hi Steven, hard for me to see a future with the Jin , as stated it dominates the whole composition. It could be a good chance to play with some carving and, maybe bending. If it doesnt look you can always get rid of it.
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by PeterH »

Steven,

I like the progression.I have one I bought off Liegh about 5 years ago and I am still strugling with the final shape. Here is my spin on your cas.

Peter
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Dario »

Hi Steven, I think you have done a great job on this one so far...well done!
I also have to agree though that the jin is too long in my opinion. The reason being for me is that it seems to drift too far away from the direction of the growth the higher it gets, creating a very large area of negative space that to me is a little visually off putting.
Yes, I do understand that as the tree fills out its foliage you can and will reassess the design and make whatever changes are needed.
I really like Peter's virt and think that is pretty much the direction I would head in, but then again, obviously it is not my tree.
I really like Casuarinas and would love to see more progressions of them as I am starting to use and collect them. So thanks for posting.
Cheers,Dario.
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Steven »

Thanks for the virt Peter, it sure looks more balanced with the wood reduced! I'd like to see an update of yours if you don't mind.

G'day Dario, Thanks for the feedback. You say you have started collecting Casuarina. What has your success rate been and what species have you collected?

Regards,
Steven
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by PeterH »

Steven,

I have been slow in replying due a sick PC.

Here is my first effort at the Casurinna cunninghamiana. Many problems, may be OK in another 2 years.

Peter
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Dario »

Steven wrote:G'day Dario, Thanks for the feedback. You say you have started collecting Casuarina. What has your success rate been and what species have you collected?

Regards,
Steven
Hi Steven, sorry I missed your question till now. I have only collected two cas so far, so no real info for me to contribute. Both of them torulosa. They both survived collection. One i got a little over a year ago mainly as a test run and it is quite young and not really worth posting.
The other I will post in a month or so. It was collected a few months back and I pushed it pretty hard to see what I could get away with, but it is slowly starting to come good.
I have my eye on some others that I will get in the next 12 months. I also have some one year old seedlings that I collected from seed (not sure what species yet), and one Allocasuarina littoralis tube stock that I cut back and repotted mid winter...so still early days for me with Casuarinas.
Anyway, how is your cunninghamiana progressing? Did you reduce the jin and carve it? If so, did you use wood hardener?
How is the new leader going taper wise?...are you still considering cutting it back further or is it ok as is?
Cheers, Dario. :tu2:
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Re: Casuarina cunninghamiana progression

Post by Steven »

G'day Dario,

Thanks for the reply. Looking forward to seeing your trees.

The taper is still an issue with this one. I'm leaning towards cutting it back and regrowing the crown.
I reduced the dead wood but haven't got around to carving it yet... I did repot it into an old Australian made pot I got from Lindsay Farr. Apparently it dates back to the 70's where it was made by some bloke who used to work in a brick factory. He would steal brick clay, make pots at home then sneak them back into work to get fired in the brick kiln. Makes for a good story anyway.

Here's how it's looking now;
2012 October (b).jpg
Regards,
Steven
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