Sweet Gum budding

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Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:10 am

I have this sweet gum tree and when the foliage came in it went in a spiral but not on this side. Is there a problem or can I get it to bud there next spring .





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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:48 am

Hard to see in those pictures, but if some of those sprouts are coming directly from the base, I would remove them. They will make it ,much more unlikely to get more sprouts higher on the trunk.

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:21 am

oh im using those to thicken up the trunk. and what about cutting back the stems to one pair of leaves this winter/ plucking all terminal buds?

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Zach Smith on Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:20 am

Jake16 wrote:oh im using those to thicken up the trunk. and what about cutting back the stems to one pair of leaves this winter/ plucking all terminal buds?
As long as you have buds near the top of your tree, you can expect more budding along the trunk next year.

You need to be careful of your placement of shoots left to thicken the trunk. Yours look to be at ground level, maybe suckers, and this won't do what you want.

This piece of material is not ready for any significant trimming or terminal bud removal. Do you even have a design plan, or is this really raw material that needs serious growing out for two or three years?

Good luck!

Zach

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  bucknbonsai on Thu Jul 19, 2012 2:02 pm

you need to remove that air root. Its already caused you to have reverse taper, and it will only get worse the longer you leave it on.

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:29 pm

bucknbonsai wrote:you need to remove that air root. Its already caused you to have reverse taper, and it will only get worse the longer you leave it on.

I was going to remove that soon, I left it on because it had alot of roots attached. Those branches are right above the bottom of the trunk,(the tree is potted a little low )

Zach,

I dont have an exact plan for this tree yet but I do know what I want to do. I want this to be a shohin informal broom. The reason I havent put this idea to the tree is because it only has branches on one side. Im also not sure if im going to grow a new leader of make a dead wood feature.

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:03 pm

I've done sweetgum, and a shohin bonsai sweetgum will be a considerable accomplishment, considering the extreme difficulty of reducing internode distance, and leaf size. Good luck!

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:05 pm

Jim,

Please tell me you have some tips for reducing those. Smile (Ancient secrets)

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:11 pm

T I M E -- lots and LOTS of it. And small pots. (And even then . . .)

This one was 10 years in a pot and about 19 inches tall (bigger than shohin by quite a bit), and its leaves were "iffy."



But the most serious issue with sweetgum is internode spacing.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:17 pm

That tree is beautiful, great trunk and natural look. Isnt the fall color really nice on these?

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  JimLewis on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:19 pm

Isnt the fall color really nice on these?

Sometimes, but not always. Depends on the tree and on the kind of year you've had. In my experience they are less colorful in pots.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:24 pm

oh ok, I was basing what pot I wanted on it having a nice fall color, I guess I will find out this fall.

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Zach Smith on Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:25 pm

Jake16 wrote:
bucknbonsai wrote:you need to remove that air root. Its already caused you to have reverse taper, and it will only get worse the longer you leave it on.

I was going to remove that soon, I left it on because it had alot of roots attached. Those branches are right above the bottom of the trunk,(the tree is potted a little low )

Zach,

I dont have an exact plan for this tree yet but I do know what I want to do. I want this to be a shohin informal broom. The reason I havent put this idea to the tree is because it only has branches on one side. Im also not sure if im going to grow a new leader of make a dead wood feature.
Dead wood on a sweetgum is not a good idea, as the wood is not durable.

The trick to encouraging ramification and reducing internodal distance on a sweetgum is to remove the terminal buds in late winter (before they swell), much as you would on a beech. Also, you do need to control the extension of new shoots as new buds/shoots will form most easily in those spots where leaves originated. So for a shohin specimen you must keep the internodes of new shoots to a minimum, meaning you must pinch diligently as the new shoots begin trying to extend. Otherwise the whole thing gets leggy, defeating your plan.

Zach

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  coh on Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:27 pm

Sweet gum can have great fall color. I posted these sometime last fall but cannot find them on the site. Two photos of my one American sweetgum (liquidambar styraciflua), which I'm still growing (in a pot) for trunk size and shape. Tree was chopped back down to about 8" this spring.




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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:55 pm

Zach,

Thanks for the heads up

Coh,

I hope mine will look like that Smile





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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  coh on Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:13 pm

Where did you get this tree? Is it something you dug up, or is it purchased? Mine is a seedling that came from a west coast grower, so it's not a special cultivar.

I'm planning on a 20-24" tall tree with about a 3" trunk base. Currently the trunk is at about 1.75" (as of last fall), so still a ways to go. The growth is definitely coarse so it will be a challenge...I think anything less than a 20" tall tree might be difficult to pull off.

Edit to add - are you sure your tree is a sweetgum? The leaves look quite different than mine...

Chris

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:17 pm

I dug this up at the wrong time and almost killed it. They grow every where around my house. I was planing on having this tree at 7" or so, and idk about the trunk I was going to see how big it got.

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  bucknbonsai on Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:27 pm

"7 inches" Are you referring to the final height? In my opinion, this species has far to coarse of growth and large leaves to produce a realistic looking bonsai that small. If these are so common where you are, why dont you put this one back in the forest and find one with more character, no reverse taper, and better nebari? Where I grew up these things come up by the thousands in all of the mowed ditches. If you can get permission from a landowner , the best place ive found them are on power lines where they mow/ chop back about every 5 years producing some really fat bases. I have noticed though that the species has problems with dieback sometimes and hence Ive moved away from them.

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Re: Sweet Gum budding

Post  Jake16 on Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:43 pm

Yeah I meant total height my new plan might be a twin trunk using this bottom branches and letting this tree grow taller

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