A silver lining for a yellow cedar

(This story is a re-post of a thread from several years ago [2009]. I believe it is still relevant and hope you all find some value in it.) 

Since my friend grouper52 suggested that I post some pictures of the AYC (Alaskan Yellow Cedar – Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) I have been working on I decided I would take him up on that.

I got my wife to take some pictures of its current state. These are such wonderful trees to work with. They are extremely flexible and can be wired very easily. Long branches can be shortened and gnarled to create the ancient image of a tortured tree.

This particular tree is still in the process of being created so many of the jins haven’t been carved and some of the branches need to be removed. Foliage needs to be reduced and developed as well to support the image. I thought however you might enjoy to see a before picture and a few afters of its current state. The carved sections are best viewed from above but due to the angle we had the tree setting the best views of it aren’t entirely represented here. Some of the sections need more attention/ smoothing to reduce some of the burrs etc. Detail work may be done at a later date to complete the design of the deadwood. I also have plans to create another deadwood section higher in the tree to continue this ancient look. For those that may be wondering I did not kill most of this area instead it died back from sunscald and thus presented this great opportunity. Which of course turn out to a wonderful silver lining, giving this tree an undeniable focal point.

I hope you all enjoy.




2 responses to “A silver lining for a yellow cedar”

  1. Nice motto!

    or is it a mission statement…..(love that corporate speak.)

    Very strong trunk (duh, right?) but it’s larger than I expected from the first photo. The transition to the apex seems a bit disconnected (?) to me, how will you solve this? Don’t know how to describe what it does to my eye any better, maybe you know what I’m driving at already. Looks like an amazing opportunity.

    • Judy-
      Great to see you !!
      The transition to the apex is indeed very strange. This tree had what I like to refer to as a “mop top” , all of its top branching emanated from a small region on top of the tree. Because of this there were some challenges in creating a form that looked more like a tree. The branches were wrapped and wired up to create a shape that gave the correct appearance. As you pointed out this left a transition that looked a little funny. To correct this foliage pads can be grown to obfuscate the area and give your eye the chance to decide how the transition occurs in a more gentle manner. Some parts of the trunk at the transition were also carved to give close up viewers a better sense of age and help make the transition tell a story. I do not believe that section is visible in the images here.

      sadly this tree passed away in March or April of that year as a freak deep freeze rolled through the area killing many trees, including several other AYC. I often miss this tree and have fond memories of the time I spent working on it.

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