Head Scratching Re: Eastern Hemlock

Happy to report that I think I solved the health issues this tree was having over the last couple of years. Replacing the bonsai soil with mucky top soil seemed to bring it back to its former vigor.

Now I’ve got a new problem – I’m not sure which of the two trunks to keep. You’d think I would have figured it out after 7 years of contemplating.

    Today before work. It is on its second round of growth which is much better performance than in recent years.

Today before work. It is on its second round of growth which is much better performance than in recent years.

    For the last 6 years I have been planning to base the tree around this trunk. I even grafted a primary branch on with this front in mind (first branch on the right). The tree would be tall and upright with long downward drooping branches. Very simple but elegant, and easy to achieve with the somewhat difficult growth habit of T. canadensis. But then the apex died setting this tree back yet again. I've wired up a new apex but it needs about 2 years of strong growth before it is where I need it to be.

For the last 6 years I have been planning to base the tree around this trunk. I even grafted a primary branch on with this front in mind (first branch on the right). The tree would be tall and upright with long downward drooping branches. Very simple but elegant, and easy to achieve with the somewhat difficult growth habit of T. canadensis. But then the apex died setting this tree back yet again. I’ve wired up a new apex but it needs about 2 years of strong growth before it is where I need it to be.

 

To use the front above, I would have to remove this entire secondary trunk. Or, I could keep it and make this the tree. This is my dilemma. This trunk has much more movement and to many it would be the obvious choice. But something about it is awkward and unattractive to me. I don't like the angle of emergence from the soil, and I hate the upper third. Plus I'm not sure if Eastern Hemlock would lend itself to such a dynamic design. It is very difficult to get movement into the branches - they do not take well to sharp bending. The nebari is better from this side, however.

To use the front above, I would have to remove this entire secondary trunk. Or, I could keep it and make this the tree. This is my dilemma. This trunk has much more movement and to many it would be the obvious choice. But something about it is awkward and unattractive to me. I don’t like the angle of emergence from the soil, and I hate the upper third. Plus I’m not sure if Eastern Hemlock would lend itself to such a dynamic design. It is very difficult to get movement into the branches – they do not take well to sharp bending. The nebari is better from this side, however.

Both options have their merits. I’m still undecided, so for now the tree will just grow.

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