Patience and a soft touch are required at this stage of the carving. The limbs are carved with short, shallow strokes that remove only small pieces of waste wood at a time. The limbs are far too fragile to withstand the pressure necessary to take large chunks out with single strokes.
Here you can see the just a few of the shavings removed in shaping just a few branches.
You’ll also notice that the lines left from long, straight strokes are noticeable on the smaller branches. Less material can be removed from them, else they become too weak. The shaping lines will disappear once the bark carving is added.