Deadwood Inspiration

Shots taken at Castlewellan Forest Park in County Down:



Two things about this part of the tree stood out for me that I understand are very desirable when reproducing deadwood on bonsai trees: The branch has broken along the grain, leaving very defined lines and whorls and secondly, the irregular and very natural looking point of departure from the trunk – definitely doesn’t look like its been ring cut by knob cutters! Colour indicates that it’s relatively fresh damage.


This beech however shows deadwood in the form of shari where a low branch broke off.  Notice the grey colour, perhaps indicating an older injury.  This reminds me that deadwood can be acceptable on deciduous trees but its interesting to see that the exposed deadwood almost matches the bark colour.


Its clear to see the difference between a man made chop and the natural grain of the wood as the branch was torn.


Apologies for the poor quality.  This branch was completely stripped of bark and like the other examples showed great texture along its length.

Its hard to be patient in these winter months as we itch to get repotting and root pruning.  Especially as I’m keen to seen the development of material in the ground.  Recently I haven’t been doing much styling or maintenance work on my trees at all, instead its a         season for making observations and admiring those trees that are a bit further along in the journey to becoming show worthy bonsai trees.  I’m inspired by these photos to get out and perhaps improve/create some deadwood myself.  Here’s hoping I can successfully try and replicate the images that nature always provides as inspiration.


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