The wide base of this Pemphis gives the viewer a feeling of stability and strength, I was awed by its stately appearance when I first saw it. The deadwood tells us of the tree’s struggle to survive maybe over a hundred years in the harsh conditions of its natural environment.
Close up shots of the beautiful Shari on side 'D' of the tree.
Left to Right: Side A, Side B, Side C
Although this Pemphis has its good qualities, it also has its design flaw; (not unusual for trees collected from the wild). The picture below of Side D shows us how the trunk on the left crosses over the trunk on the right.
A major decision has to be made to solve the problem and we are given two choices. 1. a large portion of the left trunk is to be cut. 2. We can carve the overlapping trunk and make it into a jin, so that it will blend with existing deadwood or we can shari the lower portion of the trunk.
It is worth mentioning that I waited two years after collection before the initial work was carried out. The first year was dedicated to intensive feeding and root development. I decided to repot it after the first year to firstly check on the development of the roots and secondly to change the medium from sandy to coarse volcanic cinders. Then another year of aggressive feeding follows. Now that I am satisfied with its vigor, I commence work.
In order to correct the problem, I have decided to cut the portion of the left trunk that grew towards the right and crossed over the other trunk.
After cutting off the unwanted portion, we are left with a large wound of about 3.5 inches in diameter as shown in the picture above.
With such a big cut as this one, an ugly scar is left. In order to make it look natural and pleasant to look at, I used a power tool to carve and shape it.
More carving work was done on some other dead branches on the tree.
Side D after the cut
final images show a clearer view of the trunk and its movement
and flow after pruning the unwanted branches and twigs.
From now on, for up to maybe 3 years, I shall concentrate
on growing these branches before I continue to wire and
style the tree.
In the words of the late Master John Naka “If you encounter a problematic branch, just cut it off. And if you still have a problem afterwards, then you really do have a problem!”