When you are developing a deciduous tree you want maximum growth and choice of branches as you progress towards the design you are hoping to achieve. Once you have arrived at the point ongoing maintenance is critical to keep the tree in scale and shape is a year round task.
When I am preparing this tree for exhibition I start 24 months in advance so that it can be presented in prime condition. This week I thinned out the small branches and removed crowded internodes. If this work is not done annually the canopy of the tree becomes a tight knot of thorns and twisted branches. I will wire with aluminium the odd branch to fill in where I have made a hole by removing the ‘star’ clump of small branches.
I work my Hawthorns as closely as they would grow in nature and not force them into a style not representative of the wild trees where I live.
The work appears very subtle and the difference in the two photos almost imperceptible.