Friday, 31 August 2012

A few more for Hugh

A few more drawings completed for Hugh on topping trees and the root pruning one is finished. These diagrams are for a scientific journal, and so need to be more sciencey than arty... hence why they don't look too pretty!
 Root pruning

Root pruning - something we need to do if the roots have been crushed or damaged by pollution, trenching, compaction or changes in soil level. This treatment probably wouldn't have been used much in the past, but in the last century trees - especially urban ones - have been damaged a lot by trenching to put in cables and drains. You know if a tree's roots have been damaged if it's leaves start to go yellow after local disturbance, or if the tips of the branches become bare of leaves. I noticed when at the Olympic Park at the start of the month that many of the new trees they had planted from Hillers looked very stressed in this way. I am guessing that it was related to their root systems being damaged upon transplantation. This is why it is so important to water newly planted trees regularly during the dry months of the first year of being in their new home.

Topping trees is a BIG no-no. It really damages them. They can get rot in the heart wood and a tree's response to having their tops cut off is to grow lots of week branches from the callus. These wispy branches with poor attachment to the main body can actually be quite dangerous. If a tree is too big you can use some of the other methods I have illustrated - crown lift, crown thinning or crown reduction, or you can do what Hugh is currently writing about (I'll blog on this as soon as I have done the piccies).  

Caroline, my coffee tree has been moved outside today because it is lovely and sunny! Now we are fast approaching the autumn equinox she's starting to struggle with the lack of light in my north facing room. I am not sure what to do other than move. Caroline used to live in the sitting room, but my landlady has transformed our old south facing sitting room into an en suite bedroom this summer and so Caroline was evicted. She was quite happy in my room this summer and she is still growing her coffee bean, but I can sense a recent struggle as her leaves reach for light. We all know what that's like (especially us Brits)! So I am starting to think it might be time for a new home.Will keep you posted.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

David Nash

David Nash

Lines and Smudges

6th September - 6th October 2012

There is a new exhibition on David Nash at the Annely Juda Gallery showing David Nash's drawings of Kew's trees. I am definitely going to go to the preview for this! The drawings are quite different to the usual plant-based artwork I post on here but I love them. I feel that Nash captures the essence of the different tree species so well.

 Olive 2007*
*I like this one best

Most of the drawings by Nash are in charcoal. I have discovered since seeing Hockney's drawings of trees in the exhibition: A Bigger Picture, that tree's are well suited to being illustrated in charcoal. Both artists really make me want to go out and get 'charcoaling'.

 Weeping Beech

Since June 2012, David Nash has been on site in Kew Garden's busily making sculptures. His exhibition, which is currently on show throughout the garden, is an organic one - in October 2012 we will be refreshing the works on display so that his latest creations take their place on stage. Annely Juda is one of the galleries that represents David. Their exhibition will be taking place to compliment the work that's happening in Kew. If you are interested in environmental art, sculpture, natural forms or trees I recommend both of these exhibitions to you.

Three Chatsworth Yews 2011

Friday, 17 August 2012

Hugh's Commission continued...

So a bit has more has been completed.

Pruning stumps..

Four pruning types (there is one more to do - 'topping').

Top left: Crown Reduction (removing all the little branches evenly around the crown to reduce it's over all size)
Top right: Crown Lift (removing the lowest branches and preparing the lower ones left for lifting in the following year)
Bottom left: Crown Thinning (removing several bigger branches without changing the overall shape of the crown)
Bottom right:  Lion Tailing (removing all the inner side branches along the main branches but leaving a tuft of twigs at the end - not recommended)
To do: Topping (cutting the top off a tree - again, not recommended and poor practice).

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Hugh's commission on tree pruning

So I have been busy beavering away... but I am pretty exhausted. Luckily my dear friend Hugh came to visit me a few weeks back. He's writing another article on tree pruning and has asked me to do more illustrations.  I have actually really enjoyed doing these and I hope he likes them. There are a lot of diagrams out there on this sort of thing but most of them seem have been drawn by the arboriculturalists themselves and so they are a bit 'wacky'! I have tried to go for a clean feel in these illustrations:

 Crown Lift in pen and ink

Last time I did some work for Hugh I only used pen and ink thinking that the journal might not like images in colour. Once I got my copy and flicked through I noticed that they had a lot of colour photographs, so I thought this time round I would include a couple of diagrams in watercolour. This one (below) is about pruning tree roots and so I thought here it would be suitable to use watercolour, whereas I think with the other pictures on branches need to be in pen for clarity.

 Root pruning (work in progress)

Two down - another two to go:

 Crown thinning and Crown lift

Other from this there isn't much news for me at the moment. I am still keeping a pretty low profile trying to recharge my batteries. Still struggling with tiredness and a few health niggles. I hope to be back on form soon though.