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Yesterday here at Willowbog Bonsai the four of us participating in the carving workshop spent a considerable part of the morning discussing the use of deadwood in bonsai creation. Where it is and where it isn’t appropriate. What sort of deadwood is right for each type of tree and the types of tools and their use in creating that deadwood. We also talked about why the timber from different tree species decays in different ways and why that might be the case, which in turn is a guide to the sort of deadwood creation appropriate to each example. In fact we almost reached lunchtime without a scrap of sawdust being produced.

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However, eventually the machines were started to be used. In this photo I am using a Proxon die grinder, one my favourite tools in the kit for it’s ease of use and controllability.  I was ” naturalising ” a relatively small pruning scar on Willowbogger Angela’s birch.

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There is a long way to go with this tree but the interesting and typical birch trunk makes it a worthwhile project.

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The use of a Dremel on one of two Blackthorns brought along to the day by Dave who had made the long trip down from north of the Scottish border for the day.

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Time for Dave to get hands on himself.

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Scott’s Willowbog origin Norway spruce is a tree that has deadwood features that he and I have worked on previously so this was a case of further refinement of that work.

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In the same way that the development of foliage areas is done over a period of time, it is a good idea with the deadwood to do some initial creation then set the tree aside and study it for a while before deciding just where to go with the feature. Thanks to Scott for taking the day’s photographs.

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