Thinning

colb

Well-Known Member
I feel like you guys are talking about structural pruning, equating it with aesthetic pruning. This dude at yamaguchi is engaged in aesthetic pruning - the tree is not a structural threat to anything, so he can do what he wants. The rules can change in that circumstance. Think about what you might do with a tree if you were freed from structural considerations. You could prune in codominance, thin, cut roots to kill part of the trunk, graft it to itself in a circle, grow it in form to attain the shape of a chair. It's the wild west if structural considerations are on the backburner. That's where thinning comes into it's own - in aesthetic pruning.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
I feel like you guys are talking about structural pruning, equating it with aesthetic pruning. This dude at yamaguchi is engaged in aesthetic pruning - the tree is not a structural threat to anything, so he can do what he wants. The rules can change in that circumstance. Think about what you might do with a tree if you were freed from structural considerations. You could prune in codominance, thin, cut roots to kill part of the trunk, graft it to itself in a circle, grow it in form to attain the shape of a chair. It's the wild west if structural considerations are on the backburner. That's where thinning comes into it's own - in aesthetic pruning.
Hi colb, could you expand on the ‘kill part of the trunk by root pruning’ bit? Haven’t seen much on this, is it species dependent?
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Hi colb, could you expand on the ‘kill part of the trunk by root pruning’ bit? Haven’t seen much on this, is it species dependent?
It's not a "thing" that I'm aware of (I suspect bonsai artists do it, but I don't want to speak for them), but you (or lightning, or a trencher) can do it, right? The point I was trying to make is that we arborists are really focused on structural pruning. We should be, almost all of the time. But, when there are no targets, there is no need to prune for structure. In that circumstance, some people choose to engage in artistic expression without the constraints of pruning for structure. The only constraints are the self-imposed ones. You might not want to kill part of a tree's trunk by cutting a large root, and thus constrain your expression. Someone else might try to kill almost all of the tree by pruning several roots, grow a new leader in the mirror image of the dead tree, and that might be considered art.
 

TreeVB

Well-Known Member
Is it just me that is now a little confused? The original question was asking about the purpose of thinning a tree and most responses were leaning towards structural pruning ( to help set the tree up for a strong life) instead of wasting wounds for aesthetics, correct? Why would people want to mutilate their trees and excessively and purposely stress them out for art (bonsai exempt)? And again why would they hire an arborist to force their tree into decline for a few year glimpse of strange aesthetic? I totally get thinning for aesthetics and dont agree with it but did this all just go full circle? Too many questions in one post, I know, but?????
 

swingdude

De' Island Buzzer
Structural on small ornamentals or where there are no targets is irrelevant to some who own them.
Fuck all that shit. Let the dam trees be. Love wild trees. Everyone looking for dam perfection that does not exist especially in nature. Fuck humans they suck. Bad enough I have to deal with ignorant, uneducated ( about trees ) HOs who want me to fuck their trees up. Gets old.
 

TreeVB

Well-Known Member
@swingdude how do you really feel though? Nah I get it man. Minimally prune unless defected, with targets. HO's and their thinking their trees need to all be balanced is another battle that drives me nuts.
 
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JD3000

Most well-known member
Fuck all that shit. Let the dam trees be. Love wild trees. Everyone looking for dam perfection that does not exist especially in nature. Fuck humans they suck. Bad enough I have to deal with ignorant, uneducated ( about trees ) HOs who want me to fuck their trees up. Gets old.
Japanese pruning did this.
Maier.04.jpg
For the win.
 

JD3000

Most well-known member
That's not listening to a homeowner. That's knowing how to apply aesthetic pruning over years.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Why would people want to mutilate their trees and excessively and purposely stress them out for art (bonsai exempt)?
You mean like growing high quality grapes? Happy grapes make shit wine (and I argue that boozey drinks can be art btw). Espalier trees are crazy unnatural and shorter-lived but useful and beautiful.
 

TreeVB

Well-Known Member
You mean like growing high quality grapes? Happy grapes make shit wine (and I argue that boozey drinks can be art btw). Espalier trees are crazy unnatural and shorter-lived but useful and beautiful.
I wouldnt put grape vines in the same category as trees but I understand where you're coming from. Espalier for fruit trees is for the purpose of fruit so again a bit different than shade trees. Fruit trees in general are a whole different animal. With the fact that there was no specifics regarding what type of trees this thread was asking about we can start making all of our answers work. Another thing I forgot as well is that Japanese culture has a whole different treatment of trees, but they also do it on their own and not hire "us".
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Japanese pruning did this.
View attachment 61376
For the win.
I've been working along side the dude who use to be the head of this garden.. What he does to trees makes the arborist in me cringe, and I have to keep reminding myself it's cultural.. The tree's always seem to do fine for the most part if it's good stock to begin with. The tree's are only a small part over the greater whole of a Japanese garden. True japanese gardening is an art form which is not unlike meditation, frequent and prescient control over every element just to make it look natural.
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
..... frequent and prescient control over every element just to make it look natural.
I think those 2 words are keys to do it right. Somebody starting with a tree that hasn't been maintained for 20 years and saying they are going to mimic that style by pruning it once today then maybe in 5 years is not going to accomplish much good...
 

colb

Well-Known Member
I think those 2 words are keys to do it right. Somebody starting with a tree that hasn't been maintained for 20 years and saying they are going to mimic that style by pruning it once today then maybe in 5 years is not going to accomplish much good...
That sounds like fukinaoshi, roughly translated as "to re-do". It's like crape murder gone good.

Niwaki pines receive care twice a year. The non-pines can probably do okay with once a year or once every 2 or even 3 years in some cases, and once the tree is under care for 3-5 cycles the care is fairly minimal. A few of my high end clients request yearly care for their full sized trees. Really frees me up to be patient, make small cuts, and lay on the phc.
 
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