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TOPIC: An ongoing study in raffia and shaping

An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 4 months ago #30620

Small juniper as it was given to me.



This was the juniper a few years ago. All of the growth is off the top. After a really bad summer where the house sitter forgot to water, I almost lost it. The tree leaned over and lost a lot of foliage. Bad picture, but you can see it here.




I didn't want to airlayer, and lose most of the bottom, so I left the tree alone and waited for some backbudding. I was lucky and got some budding, but not a lot. I was frustrated until I remembered that my brother had some success with raffia and wire. I decided to give it a try. We wrapped the trunk in raffia, added wire over it, and helped hold the tree in shape with some guy wires tied to the trunk. Here's what I ended up with.




You can judge height and size from the paint stir stick that we used to hold a wire. It's not a big tree, and I'm not sure how I'll end up styling it. I'm thinking something like this:




It was a great first time with raffia, though, and actually getting the bend was a rush. I'll leave the tree alone until next year, and keep this updated as the tree progresses.

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  • el_cheezer
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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 4 months ago #30621

Great Bend (and I should know). It looks great. Sorry about the circumstances that lead to this.
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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 4 months ago #30622

I'm kinda glad that it happened. It forced me to be creative. The juniper is too small to be imposing, so I figured that I could add character with a strong shape. We were actually surprised at how easy it was to bend once the raffia was on. It's definitely worth knowing for large branches.
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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 4 months ago #30627

Nice seeing people being creative :D
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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 4 months ago #30628

Beautifully wired, nicely done.
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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 4 months ago #30703

It is always nice to see people with good technique. Good luck and keep us updated!
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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 4 months ago #30727

Nice work
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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 1 year 2 months ago #33489

It's been two months, and the summer is starting to take off here. Nothing but 100F+ days until August now.

Great news though, because the little guy is filling in a lot! The juniper really appreciated being replanted. I'm not planning on pruning anything just yet. The tree seems strong enough to take it, but the summer is really harsh here. I feel like I need the tree to keep its strength up for the next few months, and I typically keep it to one big operation per year on my trees.





If you think the tree could take a little more, or if you have any ideas on where to go next, please let me know.

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An ongoing study in raffia and shaping 8 months 3 weeks ago #36458

Stir sticks began to give out, so I tied the bend down to the pot. As you can see, the little guy has been doing a lot of growing.



Hopefully the bend will hold this spring and most of the wire can come off. If it does, I plan to start setting a structure.

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