For this wood I also make sure I have a sharp edge on my blades and find myself stropping more than I would with bass wood or even butternut. I find the best approach is using one of my older knives for the roughing out and shaping and saving my nicer blades for the detailing. Even though they may not carve as well at this stage I am only removing unwanted wood so there is no finesse to this part of the carving. Don't get me wrong, the blade needs to be as sharp as you can get it to be productive with this wood. All in all this is a fun wood to carve but it can be a workout opposed to other woods I carve. Then of course there is the issue of knots coming up in the wood. This wood is fun due to the shape due to the branches and knots but it also can make keep an open mind on what you are going to do with the carving. You may have a great idea and then hit a knot and realize you need to modify the design in order to save the overall carving. You may also decide to make the knots and knots holes part of the overall design, but that is for another day.
Good night and may God bless