To make the decorative carving for the circle, I start with a few straight, shallow cuts (on the right). All cuts are made toward the center of the circle. I then begin to make angled cuts (on the left).
The depth and angle of these cuts are varied to break up any pattern. I simply want to texture the circle to give the tree an interior frame. The result is below.
If you are a chip carver, you could make an interesting pattern in the circle. It’s important, though, to make the border simple. You don’t want it to distract from the main focal point, which is the tree.
I’ll start carving the leaves that decorate the outer corner in the next installment.