Privet Bonsai: Carving 3 Trunks Into 1

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privet bonsai

The Privet bonsai featured in this Photo Series, is another of the many that were collected from a Privet hedge in May 2012, as seen in this article

privet bonsai

Not all the material that is obtained from collecting a large number of trees is instantly suitable for bonsai. The image above shows one Privet potted up after the dig; the tree had 3 straight, taperless trunks that merged at the base. Although I had chopped back each of the three trunks hard, the resulting stumps had little that immediately motivated me to work the tree into a bonsai!

The large (5.5"/ 13cm trunk diameter) stump was left to grow in a corner of the garden, waiting for some inspiration!

privet bonsai

October 2013: 18 months later and during that time, the Privet stump had grown strongly. It had been pruned back hard a few times, and as a result, had plenty of options for me to develop a branch structure.

But first, I would need to establish a trunk, or trunks, on which to build the branches. Options open to me included planting the stump into the ground (for quickest and most vigorous growth) while I grew new tapering trunk-sections, however, I didn't have the interest in investing the 5-10 years growing time that this would require.

Another option would have been to carve some taper into each of the three trunks, a popular option for problem-material such as this.

......however, I decided to experiment and try something different with this tree.

privet carving

This line-drawing shows the top of each of the 3 trunks of the tree. As seen from above, looking downwards.

privet carving

I realised that if I removed the inward-growing curves of each of the 3 trunks............

privet carving

............the viewer would no longer have an indication that these had been 3 trunks. The eye would naturally 'join the gaps' between the three trunks, and see one large trunk that had begun to rot away.

privet carving

Using a die-grinder to carve and hollow out the 3 trunks, I could create one hollow-trunked tree.

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