Weeping Willow (2009)

greenman28 NorCal 7b/8aAugust 5, 2009

Last year, I started a Weeping Willow, and documented its progress through the season. I've provided a link to the first posting for additional images, but I ask that you comment here if you have a question....rather than resurrect a necro-Thread. Anyhow, here's an update for anyone who was following along, or who might be considering a Weeping Willow. They couldn't be easier.

I'm staying fairly true to my original vision, with a bit of tip-pruning every month or so. I pinched about three inches off the tops today, after taking pics. A root-pruning is definitely in the near-future.

Here is a link that might be useful: Weeping willow (pics)

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head_cutter

Man! you need to paint that deck! Ha ha

I see that tree about halfway down a 'constructed' rock and knee deep in a shallow tray pot of nothing but water. Hanging almost horizontal. Even that young it should look pretty wild.

Bob

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 9:18PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hey, Bob!
Ain't it the truth! ;)
That deck hasn't been painted since I re-built it with my dad and my brother...
Full eastern-southern exposure, totally sun blasted! Maybe I should take pics of the moss and lichen...

Last night, I had a dream in which I was digging through various shallow pots and containers, trying to find something that would work. I think it was influenced by a late cup of coffee, as well as your recommendation - which I didn't read until well after midnight.

So help me envision this:
I like the scene, but I can't quite picture the orientation of the tree. The trunk is vertical at the moment, so do you mean angling it at about 70°-90°?
Also, tell me more about the constructed rock.
Thanks, Bob!

Josh

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 1:27PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

If your intent with this tree is to grow it in the weeping (shidare-zukuri) style, the most believable trees are usually also slanted (shakan).

Al

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 3:37PM
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head_cutter

If you can't find a decent rock, about 2' tall or a little more, build one of similar pieces using cement and some coloration to sort of match the color of them. You make the decision about placement but I'm thinking about 3/4 from the bottom--90 deg. or hanging a little more--depends on what looks good and see.

Bob

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 7:03PM
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head_cutter

Josh,
I was doing some work today and some doodling about the tree, I'll try to post a decent one soon. It's still been very hot and trying to spend some time finishing up the the potting design...whew!...and the repositiong of the branches.

And I'm sorry, I can't give you all of the highly technical terms and names. I am a designer and grower.

Bob

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 8:35AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

"If your intent with this tree is to grow it in the weeping (shidare-zukuri) style, the most believable trees are usually also slanted (shakan)."
- Thanks, Al. I hadn't heard these terms before, so I looked them up. The examples of shidare-zukuri that I found online were not appealing to me at all. While this is a weeping willow, I'm not so sure that I want to style it in a weeping form.
- My sketches all indicate an upright tree, with two co-dominant leaders and perhaps three side-branches on each leader.
- To be totally honest, the thick cylinder of a giant tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) gave me an idea of how I'd like the foliage to fall and obscure the most of the tree.

Bob,
I'm looking forward to any doodles you might have. I'll also do some new sketches to compare. And, believe me, I'm the last person to give you grief over terminology...hell, I hardly know any of these terms myself! But I do look them up whenever they're mentioned, so I have a mental visual to accompany the term. If I were deep into the art of bonsai, I would have....
1. Chosen a different, smaller-leaved tree;
2. Planted the tree in the garden for trunk development.

Instead, I'm pushing ahead and making mistakes....thankfully with a very forgiving tree!
Thanks, guys!

Josh

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 2:10PM
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head_cutter

Josh,
It sounds like you already have a pretty good plan for the tree and mine is pretty radical. I shouldn't muddy the waters at this point and, your idea sounds very good-sound- for the tree in the pics. Go to it!

Bob

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 8:04PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

This is roughly what I have in mind...as they say, nothing is set in stone ;)
But I am looking for a good rock. A tall, columnar stone with crags and character...

I know that there's been some confusion over my sketches in the past, so let me note
that this sketch is meant to depict the branch structure during the winter, sans leaf.
My practice would be to prune branches/foliage back to those "nubs" in early spring,
and then to encourage growth from those points almost exclusively.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2009 at 3:32PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

*Update* - August 17th:

Less than two weeks, but lots of growth!
I think I'll need to wire this floppy thing, if I'm going to achieve my vision.... ;)
I'll be selecting the second pair of branches for the middle tier soon.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 5:26PM
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jack_r(9)

I don't like the idea of the double top. If the tree were mine I would choose the thickest of the forks and make that my leader and cut the other one short. Plant the tree at an angle of 10-20 degrees off of vertical and let it run for a year or two to develope some caliper to the trunk as well as some good roots. In a favorable environment willows probably should be repotted every year. The idea of a sort of cascade out of a rock is not bad but the tree would have to be shortened a lot to make it look like a true cascade and planted at an almost horizontal angle. Why not let it weep? That is what it wants to do and is quite beautiful. Jack

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 2:59AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Thanks for responding, Jack!

"I don't like the idea of the double top."
- Why is that?

"If the tree were mine I would choose the thickest of the forks and make that my leader and cut the other one short."
- I have another, non-forking Weeping Willow to experiment with straight designs. The Willow in this Thread shall remain forked. Last year would have been the time to radically alter the shape.

"In a favorable environment willows probably should be repotted every year."
- *Most* trees should be re-potted yearly, especially if grown in smaller containers.
- I've even re-potted Willows twice in a season.

Josh

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 11:12AM
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