By Christopher Cattle PHD DESRCA MCSD
Slow but steady progress this year. The air drying successfully completed, my three harvested frames were moved to the basement. A little shrinkage had exposed small gaps where grafts had failed to take, but as hoped, splitting has been confined to the exposed tips which were to be trimmed off.
Progress has to some extent been controlled by the speed of the bark removal process, which has proved somewhat laborious. I’ve found that at this young age, the dried bark remains well and truly an integral part of the tree.Spokeshaves, scrapers, rasps, files and abrasive paper have all been called into service. (Why bother - well I’m trying to avoid the apparently universal response of ‘Oh what lovely garden furniture’. I’m determined it can be more than that.)
To date, two of the frames have been stripped, trimmed, and will be painted. One of them - a sturdy low table - has also had its top fitted. (Levelling tops and feet has proved another ‘interesting’ exercise !) The third frame - the one previously illustrated - is now in process of being stripped (see picture with matchbox used to level it up) and will be clear finished.
There are currently a total of four further promising structures ‘in the ground’ which I anticipate will need another year or two to mature. These I shall definitely try de-barking green !
The saga continues - watch this space.