akebone cherry bonsai?

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akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Poseidon on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:12 am

Hello everyone, I have always been interested in growing bonsai trees and am excited to actually be doing something about it now. To start I had some questions as you might have guessed. I have the opportunity to acquire a 2-3 foot tall akebone flowering cherry blossom tree and was wondering if anyone has experience/suggestions/tips on large bonsai trees. Is this too big to start forming into a bonsai?

I understand that this forum is not for complete horticulture lessons. I'm doing my research but would just like some guidance as a beginner.

Also just curious, is the akebone the stereotypical "cherry blossom tree?"


Last edited by Poseidon on Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:28 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : suggestion from another member)

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  fiona on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:46 am

Hello and welcome to the forum and to the hobby/art/craft of bonsai.

You ask if 2-3ft is too big for a bonsai and the answer to the question is ... yes and no. Very Happy In general terms it's not too big and people on here have started with material twice that height and turned it into a successful tree.

But, what you need to do with raw material is assess its potential as a future bonsai on an individual basis and be a bit selective about what you take. One 2-3ft cherry from someone's garden might have brilliant potential and another one might be a waste of effort. Many of us have trees littering our bonsai gardens that we will never work on because they were offered to us free and we couldn't say no.

If you can, post a pic of the tree you have in mind and we may be better able to say if it's got potential as a bonsai or not.

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Poseidon on Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:02 am

You can really tell from one look if a tree can or can't become a bonsai? what do you look for? better yet what should i look for or avoid?

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Andre Beaurain on Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:16 am

....there are no such thing as bad bonsai material....only bad bonsai artists, ....someone once said on this Forum, I cant remember who.

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  JimLewis on Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:21 pm

Andre Beaurain wrote:....there are no such thing as bad bonsai material....only bad bonsai artists, ....someone once said on this Forum, I cant remember who.

Well, not everything written here is 100% true.

You can really tell from one look if a tree can or can't become a bonsai? what do you look for? better yet what should i look for or avoid?

It sometimes takes more than one look. But you certainly can eliminate the total wastes of time with a look or two.

What you look at first is the base (if you can find it. Often, nursery plants are planted too deep in the pot to see the surface roots.) What you look for is a nice flare at the base and, ideally, a few roots radiating more or less evenly from that flared base. Sometimes you have to dig to find that.

Then you look at the trunk. On a 2-3 foot tree, you want the trunk to taper fairly evenly from bottom to top. The degree of taper is a matter of taste. I prefer trunks that taper gently; others prefer a quicker taper -- a dinner candle versus a tipi (or, if you prefer, teepee). It's nice in most cases -- especially for broad leaved trees like cherries -- if there is some gentle sinuous movement in the trunk.

Leaf size should be moderate to small. Branches often don't matter; you can regrow those, with a little effort.

If you can, get a copy of Deborah Koreshoff's Bonsai - Its Art, Science, History, and Philosophy and study it and refer to it often.

I'm sure others here will have things to add about your first assessment of a potential bonsai. Those are the ones I look for first.

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Poseidon on Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:05 am

JimLewis wrote:If you can, get a copy of Deborah Koreshoff's Bonsai - Its Art, Science, History, and Philosophy and study it and refer to it often.

Thanks! this is all a big help and very encouraging. can I pick up the book at most book stores or did you get it in a gardening center?

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  yamasuri on Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:47 am

Hi Poseidon,
Welcome here and if you are more internet adict [...as I'm] you can Google search "bonsai" or start right here http://www.bonsai4me.com/index.htm
Good luck Vlad

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Bob Pressler on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:49 pm

Poseidon wrote:
JimLewis wrote:If you can, get a copy of Deborah Koreshoff's Bonsai - Its Art, Science, History, and Philosophy and study it and refer to it often.

Thanks! this is all a big help and very encouraging. can I pick up the book at most book stores or did you get it in a gardening center?

It's out of print but can be found online.

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:58 pm

Bob Pressler wrote:
Poseidon wrote:
JimLewis wrote:If you can, get a copy of Deborah Koreshoff's Bonsai - Its Art, Science, History, and Philosophy and study it and refer to it often.

Thanks! this is all a big help and very encouraging. can I pick up the book at most book stores or did you get it in a gardening center?

It's out of print but can be found online.
As seen here http://www.amazon.com/Bonsai-Its-Science-History-Philosophy/dp/0908175752/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1344344206&sr=8-1

Note that the used ones are from $30.00 and up.

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Poink88 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:13 pm

Poseidon wrote:You can really tell from one look if a tree can or can't become a bonsai? what do you look for? better yet what should i look for or avoid?
Note that though most twiggy/woody plants can be turned to bonsai...some plants are easier than others. Some have big leaves, poisonous, resent root trimming/repotting, resist wiring, etc. while others have all the good characteristics you want to mimic a giant tree in smaller scale.

Easiest guideline I can share is to look around your neighborhood and see what is thriving. Start with those that have bonsai "characteristics" and your life will be much easier (no need to protect from winter weather, etc.) . You can also cross reference what you see with bonsai online. If you have a local bonsai club, you might want to join or just visit and pick their brains...they usually do not mind.

Like Jim...I usually concentrate on the leaf size, trunk and base/root (nebari)...the rest can be built easily after. FYI, I love collecting/saving hedge & other yard plants destined to be removed or replaced (usually free) and they are usually much better than I can find or afford from nurseries.

Good luck!

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

Post  Poseidon on Wed Aug 08, 2012 5:13 am

I appreciate all of your input! I find everyone and the info very helpful. I was still curious if anyone has had experience with the akebone, or any flowering tree as a bonsai for that matter. I've always been inspired by the cherry blossom tree and its symbolism and would love to have a miniature one in my house.
Poink88 wrote:Easiest guideline I can share is to look around your neighborhood and see what is thriving
In that case I am going to look into getting my hands on a maple. has anyone had success with these? would it be better to start from a seed or young tree (sapling?)?

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Akebono Cherry Bonsai

Post  bonsaisr on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:07 pm

Somebody named Poseidon asked about this almost a year ago. What happened? Did you buy the tree? I also asked about it a few months ago.
First of all, there is less cultural information online than I thought. Hollow Creek Bonsai has a general article on cherries. 'Akebono' is a cultivar of Yoshino cherry. These are the cherry trees of Washington, DC. Here is what I found;
Akebono is a Japanese noun that means dawn or daybreak. This cultivar was developed 1920 & introduced 1925 by W.B. Clarke Nursery, San José.
This hybrid flowering cherry is considered the most floriferous of the group. It was developed in Japan. The species was introduced into the United States in 1902 through the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, Mass, where stock was developed which resulted into a number of cultivars. It is known there as the Yoshino Cherry of Tokyo and nearly a thousand trees were planted in Washington in 1912 as a part of the cherry collection presented to the mayor as a gift of friendship from Japan. In the 1930s, William Clarke of the W.B. Clarke Nursery in San Jose, California, gave a seedling selection of Yoshino called ‘Akebono’ for planting around the Tidal Basin.
Yoshino is Prunus x yedoensis (subhirtella x speciosa).
The flowering cherries are much prized for bonsai in Japan and northern Europe. In UK the most popular species is sloe. Outside of the Pacific Northwest, they are not grown much in the US because our summers are too hot and dry. In Indiana, you can try that specimen of 'Akebono.' It is probably grafted, & you will have to contend with the graft union. I have a cutting grown stick-in-a-pot of 'Akebono.' So far, so good. The leaves are healthy. I wired some curves into the trunk in June. In July, it was already set & starting to scar the bark.
If you are a beginner & set on a flowering tree, by all means get a crabapple. But try to get one that is cutting grown.
Iris

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Re: akebone cherry bonsai?

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