I think this qualifies as 'from scratch.'No small amounts of skill and imagination were required to get from what you see on the left to what you see on the right. You've got the good makings of a trunk and a lot of potential leaders and branches to choose from, but beyond that it's pretty rough. The artist is Paolo Salemi. Here's his caption... "Thuja, before and after 5 years. I start working on this tree in the 2012, work in progress..."
Time to pick up our recurrent before and after series. Several things struck me about this one… first, it’s a ‘true’ before and after, rather than the periodic trimming, wiring and grooming of an already established tree that you often see (here’s an example of a maintenance before and after). Not that there isn’t a lot of skill involved in maintenance of established trees that are overgrown, but just that the process is different.
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A closer look at Paolo Salemi's handwork. One thing that struck me was how he left the foliage growing straight up. On our Northern white cedars (Thuja occidentalis) new foliage grows up, and then as it matures, it starts to sag a bit and grow a more horizontally (see the photo below). Having said this, I don't know what kind of cedar this is. Perhaps the growth habit is a little different than with our local cedars.
Continued from above…
Second, the tree isn’t over styled. Paolo has kept the relaxed informal look that you see with Thuja in nature (arborvitae and cedar are two common names for thuja). The other thing is Paolo’s treatment of the foliage (as mentioned in the caption just above)
Here's a Northern white cedar that belongs to Brian Donnely of Quebec City. It's from a post we did in December 2016. As you can see, the foliage is horizontal. I suspect Brian trimmed off the vertical foliage