Post 44 TanukiI worked on my ceramic tanuki today. I didn't disturb the roots of the plants too much and wound the trees onto the deadwood, into the prepared grooves.
For the first one, the Daintree Pine (Gymnostoma australianum), the little tree was quite fragile and so I used graft tape to secure it to the 'deadwood'. Wiring the branches was a little challenging and I tried to preserve as many as possible to get the growth and recovery into the trunk. It looks good already with the live vein of trunk snaking around the deadwood trunk. There is about 60mm of trunk under the potted surface and once it recovers and gets growing I'll do a subsurface layering debark to get a nebari starting at the right height. When finally potted the fingers of the hand shape will be under the surface of the medium.
The second one is with the little Juniper. The tree needs to grow another 60 to 70 or so mm to do one more loop before it is into clear space. Junipers are very flexible things and with a little preflexing it was relatively easy to position. The twine wrap followed the attachment to secure it in position. Only two front and one rear branchlets survived so there is a bit of recovery and growth to do before any more work. The base of the trunk fitted tightly and will engage very quickly. This one also will be planted so that the 'fingers' of the deadwood are submerged in the medium.
I've been encouraged so far and will probably make more. I have a couple of junipers that have been in training for years and it might be nice to try and make a deadwood that would fit the trunk as currently shaped. Using some swampies is pretty appealing too, given their flexibility and potential growth rate.
Here in south east Queensland deadwood has a half life of about 5 years if you are lucky. It's a real challenge and demands constant attention and treatment to keep ahead of the fungi and keep the wood in sound condition. This is particularly the case if the wood in question is not from a slow growing, tight grained, oil filled species and we don't have any of those which are endemic in this environment.
I'll post these again in time, as the wraps come off.