The Escarpment Thuja

I am very happy with the result of this work. Very challenging material given its size and origin as a pom-pom tree in my garden. I had the most ancient Thuja occidentalis specimens in Canada from the Niagara escarpment as inspiration. Both the foliage and the deadwood are true to form to those most ancient trees.The last image is one such ancient Thuja from the escarpment, called the alien (it germinated in 1179 AD). From domesticated pom-pom to ancient. Walter Pall always says in his workshops ‘Don’t turn a wild bore into a house swine’ - well, I turned a house swine back into a wild bore I think. I am looking forward to submit this tree to the forum Q&A next week to hear Ryan’s critique.

The Escarpment Thuja:

The tree a week ago:

And here when it was collected from my front garden in the fall of 2017:

The Alien, an ancient Thuja from the Niagara Escarpment that germinated in 1179 AD- it is now in 2020 842 years old. Picture from the book ‘The Last Stand’ by Peter Kelly & Douglas W. Larson. One of many inspirational ancient Thuja from the Niagara Escarpment that appear in that book.


@rafi are you sure that picture 3 is the same tree that become the bonsai in the first picture??? Phenomenal transformation and an inspiration for everyone looking for urbandori - there may well be hidden gems inside those balls of foliage.

Yes, 100% sure. :slight_smile: it was growing slanted and I cut off all the branches that you see the stumps in picture 2 to access the roots for collection. Perhaps not the best choice at the time but it was impossible to even think of a front with the tree in the ground. My luck is that it had this impressive flat thick trunk and that Thuja branches are so flexible.

Great story. Fascinating tree. Intrigued by what Ryan will suggest…and what you ultimately do. The journey will no doubt be a creative one.

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I am curious to hear his thoughts too!

Here is a short video about the tree.